Our mission at Zoobox is to help people reconnect with nature. In doing so, we are also massive advocates for green living and realising how our actions affect the environment. Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste in Europe; generating an average of 61kgs per person every year – almost double what the UK produces. We have done things like zero waste month which really showed us how much waste we really generate and helped us develop easy habits to do our bit for the environment and in 2019, we hope we can continue this!
1. Buy Reusable
In Ireland, we produce the equivalent of nearly 2,000 water bottles, or 5,550 disposal coffee cups, per person annually. It’s scary to think, but if you are a person who has a coffee on their way to college or work and don’t use a reusable cup, you can see how this can add up. By buying a reusable to go cup you are helping reduce that alarming number and it’s a small step to living green. Not only that, some great coffee places in around Ireland offer discount from 10 cents to 50 cents when you use a reusable to go cup, check out this great map created by Melanie May;
Not only are reusable thermal cups good for the environment but they also keep your drinks warmer for longer. No more forgetting about your cuppa!
Reusable water bottles are another easy way to cut down on plastic. Its a once off purchase that you can bring everywhere and refill nearly anywhere! Ireland has one of the highest quality tap water in the world but we have very few publicly available drinking taps. Most cafes and restaurants are happy to fill them and Refill Ireland are doing a great job placing free taps around the country.
Please enjoy another helpful water tap map by clicking here!
Other great reusable products;
- Wax paper instead of clingfilm
- Bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic
- Metal lunchboxes instead of plastic
- Metal straws instead of plastic
2. Shop Responsibly
To start with, take note from tip 1 and bring a reusable bag! It’s the little things that add up and there are loads of ways to cut your waste when shopping. Buying locally means less of a carbon footprint on your goods and also helps your community.
Some handy tips for food shopping;
- Make a list of what you need, it helps cut down on things that may go to waste.
- Buy your fruit and vegetables loose.
- Try buying your grains, rice and pasta from bulk bins.
- Bring reusable containers, many places let you weigh them first and then start your shopping!
- Try shopping for organic products, they are a bit more expensive but are much better for the environment.
Dublin Food Coop in Kilmainham is worth a visit at least once, they’re a great initiative that actively encourage Zero Waste and local produce. Minimal Waste Grocery are another great company that deliver your groceries in your own containers.
3. Switch it off
Dont just let your TV sit on standby, switch it off at the wall. Not only an eco tip, but will save you when your energy bills come in! The toaster, the kettle and even lamps are not things that constantly need energy and can even prolong their life if given a rest. Same goes for lights when leaving rooms, it’s a good habit and really gives back at the end of the month.
As well as that, check your standby times on your desktop and laptop. By letting the screen sleep rather than play a screen saver, you can save energy. And remember to turn your screen off when leaving as opposed to standby!
4. Watch your Water!
It can be hard to cut down your shower time, especially when its cold out but it is a step towards using less water. Try to only put a wash on if the machine is full for both dishes and clothes! Fill the sink with hot water when washing dishes instead of running the tap. Same goes for brushing your teeth, don’t let the tap run!
5. Go Paperless
Many services now offer to go paperless and get notifications and statements by email. Many banks now offer this through their online banking portals and service providers offer to email your bills. Another small way to reduce your waste and can also help keep everything in one place!