The new year is a time when traditional goals like losing weight, hitting the gym and subsisting solely on cold-pressed juice, are common and rarely adhered to. Why not do something a little different this new year by committing to a more sustainable 2018? Here are four easy ways to reduce your waste and environmental impact.
In Ireland, we consume more than 500,000 non-recyclable coffee cups daily, along with 2.5 million plastic bottles that never see a recycling bin! To save some funds and reduce your plastic footprint, invest in a reusable water bottle and coffee cup.
This one, from littlegreenshop.ie, is BPA free and made from stainless steel which will keep your drinks warm for 4 hours and cool for up to 20!
350ml water bottle €19.95, available at littlegreenshop.ie
If you don’t have 20 quid to spend on a bottle, Penneys have brought out a range of sports bottles, varying in price from €3-€8. Check out this infuser bottle, with a perforated core for flavouring your water with lemon and other fruits!
Many coffee outlets on campus now offer a 10% discount if you use a reusable cup – capitalise on this by investing in a quality coffee carrier such as this 12oz Keepcup available at coffeeshop.ie for €12.95
If you’re looking to take your eco credentials up to the next level why not get some reusable straws? Stainless steel straws can, when properly cleaned, last for years, saving you money and reducing your plastic output. These stainless steel straws from littlegreenshop.ie are €12.95 and come with a brush for easy cleaning.
Reduce your meat intake
Animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change – in Ireland agriculture is the single largest contributor to our overall emissions, at 33% of total carbon emissions. Cutting back on meat consumption can have a huge positive effect on your carbon footprint. If you’re thinking of making a change, Lidl have now started stocking meat alternatives such as Quorn mince, which can be easily substituted for minced beef and contains 14.5 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Avoid palm oil
Palm oil plantations are a leading cause of deforestation worldwide, resulting in biodiversity loss and climate change. There are human costs to palm oil plantations in developing regions, with some large-scale production sights linked to human rights abuses and child labour exploitation. Palm oil is contained in numerous everyday products and foods, from processed baked goods to shampoos and lipsticks. Where possible avoid purchasing products that contain palm oil, or at least check that that the manufacturer is using Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified palm oil sources.
Buy in season
By purchasing your fruit and veg in season you avoid the carbon emissions associated with transporting produce from far-flung regions. Buying locally helps the environment and the economy! To check what’s in season visit bestinseason.ie, a Bord Bia website that clearly breaks down the optimal times to purchase various fruits and vegetables.
Ciara Landy – LifeStyle Editor