You shop using your reusable shopping bags, turn the lights off when you leave the room, you have three bins in your house ( I know wild) and you walk when you can to your destinations.
A sustainable lifestyle can really get a kickstart during a holiday period or a down time/ lockdown periods. There is huge potential for waste food, discarded presents and unnecessary packaging. Now more than ever, it is important to act and give with intention.
I have made a list of a few things we can be doing to live more sustainably into the new year and beyond.
Gifts and Gift Wrapping
I know Christmas is technically over, the gifting season has only just really started. Especially as Christmas for some has maybe been delayed due to restrictions.
Make your gifts make a statement by wrapping them in sustainable materials such as kraft paper, organic cotton, linen, cotton, hemp or silk and tie with some twine, cotton rope from other clothes. I often find little bits from other packaging and repurpose it. For example we had a furniture delivery and some of the tags had twine attached… cue present finishing touches. You can also dry out some oranges, acorns, cinnamon sticks and add them to your gift wrapping. You can also use Glow Circle’s boxes as a container for packages and our wood wool as a warm cosy filler. I am sure we have all had an Amazon delivery this year and had packages full with wrapping paper , you can use this to wrap a present too. You can also reuse the wrapping of gifts you have received, especially if you are a person that is careful with tearing.
- Did you know - Consumers in the UK will use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year – over 83km2 of this will end up in bins.
Things to watch out for:
Wrapping paper can only be recycled if it passes the scrunch test simple paper wrap can be recycled but foil or glitterydecorated paper cannot and needs to go in the general waste.
Before recycling, remove any sticky tape and decorations such as ribbons and bows as these cannot be recycled
Many industries need to redesign the way we make stuff”, building products that are “made to be made again”. It has both an importance to the consumer and the economy as well. It helps you to your part without putting the burden fully on the consumer. For example with Glow Circle's packaging, there is no great science as to which bin or how our packaging can be reused, recycled or disposed of. It is good to think of the material in which your goods are packaged in. Stephen Clarke of waste management company TerraCycle, which specialises in collecting and repurposing hard-to-recycle waste, explained that beauty products are more difficult to recycle because of their complex materials: “If it costs more to collect, separate and recycle the material than the resulting recycled material is worth, then it won’t be recycled at a local level. This is the case for many aspects of beauty packaging.” These include the black and dark plastics of many cosmetics, multi-material products and small items.
Reusable Bottles and Coffee Cups
Use a reusable bottle and or coffee cup. Skip recycling single-use water bottles altogether and opt for a reusable plastic, glass, or aluminium bottle instead.
Great sustainable local places to buy reusable bottles, coffee cups and products include:
Did you know that Ireland was once a land of woods and forests. The small island once had forest cover of around 80 percent, but today has one of the lowest rates in Europe?
Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.
Not only are trees essential for life, but as the longest living species on earth, they give us a link between the past, present and future.
Do know your personal carbon footprint per year? We plant trees as part of our sustainability initiatives at Glow Circle, plus you are able to plant a tree with every order. The trees we plant are all across the world which helps with global initiatives. We pride ourselves on being part of a Global Community. You can plant a tree today click here
Don't forget to recycle and reduce waste
Refrigerate leftovers and use them up before they go off. We will probably be entertaining less which will result in us not using up as much as we would have previously. Get creative with different recipes. This is the perfect time to dust off the old cook books. On the menu for us this week is a risotto with leek, ham and mushroom, turkey stir fry, potato, leek and parsnip soup, fajitas and a stroganoff. Don’t forget all the sandwiches, bagels and wrap options.
Shopping locally invests in your community and is a great feeling and the company then invests back into your local community. The service is personal and there is always a story behind it. When you shop local and purchase goods with limited to no packaging such as your fruits and vegetables from the local farmers. You are getting the freshest ingredients possible without adding to wastes and carbon emissions. Check out Harvest Day for locally sourced vegetable produced in and around Dublin
Eating for the Season
I take an ‘eat the rainbow approach’ with food, fruits and vegetables in their varying colours carrying various benefits. When you eat for the season, this helps to minimise the transportation needs and the extra intervention and stimulation which out of season foods need.You can also support restaurants in your area that get their supply from local farmers, ensuring that you're getting the best tasting food and supporting your community.