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09th Jan 2020

Ten simple ways to become more sustainable in 2020

Brian Dillon

canvas tote bag

Sustainability seemed to be the hot topic of 2019, which is great. We need to make sure that we keep up the momentum so that sustainable living becomes the norm.

What better time to think about how we can become more sustainable than today? It’s not as hard as it may seem…

Here are ten simple (and fun) ways to become more sustainable today.

Try to only buy products made from 100% recycled material

Okay, so let’s start off easy. When buying something in a convenience store or supermarket, make sure that it’s made from recycled materials and that it can be recycled after use.

Deep RiverRock bottles are made from 100% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable. When making a quick purchase on the go, take just a second to make sure that what you’re buying isn’t creating more plastic, but that it’s reusing what’s already out there in circulation.

Shop vintage

Not only will you be looking stylish and unique (who wants to wear the same thing as everyone else these days?), but you’ll also become more sustainable in the process.

‘Fast fashion’ was a topic that really came to the forefront in 2019, and many people have started to steer away from buying brand new clothes to get just a few wears out of them. Clothes can have a much longer life-span than that. There are already loads of beautiful pieces in circulation, and many of them can be procured at vintage and charity shops!

There are some fabulous vintage shops around the country, such as Galway Flea Market, Folkster in Kilkenny and Miss Daisy Blue in Cork.

Buy loose fruit and veg

A super simple yet effective way to cut down on your plastic use is by reducing the amount of it you take home from the supermarket.

When buying your fruit and veg, buy loose items rather than packaged goods. Plus, if you only buy the exact amount of loose fruit and veg you need, rather than multipacks, then you’ll also reduce your food waste.

sustainable shopping in 2020 - loose fruit and veg

Use beeswax food wraps

Yes, there are alternatives to clingfilm.

These beeswax food wraps are a fabulous solution. They’re reusable, washable and are made from unbleached, unrefined 100% pure beeswax from County Louth.

Replace your detergent with an eco-egg!

‘What is an eco-egg?’, you ask.

It’s a budget-friendly alternative to regular chemical detergents that can be used by anyone with sensitive skin or allergies.

The egg is packed with natural and powerful cleaning pellets and no harsh chemicals. And the egg itself is totally recyclable.

Upcycle your clothes

Wanting to learn a fun new skill in the new year?

Well, there’s a way you can do that while also becoming more sustainable. And that’s by upcycling your clothes.

If your garments are a bit worn and torn, stitch ’em up, sew them back together and give them a new lease of life instead of buying new items. You’ll become more sustainable and also save yourself quite a bit of dollar.

Check out Rag Order Dublin for some inspo.

Get yourself a stylish tote

Who doesn’t love a fun and quirky tote bag? A person’s choice in tote can say a lot about them. So make sure you put some thought into it.

And we are obsessed with these ones by artist Nessa Finnegan, which are a fun a play on the Irish and English meaning of ‘man’ and ‘women’. Dedicated to the fierce women of Ireland, these gorgeous totes come in yellow, blue and pink.

fear mna sustainable tote bag

Eat locally

This is a great habit to pick up for a number of reasons.

First of all, you’ll be supporting hard-working, small and local producers and businesses.

Plus, it’s a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. When items are imported from abroad, that uses up a lot of fossil fuels, whereas things that are produced locally and consumed locally don’t as much.

Eat seasonally

It might be hard to believe in 2020 when any food item seems readily available at the drop of a hat, but crops are seasonal.

And growing crops out of season often involves the use of carbon-hungry technology like glasshouses heated by burning gas or fields of plastic polytunnels.

Instead, enjoy what the season has to offer!

Switch up your commute

Switching up your commute to and from work can be a great way to improve your physical and mental health as well as reduce your carbon footprint.

According to UCD, transport accounts for up to 40% of carbon emissions in Ireland associated with climate change.

So, instead of driving, you can take the bus, walk or even cycle to work. Even dedicate one day a week to a more sustainable commute to reduce your impact on the environment.