8 ways to knock your sustainable lifestyle out of the park in 2020
"If you think you're too small to make an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito," - Dame Anita Roddick
We like this quote. It reminds us that we folks can cause a positive ripple effect that provokes change, change to save the planet and our health, as we move into 2020. All it takes is making some simple eco-friendly changes and having a bitta craic while doing so.
So, here are some mindful ways to do it:
1. Quit buying so much SH*T
OK, so we LOVE to look and feel beautiful and fast fashion is a simple and affordable way to do it. However, there are other options that indeed deliver too.
Head to and arrange your own swap shops.
I can tell you first hand we here at Her hosted our very own swap shop with the help of Sustainable Fashion Dublin and not only was it a huge success, it was insanely eye-opening. You realise that you've just become tired of seeing the same clothes on yourself over and over, but other people's clothing that you can swap for yours is as good as new — literally.
Rent a designer dress, for a fraction of its designer price tag, from places like Rag Revolution. They'll deliver, they'll pick it up when you're done and you'll have had yourself a brand-new outfit for the ball, Cinderella.
Consider also buying pre-loved goods, whether we're talking clothes, furniture, a car — you name it — and if you really don't have something for that mega celebration on the weekend, then make a smart purchase. Quality over quantity we say, plus it's best to save up and make a purchase you truly love — one that will last you for years.
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Charity shops and fantastic spots like Nine Crows, Siopaella, Designer Exchange for vintage designer handbags, Finders Keepers in Bray and SPICE in Limerick, will have you become a vintage queen. Honestly, finding original pieces that few people have can be quite the fashion thrill.
Remember, with every purchase, you cast a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. Just be sure yours isn't made up of the same stuff filling landfills and contributing to Ireland's 15 million tonnes of waste per year.
2. Au revoir plastique!
When we're long gone and our feet haven't touched this earth for hundreds of years, that plastic bottle we had at a summer's festival long ago will still be in a landfill — or probably worse, the ocean — 1,000 years later, continuing to cause considerable and ongoing damage.
The same goes for bottles of detergent, shower gels and the likes.
Stainless steel water bottles, nourishing soaps, zero-waste shampoos and conditioners, plus steel lunchboxes — if you need them — are the way forward. Here are some options to consider:
- Opt for an eco-friendly and sustainable Chilli water bottle for €30, fill with whatever you need and have it forever.
- Dr Bronner's soaps are utterly glorious, plus they last forever and they're just €6.95.
- Beauty Kubes (€12) — tried and tested by myself — actually work and they're oh so affordable.
- Try Bio D Concentrated Non-Bio Washing Powder (€12.99) with its minimal environmental impact properties.
3. Buy Irish, Buy Veg
Irish veggie farmers aren't having a great time. With much cheaper imports of vegetables landing on our shop shelves the cost of producing great food at home is rising considerably.
Buying homegrown Irish vegetables in-store means you avoid contributing to travel miles accumulated in the shipping process and you're promoting Irish. As well as this, plants have a considerably lower land and water footprint than meat, so get creative.
4. On Yer Bike...
...Or even walk/run to work, depending on what makes sense for you. It's only torturous for about three weeks before the body accepts it, even craves it, as movement is the most natural thing it knows.
Not only will you feel fabulous each day, become WAY more alert and find yourself bursting with energy (as long as you're sleeping right) you'll be reducing those fumes in our cities and our countryside, you absolute hero you.
Now to demand some proper bicycle lanes!
4. Boycott The Nasties Endangering and Killing Wildlife
Bad management, especially when there's zero consideration given to life on this planet, should never be rewarded.
Each time we buy a product containing palm oil, for example, because of the fact businesses choose not to plant and cultivate palm oil in a sustainable, earth-friendly way, we contribute to the destruction of forests and very often the death of countless animals.
If you happen to be buying new furniture, ask how and where it's made plus the policies in place for forest management for both the parent company AND the contractors they use. If you don't get an answer or a not-so-satisfactory one, well, you know what to do.
5. Start With Herbs
Herbs are easy to plant and nourish so they're very encouraging for someone who wants to start growing their own little veggie patch and grow what they need.
It's a great place to start when you want to buy less and be more sustainable. It's all very therapeutic and you don't need a whole lot of space either. You'll be so encouraged (and in touch with nature), soon you'll have a whole bunch of carrots and turnips too!
6. Make Eco Investments
If you're on the market for a TV, laptop, phone, camera etcetera, buy second hand or look for products made in the most sustainable way possible and that use the least amount of energy.
If and when the day comes that you plan on getting your own humble abode, be smart about heating your home or apartment and what energy resources are used. Solar panels — hello!
Bring your old mobile phone to a WEEE facility or donate to a charity (plenty will take them)
All in all, making positive changes to the way we live is incredibly satisfying. We know we're doing good and we'll most definitely feel encouraged to do more.
7. Clean Your Stuff with Clean Stuff
Opt to use eco-friendly washing-up liquids, dishwasher tablets, floor cleaners, toilet cleaners and the likes. Brands like Lilly's Eco Clean are effective, super affordable and they're available in health shops, various supermarkets and online. You can even get your refills using the same bottle at
8. Act for What's Right
You might think that you're only one individual and that it should be up to big businesses and governments to make the drastic changes that help combat the speed of climate change — and you'd be absolutely right.
But we, the people, need to shout about it too.
It's important not to hop on any bandwagon just for the sake of it, though. For anything to be worthwhile and meaningful to you, you have to believe in it.
Do your own research and be open to truth, as that's what's best for our world. Go for it and campaign for what you believe in, however great or small a difference you think your efforts will be.
You have a voice while plenty of beings in this world don't. Do your thing and act for what's right.