3 ways people in Ireland are making positive changes to the environment
Ireland is waking up from over consumerism. The boom time houses, cars and holidays were great but the following crash a lot less. With many building cranes on the Dublin horizon, we are currently seeing a recovery, but somehow it is back to the old days with more busy lives in order to pay banks more money in so that we have/keep a roof over our heads. On the other much more positive hand, I see more and more focus on being unbusy and focus on ourselves and our environment. We only have one little earth and it is up to us to keep it green and blue. Many people in Ireland are doing their small bit to contribute to a less needy country. Here are some initiatives I’d like to call out.
1) Zero Waste movement
At FlopsyShop we were recently introduced to the Zero Waste movement comprising of people who are consciously making little or big changes to their lifestyle in order to cut out non-recyclable waste. It is as easy as bringing your own shopping bag to the supermarket, buy loose local produce as much as possible (did you see the fruit/veg coming from South America or Africa in the Lidl for example while we have fabulous berries coming from Ireland?) and bring your own cup to the coffee guy around the corner from your work while your lunch is in an old-school Tupperware bow or a more hipster metal tin. Things become trickier when you are deciding to cut out plastic altogether for example, as before you know it you can’t even accept a local bakery packaging as the bread bag contains a little plastic window. At the end of June the first ever Zero Waste Festival took place in Inchicore showcasing relevant local businesses and running a large swapathon. FlopsyShop.ie was proud to be part of the first installment and looks forward to future iterations.
2) Community gardens and allotments
For the past few years, the Flopsy household has been running a small allotment. We rent a little plot in the city center to grow some vegetables and fruit. We’ve had great successes with raspberries, courgettes ,pumpkins, garlic, onions and rhubarb. Even-though it takes some time to prep the soil, grow the seedlings and making sure they don’t get eaten by the slugs, it is very much worth it as the produce tastes great and you are certain that it has not seen any pesticide nor has it processed many food-miles (10 mins from our house). Added benefit is that our little one is getting some education of where food comes from, that it takes hard work but that you can also enjoy it at the same time. Who doesn’t love rooting around in the soil to find potatoes or watering the strawberries. Our allotment sometimes gets manure from Dublin zoo, so we sometimes fantasize about their origins; elephant, giraffe or zebra…. Throughout Dublin and Ireland there many community gardens or allotment opportunities like the one we are part of. Make sure to visit dublincommunitygrowers.ie for more details on your local community garden. Other cool initiatives are Urban Farm focusing on hydroponics and rooftop gardening or something like the Social Hops initiative where small breweries are outsourcing hops grown by local supporters in exchange for some free beer and brewery tour.
3) Up-cycling and recycling
We are not there yet compared to Sweden where there are many repair and recycle shops, but I do think we are on the right track and seeing the local initiatives that are popping up fills me with positivity. From passing on used goods through popular marketplaces or charity shops to the various maker spaces that are popping up. I’m also happy that the DIY shops have started to pay attention to up-cycling and repairing rather than just building new items. For years I’ve also been following Rothar, who recondition previously owned/used bicycles as well as teach bike maintenance.
One of our popular Facebook posts was about re-using T-Shirts as tote bags for your small shopping errands. The second one was to create hanger pots from them. I’d also like to call out one of the businesses that we encountered at the All About Baby Fair called Alternative Endings that recycles adult clothes into children ones. We love the fact that our favorite shirts can be retrofitted into something our little one can wear. All you need to do is pick out your pattern and send over the items you’d like to up-cycle and Alternative Endings will take care of the rest. Pretty cool for presents if you ask me. Now if only I could let go of that 1997 OK Computer tour T-shirt…… Then there is also Other Mother, who create cloth nappies, sanitary pads, wipes, bags and other cool stuff out of old clothing. Definitely worth checking out.
Let us know what you are doing to save our little green planet and keep it as precious as it is for our next generation?