If we want it or not, accept it or not, climate change is here, it's a fact. We can not change that but we can take small and easy action in our daily life to slow it down. For us but also for the future generations.
1) Go for second hand
You can find second hand items on different market place like Facebook Market or Done Deal Ireland where you'll find goods for sale from all over Ireland.
You can also find "Freecycle" groups around via Facebook. From a yoga balloon, to vintage Singer Iron Board, kid's toy or clothes, you can find about everything on these groups. And it's free.
Furthermore, there are now new apps like "Olio". It is like the "Tinder" of freecycle. Basically, any user can upload item to give away like food about to waste and you search by area. The app will match you with people around you that have stuff available. "On OLIO, you’ll find millions of people giving away food & other household items to their neighbors, all for free. Fight waste. Help your neighbors. Save our planet. Feel amazing!" (Source Olioex.com)
And finally, in Ireland, we are lucky to have a lot of charity shops. Use them to give some stuff away and buy "almost" new stuff you need.
2) Limit your use of water
Few idea on how to do that:
- Shorten your shower. We use an average of 100 liters of water for a 10 minutes shower, without mentioning the use of electricity for electric showers. By reducing the time we spend in the shower every morning we can save energy
- Collect rain water when it is possible. Use it to water your plants or even wash the car...
- Use a professional car wash instead of washing your car at home. But this is nothing for the reason you think. Having your car wash in a professional car wash will probably use as much water than if you do it at home. The reason is that the dirty water in your driveway will go the regular drainage system and will carry metallic or paint particles to the ecosystem. Professional car wash are equipped with systems that trap these contaminants in a drain and remove them by filtering the water
3) Ban single use plastic and mostly single use object
Single use objects are plastic straw, coffee cup, hygienic pad, plastic pouch... They are so easy to swap to more sustainable choice.
You'll find some great shop only or in real life for a more sustainable shopping:
- In Dublin and online: Reuzi
- In Waterford and online: Youme
- In Mullingar (Co Westmeath) and online: Little Green Shop
4) Clean your e-mail boxes
"Every single email in every single inbox in the world is stored on a server. The incredible quantity of data requires huge server farms - gigantic centers with millions of computers which store and transmit information. These servers consume massive amounts of energy, 24 hours a day, and require countless liters of water, or air conditioning systems, for cooling. The more messages we send, receive and store, the more servers are needed - which means more energy consumed, and more carbon emissions." (Source Reset, Digital for good)
5) Manage your wastes properly
Sorting out your waste might be a nightmare's sometime. You can find information that can help you to understand what goes in which bine. Check out the website "My Waste" (https://www.mywaste.ie/what/)
Here are the items that go to the recycling bine:
Make sure all items you put in the recycling bine are clean!
6) Pick up litters on your walk
You don't need to go far out of your house to realise how dirty our streets or ditches can be... This is bad, very bad. Not only because it hearts the eyes but also when they decompose, they release plastic, chemical or metallic particles which pollute the grounds and when they are drained by water to the canalisation, they end up in the rivers and ocean. Then pollutes wild life and and water...
The idea is simple, just make the most of your walk and pick up some litters that you find on the way. Have a bag, a stick, gloves and sanitizer with you. Few Irish Counties organise a "Green Kilometer Scheme", you can contact your county council to find out. They will provide you the material and bine collection.
In our house, we do it at least once a month, it's not a lot, we could do more but every time we do it, we are helping the planet to breathe!
7) Have one (or more) Meat Free Meal a week
"If everyone in the UK swapped just one more red meat-based meal to a plant-based meal per week, we would cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 million tonnes. [...]" - Source: The Ecologist.org
8) Wash clothes less and in cold temperature
Recent scientific researches proved that it's not necessary to wash clothes in hot water for them to be clean. Most of the detergent works at 30 degrees, you can have a quick look, it's written on the packaging.
It's good for the environment and better for the clothes. The right temperature can prolong the lifespan of your clothes. Finally, think twice before washing your clothes, sometime we wash them once and through them to the wash when they are not really dirty, or would you really mind if your little one going play outside with a stained trouser? I don't, the most important is for my girl to be comfortable and explore her world, I don't mind the state of her clothes.
9) Plant flowers
Bees are a keystone species; if bees die off it will end most life. In nature, various animals depend on bees for their survival because their food sources – nuts berries, seeds, and fruits – rely on insect pollination. Pollination also allows floral growth, which provides habitats for animals, including other insects and birds. Lastly, bees themselves, and the honey they produce, are a source of food for many animals. Worldwide, bee populations are in decline. Many factors such as pests, diseases, viruses, monocultures, and molds each have their own effects, but unfortunately, they often intensify the effects of each other. Over the last decade, multiple reports have indicated that beehives in the U.S. and Europe have suffered hive losses of at least 30%, sometimes higher.
If you have a balcony, a garden plant pollinator-friendly flowers to attract bees and butterflies and help the ecosystem. You can check here what are the best plants to grow. And it is also a great activity to do with your children. Gardening offers so many fun and interesting opportunities for children, and teaches them invaluable lessons.
10) Think Energy efficiency when you renew your appliances