Climate change is such a pressing issue on society today – but what small changes can we all make to play our part?
It does take more effort and organisation initially, but these are habits which we all need to get ourselves into
Cutting down on plastic consumption
Whether it is buying fruit and veg without packaging while shopping, using bars of soap instead of liquid, or using a shampoo bar instead of bottles of liquid shampoo – every step is a step in the right direction. I got my selection of net bags from https://www.netzerocompany.com/ for my shopping. Any plastic bags which we use at home – for the compost bin for example – are compostable. I also got some compostable bags for cleaning up after my dog in Dunnes.
Some brands, such as LUSH, offer plastic free face washes and scrubs, as well as accepting back used tubs! I save my tubs of R&B and Sleepy from LUSH and bring them back when I have 5 and get a free face mask in return. Bargain!
Penneys currently sell a packet of metal straws for around €4. IF you aren’t a fan of paper straws, or to use at home, these are a great alternative.
To completely cut plastic out of our lives is very challenging – however, creating an ‘Eco Brick’ is an excellent use for your non-recyclable single use plastic!
1. Get a 2L plastic bottle (Empty and clean)
2. Any single use plastic you have, or foil from crisps and sweets etc – ensure it is clean and dry
3. Simply fill the plastic bottle with as much plastic as you can fit in it!
4. Check online for your nearest drop off location – Seal Rescue Ireland are accepting them at the moment
Going vegan is the single biggest way someone can reduce their carbon footprint. However, if you aren’t prepared to go the whole way, even reducing your meat and dairy consumption all helps. How about Meat Free Monday? Cows are the biggest contributor of C02 of farm animals, so even eating less beef if a way in which you can make a change! Plus there are great meat alternatives available now such as Quorn products, or delicious recipes from Vegan/Veggie friendly groups like the Happy Pear. (I personally love using lentils and beans in my recipes now, most of which I learned from completing a Happy Pear Happy Heart course last year!)
Use Vegan Wraps as a substitute to cling film
I got some these in Cork – a fabulous substitute! https://www.facebook.com/Hannasbeewraps/
Re-usable water bottles and coffee cups
Most coffee shops are giving discounts to anyone who uses a Keep Cup or other brand of reusable travel mug! Whats not to love – some even work better than a paper cup! (Some brands such as Insomnia do now have compostable cups, but using your own still reduces the need to manufacture more cups! I got a Frank and Honest mug and it keeps my coffee hot for well over an hour!
I also got my Chilly’s Bottle in Clonakilty’s Minimal Waste Store – Twig Refill: https://theolivebranch.ie/twig-refill/
Having a browse in second hand stores
Personally, I love doing this. You never know what you will find, it’s cheaper than the item was worth originally, and if it is a charity shop the money you spend goes to a good cause.
Use fabric recycling facilities
If my clothes aren’t fit to be given to a charity shop, I always try to be sure to leave them in a fabric recycling bin. It’s better than sending it straight to landfill!
Always recycle your glass!
Glass naturally has such a slow rate of decomposition, it practically doesn’t ever decompose. This is why it is so important any glass you’re ready to dispose of goes to a bottle bank and in the correct colour bin!
Don’t buy in excess
This is for food and other clothes/products
It’s not always possible, depending on individual situations, but if you can, only buy exactly that food you need for the following couple of days. Frozen veg can be a great alternative when you find your fresh veg go off before you get to use them! And they are just as nutritious!
In terms of clothes and other cleaning or cosmetic products – this can be easier said than done – but the best thing to do is use up what you have and know exactly what you have before you stock up again. It sounds silly, but I recently went through all my products and I had so many which were practically the same! I’m working on using up what’s there for now – I know exactly what I have so when it’s starting to run out I know exactly what I need to get to replace it!
When recycling –
It is so important to ensure everything going into your recycle bin is clean and dry. Always check the side to see if it is suitable for recycling first – soft plastic generally isn’t but can be used in your Eco Brick instead!
Plastic straws can be recycled too – but make sure you put them inside something such as a plastic bottle as this makes the recycling process itself easier.
If you have a choice – a can is easier to recycle than a plastic bottle.
The less air miles your food/products have, the more eco friendly they are. Especially with food, it isn’t always possible, but some supermarkets mark Irish food with specific labels to help with this choice.
Trying to be eco friendly isnt always the easiest, but everything here is about doing your best 🙂
If you have any ideas or suggestions please let me know through Facebook or Instagram!