• Robyn Courtney

10 sustainable swaps for spring

Hello Spring, it’s nice to see you again.

Spring is a time for renewal and awakening as the evenings get  brighter, weather turns warmer and flowers begin to blossom. The idea of change is upon us which gives us the perfect excuse to start implementing some new and improved sustainable spring swaps.

Let’s jump into some simple and easy sustainable swaps that you can start implementing into your day-to-day life this spring.

1. Start consuming consciously: Avoid fast fashion sales

It’s easy to fall into the trap of spring-time sales as endless targeted ads pop up across our social media and our need to consume becomes more intense. However, being mindful goes beyond yoga practices and our nutritional choices because what we buy and why we buy matters.

Some may walk into a store in hope of grabbing a bargain but many will be unaware of the unethical and unsustainable part the brand or store plays in the  fashion industry. In order to combat destructive consumerist practices we must educate and implement simple changes into everyday life.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable :

Next time you find yourself mindlessly wandering through big sale signs, make a U-turn toward your closest thrift store. With a bit of digging you’re always guaranteed something cool to add to your wardrobe.

With that being said, support local and always buy second-hand when possible. Plus, who doesn’t love a thrift store bargain?

2. Unplug, Unplug, Unplug- Seriously, just unplug.

Day to day life gets pretty crazy but the percentage of people who forget to unplug household appliances as they run out the door for work every morning is alarmingly high. Statistics have shown that 7 out of 10 or 76% of households leave electrical household items on standby.

Over the last century, the majority of our household electricity is generated from fossil fuels which in turn has had a hugely negative impact on global warming.  The need for fossil fuels will continue to rise as the demand for electricity rises, but at the same time drastic changes are needed to reduce our carbon emission in order to combat climate change.

According to uSwitch, 98% of UK households leave the TV on standby for over 11 hours every day, costing £23.8 million annually. Accumulating all UK household appliances left on standby has resulted in £227 million wasted annually. The biggest culprits being TVs, gaming consoles, desktop computers and stereos. Many HD flatscreens are often displayed brighter than required. By simply switching to “standard” mode you reduce the amount of energy required.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

Make the small changes that have big impacts and stop those “standby” habits.

Switch off while switching off this Spring and start saving energy and money. Everybody wins.

3. Decrease your fuel consumption while driving

Idling is when a driver leaves the engine running while the vehicle is parked or stopped.

Needlessly idling your car while waiting in traffic for long periods of time can release just as much pollution as driving. An EDF report shows that in New York City alone, idling cars and trucks produce 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

Save fuel and cost this spring by becoming idle-free.

4. Opt for electronic bank statements

We’ve all received those stack of monthly bank statements in the post that can be as thick as a book depending on how good (or bad oops) your spending habits are. It’s a pretty easy way to cut down on paper use and your carbon footprint by going online.

Natwest Bank says last year it printed more than 450 million sheets of paper and 100 million envelopes. In bids to reduce paper consumption they’ve gone digital with online banking statements.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

Contact your bank, cancel your paper bank statements and start online banking.

5. Leave only footprints- Join in on your local Spring Clean

What better way to get to know your neighbours than joining in on your local spring clean!

An Taisce's National Spring Clean is Ireland's nationwide anti-litter campaign which takes place during the whole month of April. It aims to bring local communities together to organise clean-ups in your area. It’s the perfect excuse to get some sunshine while making a difference.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

Head over to National Spring Clean and get involved with your local spring clean-up.

During your spring clean don’t forget to:

Repair instead of replace: Before you decide to throw out any old piece of clothing or appliance, give it your best DIY shot to repair before replacing.

Use non-toxic cleaning products: Before you purchase any cleaning supplies check the labels and try to buy biodegradable, phosphate-free, chlorine-free, and unscented cleaning products.

6. Support International Earth Day by attending local events

International Earth Day falls on April 22nd 2020 and this year's theme is climate action. There are plenty of events to support Earth Day during the month of April and they could provide you with some fun and educational days out with the family. Also, lot’s of them are free!

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

Head over to Eventbrite to check out events that support International Earth Day in your local area.

7. Ditch the Disposables and join in on our National Deposit & Return Scheme

If you haven't heard of 2GoCup then today is your day!

Our efforts to reduce single-use disposable cups are the backbone of why we do what we do. It’s because of the national effort and positive uptake of our scheme which has resulted in us saving over 4 million single-use disposable coffee cups from Irish landfill.

We provide every business, big or small with our reusable 2GoCups for only €1. Yup, only €1.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

If you want to join in on this national stance then head over to 2GoCup to learn more. While you’re also here you may follow us on Instagram too! We’re a sound bunch!

8. Fishing season starts soon....Make sure you fish sustainably.

The fishing culture in Ireland is important amongst businesses along with fish consumption amongst the restaurant industry.  Better sustainable fishing also means better quality fish for consumers.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

Download the Seafood Watch App to keep track of which fish are plentiful, threatened or polluted to make better consumption choices.

9.Reduce your meat consumption by taking part in Meatless Mondays.

Meatless Monday is a global movement with a simple message: one day a week, cut the meat. Start small and use this initiative to explore new recipes that can help make a big difference for your health. Spring is a time to explore and with this sustainable swap you can help take action against climate change by conserving environmental resources.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

Get on board and enjoy meatless Mondays throughout spring. Click here for some plant-based recipe inspiration.

10. Cut down on your shower time to save a LOT of water.

Most modern showers use between 10 and 12 litres per minute. By reducing your shower time from 10 minutes to 5 minutes you can save up to 45 litres of water.

What you can do to make spring more sustainable:

Be more mindful during shower time and set a 5-minute alarm.

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Dun Laoghaire

+353 1910 9014

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