We’re at a point now where to ignore what is going on with our climate, our environment, out planet, is beyond irresponsible. It’s dangerous.
I will be the first to admit, there’s a million things I could be doing to reduce my carbon footprint. Which is why this year, I’ve decided I’m going to work on getting closer to zero waste. Every month, I’m going to implement changes across everything – beauty, transport, diet, lifestyle, shopping. You name it, I’m going to try to make positive changes. This is my first attempt. I’ve made some small changes the last few months, but there’s still tones of room for improvement. Let me take you through the changes I have made so far.
The first change I made was swapping out my shampoo bottles with shampoo bars. I say in the video above, I’m really not sure where I heard about shampoo bars, but once I realised that I was running low on shampoo, I made the decision to not replace them and use bars instead. I headed to Lush where the really nice staff pointed me towards Seanik. It’s a shampoo bar for people with oily hair. From the very first wash, my hair felt lovely and clean. It was simple to use as you just rub the bar of soap into your hair, it lathers quickly, you massage it in, and then rinse. Simples. For Christmas, my cousin bought me the Soak & Float bar, which is great for people like myself who suffer from an irritated scalp. It’s soothing and I’ve noticed a difference when I use it, which is great seeing as previously I’ve used a very intense tar-smelling shampoo.
Lush has been my go-to since then for all manner of products. I also have the Little Pot of Energy naked body lotion, the Hottie massage bar, and I’ve just started using the Lush Aromaco solid deodorant. I wasn’t sure about the deodorant, but I decided to give it a try and I love it! It’s a waxy scented bar that you just rub onto your skin. At first it seems like it won’t rub in, but it warms with the heat of your skin and then just glides on. I recommend trying it, but there are other options if you’re not sure about the bar. There’s a powder in a little bottle, and there’s also a more chalky bar that you can use too.
In the last six months, I’ve completely stopped using face wipes. I’ve long hated them, as for one thing, they completely dry out your skin, but they are also completely crap for the environment. While I’m glad I’ve stopped using wipes, I know that cotton wool is also crappy for the environment. I looked into alternatives and found these bamboo make up remover pads. They’re exactly like cotton wool pads, but instead of throwing them out, you put them in a little wash bag and put them on a gentle wash. They’re far more environmentally friendly, really gentle on the skin, and just an all round good investment.
I’ve also tried to make some changes to my food and drink habits. I still have a lot of work to do in relation to the food that I buy and cutting down on my waste that I bring into the home. But I have made some positive steps in other places. I feel like this is obvious, but making sure you have a reusable cup for tea/coffee and reusable bottle for your water is important. The number of coffee cups and plastic bottles that are filling landfills and oceans is startling. Using a Keep Cup or refillable water bottle when you’re out is an easy way to reduce your amount of waste, and stop contributing to landfill. Plus, you generally get a small discount in coffee shops when you bring a reusable cup now, which is an added bonus.
I’m a big fan of prepping meals to have in the freezer for those weeks when I’m super busy, or my lazy ass couldn’t be bothered cooking. Our freezer is in desperate need of a defrosting, meaning space is at a premium. Because of this, I’ve found myself using plastic freezer bags to store single serves of turkey meatballs, or chicken noodle soup. It literally pains me doing it, but there’s not a lot of room for lunch boxes. Apart from obviously needing to prioritise a defrosting, I decided I needed to find a reusable solution. I picked up this set of silicone freezer bags, lids and scrubbers from Amazon when I bought my bamboo cotton wool. Not only does it come with four freezer proof reusable bags, but also reusable lids that cut out the need for tin foil or cling film, and silicone scrubbers for pans, to replace regular sponges. This set is a life saver and it’s helped me dramatically reduce waste while prepping meals.
Obviously the use of plastic bags when shopping is a big no no. The plastic bag levy was introduced into Ireland in 2002 (the first country to introduce such measures) and since then has led to a 90% drop in plastic bag use, which equates to about 1 billion bags, and generated $9.6 million for a green fund supporting environmental projects (stats via Irish Environment). That’s an incredible accomplishment, but there’s still more that can be done. Using canvas bags when shopping for anything is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint. I will always try to have a canvas bag with me so that when I’m clothes shopping, or buying anything, I won’t require a plastic or paper bag. Canvas bags fold up really small and are super durable, meaning that they’ll last you for ages! I’ve started throwing one in each of the bags that I use often so that I always have one with me. I’m loving this version from Fuschia MacAree if you’re looking for a canvas bag and supporting an Irish illustrator!
The final thing I wanted to discuss is house plants. I love having plants around my room and the house (as you’ll know if you’ve seen my room transformation). I think it adds a lot of life and texture to a room, but you can also get plants that purify the air. There’s a whole host of these plants in this article, but I love Mother In Law’s Tongue. Firstly, it’s a hilarious name, but it’s also a very durable plant, meaning that even the most forgetful person can generally keep this alive!
These are just a start for me on my eco-friendly/zero waste journey. I’m really just getting started and trying to learn as I go. I still mess up a lot and make decisions that aren’t optimal. But I will continue to work on it, improve as many ways as I can, and reduce my carbon footprint. If you have any other recommendations on easy things to change, please let me know in the comments down below, or tell me about your journey to become a more conscious consumer. I’d love to hear from you!