Trying to be more ethical? Here are our ten simple tips to make your everyday habits better for the environment
Whether you’re chatting with a friend or having small talk at work, it is clear that ‘sustainable’ is the word on everybody’s lips. It’s important to do what you can to help the environment, and even the smallest changes can make a big difference. These tips can be incorporated in your daily routine to make it more eco-friendly – and they often save you money, too!
1. Say no to disposable coffee cups
Buying a take-away coffee every day would result in you throwing away 365 cups a year. If you need a flat white to get you through the morning slump, invest in a reusable cup. Opt for a chic glass KeepCup or a clever Stojo Cup, which conveniently collapses to fit in your bag. Most coffee shops give you a discount for bringing your own cup; helping both your wallet and the planet!
2. Re-think your beauty routine
If you use cotton pads every day to remove your makeup, that results in a huge amount of waste. Instead, opt for a balm or cream face wash and flannel for your evening cleanse. It’s more gentle on your skin and the flannel can simply be washed and reused. We love the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser (€21.50).
3. Green-ify your lunch
It’s easy to get into a habit of buying lunch every day. However, as well as being expensive, take-away food comes with a high amount of packaging which adds up over time. Instead, make some extra dinner the night before and bring it in to eat on your break. If you want to treat yourself by getting something to go, bring your own container and cutlery to reduce waste.
4. Bring your own bags for the food shop
Save a few cents on buying plastic bags at the till and bring your own. This patterned M&S tote (€14) folds up inside your handbag so you’re never stuck without one. Try and avoid fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic by purchasing some reusable mesh bags (€6.95) to hold loose produce.
5. Change your commute
If your area is well-served by public transport, reduce emissions by opting for the bus or train, even one day a week. Take it as an opportunity to read that book you’ve been meaning to or catch up on some emails before work. Even better, cycle or walk to get some exercise in and clear your head.
6. Go meatless on Mondays
Embracing the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle even one day a week can have an impact, and it is a great chance to flex your cooking skills and get those vitamins in! Former cover star Roz Purcell’s blog Natural Born Feeder is a treasure trove of meat-free recipes. Well worth a read!
7. Choose ethical beauty products
If you’re a beauty fanatic, you can soon amass plenty of plastic containers. Brands like Aveda use recycled packaging which is kinder for the environment. Lush also have a brilliant recycling program, where you can bring back five clean empty pots in exchange for a free fresh face mask.
8. Purchase a bamboo toothbrush
Have a think about all the toothbrushes you’ve owned throughout your lifetime – and how much waste that has accumulated. If the thought makes you shudder, a compostable bamboo toothbrush is an alternative that is much kinder to the planet. This subscription service allows you to choose how often you want a new one delivered, and it’s as affordable as it is sustainable. A win-win!
9. Support small business
We are huge advocates for #IrishMade products and encourage you to think ethically with your shopping. Support independent artists and companies for unique pieces with character. Have a look at the winners of our Irish Made Awards for some inspiration – from accessories to homeware.
10. Head to the refill store
Refill stores are growing in popularity due to their zero-waste ethos. Simply bring your own containers and stock up on cupboard essentials such as pasta, porridge oats, and more. Check out our post for our favourite ones!