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eco friendly

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Recent reports circulating in the media on the disastrous effects of humankind on the planet and resulting climate change are pretty terrifying.

The greenhouse effect includes rising sea levels, famine and climatic alterations, and is caused by the emission of certain gases into the atmosphere such as man's use of fossil fuels. If we want to reverse the damage, it needs to be in the next 11 years.

The latest findings by the United Nations are alarming, at worst. The sweeping assessment has concluded that humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so extensively that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction.

Populations worldwide depends on these threatened ecosystems.

Transportation is imperative to this problem and bears responsibility for one fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions currently. Cars and lorries contribute 80-90 percent of all transport emissions, and traffic congestion is drastically worsening in Dublin.

It's time that Ireland declared a national emergency on climate change, and we found solutions. How can we make small but significant changes to our daily lives for the sake of the planet? Diet, travel, fashion and plastic; four key areas.

Your life can't totally cease to contain any fun, and why shouldn't you still be able to travel despite the troubling findings? We've made a comprehensive list of ways to travel in an eco-friendly, guilt-free way. The planet will thank you for it…

1. Travel by train, if possible, or boat.

Trains are more energy-efficient than other modes of transport, and can easily adapt to different sources of energy. Renewable energy is the key, so using cars and planes for travel can cause problems. Of course, we in Ireland are surrounded by water and generally have to fly everywhere, but at least the first waste-free plane journey has taken place.

Steps are being taken to reduce the plastic intake on flights; Quantas operates the 'world's first zero-waste' airline journey, which is SO exciting. They disposed of all their waste via compost, reuse and recycling.

Why not try inter-railing as a means of travel? The European journey tickets offered by USIT feature some great offers at low prices.

Ferry journeys also save a lot more energy than flying, though many people find long journeys on the sea unnerving. 

2. Ride that bike and give your planet a like

As well as saving you a rake load of cash on transportation, cycling is an amazing way to improve your general health and fitness as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

By riding your bicycle for just four miles, you stop roughly 15 pounds of pollutants from being released, in comparison to car journeys. 

Places like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Oslo, Prague and Tuscany offer some incredible views and cycling tours. From riding your bike through the Italian countryside to pedalling the coastal roads of France, you're seriously missing out if you think bikes aren't a brilliant holiday opportunity.

They contribute zero negativity to the planet, yet can get you to some beautiful places, so it's worth giving it a go.

3. Do you ever feel, like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind….

DITCH those plastic bags, it's easier than ever. Plastic bags can take up to 500 years to biodegrade, so why not take a reusable bag with you when you're grabbing goods or groceries?

You can get some gorgeous tote bags made ethically, and are perfect if you want to support independent artists while making a moral statement. 

4. If you can, try to book non-stop flights

It’s actually the takeoffs and landings that create most of a plane's carbon emissions, so by only booking one flight to a destination rather than two or three, it saves energy.

Studies have found that stops can increase emissions by a shocking 35 percent per person, all because of the takeoff.

5. Shame on you if you still buy plastic bottles

Okay, granted sometimes it's necessary to buy plastic water bottles in countries which have undrinkable tap water. We've all been there, just desperately trying to avoid getting a stomach parasite in some remote part of Asia.

If you're in an area that has tap water freely available and it's drinkable, you have no excuse not to carry around your own water bottle to refill it.

Considering the news that, by 2050, the world's oceans will contain more plastic than fish., we definitely need to reduce our plastic water bottle use.

6. Ask if your hostel, Airbnb or hotel has a recycling policy

If they don't have one, why not leave a comment on their feedback cards asking them to start one? 

If you can find a nearby recycling area with bottle bins, etc, try to bring your rubbish with you to dump somewhere eco-friendly. You can also quiz your hostel or hotel on their policies regarding issues like solar power, wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow toilets.

7. Carpool with your pals

Road trip, anyone? Carpooling with friends or family is a big method of reducing your pollution contribution. It brings down the volume of vehicles on the road, which helps lower emission rates.

It's also a lot more fun than embarking on road trips by yourself, with nobody in the car to appreciate your killer Spotify playlists…

8. Get that Keep Cup out at all times, people

Nurse your Keep Cup like it's your baby, gals. If you carry it with you in your bag (there are foldable ones that barely take up any space too), you'll cut down on the amount of cardboard takeaway coffee cups you use.

While some of these cups and lids are recyclable, many of them aren't and cause needless harm to landfill sites.

9. Keep the energy down

Treat your hostel or hotel like you would at home; turn off lights whenever you can, switch off appliances like a television or kettle, don't use clean towels when you have a perfectly good one already, take shorter showers if possible. Showers use 10-25 gallons of water, but baths use up to 70 gallons, so choose showers.

Of course, a holiday is supposed to be relaxing. Treat yourself, but keep in mind that the planet needs treating too. Eating and drinking local food also cuts down on the travel mileage of your meal, instead of having meals or beers which have been transported from halfway across the world.

10. Wildlife lover

If you're hiking or travelling in protected sites, make sure not to wander off the beaten track and risk endangering more species of plants and wildlife.

When in another country, it's so important to respect the ecosystems there and do your research before the trip. Especially with snorkelling and scuba diving, take caution with disrupting coral reefs.

Know the laws for example about hunting, or trespassing on specific grounds. NEVER touch or feed animals you meet along the way, unless it's in a protected area or you're visiting an animal sanctuary alongside knowledgable guides.

Don't visit tourist sites which cause animals distress or harm, like elephant grounds in Thailand which allow you to ride the animals or walking with lions.

Do your homework before visiting anywhere involving animals to ensure there are no cruel practices.

You can even adopt an animal safety through the correct websites, and give them some love. by sponsoring their care. 

11. Walk this way

If you can walk around cities or countrysides on your holidays, make sure to try and do as much as you can on foot. Walking tours of cities are always brilliant for discovering the history of the places you are staying in, and don't waste any money or energy on transport.

Walking also gives you bonus health benefits which extend beyond the environment. Reduce your risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease by walking only 30 minutes every day, at home or abroad.

12. Beep Beep: Electric Cars

Electric cars produce zero emissions during your travels, but can increase a power plant's emission when charging. The only issue with them is their production, which takes place in factories often powered by fossil fuels. This actually means the vehicle has already caused pollution before hitting the roads, but if the factories started using renewable energy, this could all change.

Make sure to do the research when it comes to your choice between electric cars or diesel powered machines.

13. Reduce plastic in your shopping habits

Try your best not to buy goods from major corporations which use unethical worker policies and produce large amounts of plastic waste. It's important to support independent companies and eco-friendly, ethical shops. 

Research online before you travel somewhere new about the location's best shops and companies for the environment, and get groceries that aren't pre-wrapped in plastic. Carrier bags are ideal for loose fruit and vegetables. 

14. Bamboo toothbrushes and natural toiletries

It's cheap and cheerfully easy to buy a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one, which takes 400 years to break down in landfill. Holland and Barrett sell a great range, and you can also switch to natural shampoos and deodorants.

Irish brand Indeora sell a beautiful-smelling spray-on deodorant (vanilla, YUM) and Lush is famous for it's bars of shampoo and skincare products using either zero packaging or 100 percent recycled packaging.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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15. Mini carrier fans

This was an absolute GOD-SEND when I travelled Asia (50 degrees Celsius, permanently). Instead of using a monumental amount of air condition, try limiting your energy consumption by just using battery powered mini-fans.

They work insanely well if you pay a tad bit more for a decent brand, and last for ages too. 

16. Break up with your make-up

We highly recommend buying reusable make-up pads or remover face cloths, because make-up wipes are incredibly harmful for the environment.

They usually end up in landfill, or the ocean, and don't break down well. More and more brands are releasing their machine washable face cloths, buy enough to keep you going and they'll last for years.

17. Paper planes

If you're handed leaflets or paper maps during your trip away, either hang on to them or return them to the companies so that they can be re-used.

Whatever you do, don't let them just get dumped on the street, They could be useful for someone else, so why waste them? Try to use Google Maps instead of buying paper maps, if you can.

18. Waste not, want not.

Hang on to any unused shampoos or toiletries that are provided to you by hostels or hotels. They most likely just end up in the bin, which in turn ends up in MORE landfill.

Also, if you're having some sexy fun times abroad with your significant other or just feel like a spontaneous summer fling, why not try using vegan condoms or eco-friendly latex? Greenpeace have a great article about eco-friendly sex. No, seriously…

You can even reuse the plastic containers or bottles for another purpose. Many ethical brands allow you to fill up your plastic bottles with their products to reduce waste.

19. Fast fashion

Many of us can't resist the temptation to buy a whole new wardrobe for our summer holidays. Bear in mind, most holidays are only a week or two long, out of 52 in the entire year.

Try to refrain from buying brand new clothes unless you absolutely need them. Most high street brands like Penneys, Zara, Missguided, PrettyLittleThing, H+M, Boohoo, Berskha and Pull and Bear don't use ethical working conditions, and don't pay their employees a living wage.

The textiles industry is also the second biggest polluter of water on earth, and needs to massively reduce ASAP. Try going for ethical brands, charity shopping or vintage clothing instead of getting brands new threads. Depop is a brilliant app for buying used but stunning clothes and giving them new life. You can also put your own clothes up for sale.

Good On You is a great website which can tell you if your favourite shops are ethical or eco-friendly, so give it a go.

20. Local loving

Try to seek out indigenous artisans, because if you shop from them rather than a typical assembly line, your money goes directly towards feeding that person's family. Do your best to ensure that your money doesn't go towards tourist traps that don't pay the workers properly.

If you keep up to date on foods, such as those containing palm oil, you can also avoid harmful products made in unethical circumstances. Avoid meat, especially beef, if you can. The World Wildlife Fund have loads of information on their website along those lines.

It's our duty to protect the environment from even more harm, before it's too late. Be conscious on your travels, sustainability benefits everyone on earth.

 If you don't listen to me, at least listen to Obama…

barack obama clean energy GIF by NowThis

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Navigating the issue of climate breakdown can be a heavy topic for anyone to face. Sometimes we need a little bit of help from someone who really knows their stuff.

Luckily for you, we've found the perfect woman. We spoke to the wonderful CEO of Ocean Conservancy, Janis Searles Jones, about fighting to protect our oceans, learning good sustainability practices and harnessing our passion for a better planet.

Her areas of expertise include environmental law, arctic conservation and policy as well as marine conservation, and Janis credits her time working with Native American tribes for her current understanding of legal issues spanning the management of public lands, waters, and natural resources.

The CEO began her career as a young environmental lawyer over 20 years ago in Alaska, "arriving with my dog and all of my belongings in the back of a pickup truck, ready to protect and defend public resources.

"As a young environmental lawyer, it was a profound experience working on natural resource issues in Alaska and alongside its citizens, and experiencing the state’s vastness and incredible beauty. The experience has shaped the rest of my career by helping me understand what it takes to make long-lasting, meaningful change, from fighting like hell to defend some of our nation’s core conservation provisions, to finding common ground, forging alliances and working with partners.

"Today, I’m proud to be leading an organisation that is working to create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it every single day."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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How did Janis discover her love for the ocean? We envisioned an epiphany moment reminscent of Ariel in The Little Mermaid when she spots Prince Eric, but it was Janis' upbringing that paved the way;

"The ocean has played a major role in my life ever since I was a kid. I was really lucky to grow up in a family that valued the outdoors and in a place close to the coast. I lived in the same neighborhood as a renowned environmental educator, Mrs. Terwilliger. She taught us about the impacts of plastic on wildlife, and how each of us, even as kids, could make a meaningful difference. Her favourite message for children was, “This is my country. Wherever I go, I will leave it more beautiful than I found it.”' 

When it comes to Ireland's ecological landscape, we're surrounded by ocean. Yet the conversation surrounding climate breakdown in this country hasn't brought the sea into mainstream dialogue.

The result of this is that we can feel overwhelmingly helpless when we discover our huge overfishing problem, the dangers of our agriculture industry and our lack of turbines. What can we do?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I would say one of the biggest things you can do is to help convey to your readers that what we do on land matters to the ocean. Choosing sustainable seafood when you eat, reducing the amount of single-use plastic that you use, and supporting Ireland’s goal of protecting 30 percent of its ocean waters by 2030 are good places to start.

"And renewable energy, like offshore wind power, is an important part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which is a critical priority for our ocean," Janis explains.

One great way to help is join Ocean Conservancy for this year’s International Coastal Cleanup on September 21, 2019. The ICC is the world’s largest single-day volunteer effort to fight ocean plastics.

Volunteers have the opportunity to keep more than 20 million pounds of plastic and rubbish out of the ocean, and the fruit of your efforts can be immediately felt within your community.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When it comes to saying no to unnecessary single-use plastics, there are plenty of things each person can easily manage;

"Reducing your single-use plastic consumption is imperative in the fight against plastic pollution. Carry a reusable bottle for drinks, make sure to bring reusable bags to the shop, switch out your paper towels and napkins for cloth and if you are able to, skip the straw and quit the cutlery. You’ve just got to commit and develop a routine," Janis says.

"When making purchasing decisions, many of us are faced with a great number of choices. For the most part, there is a growing desire among some consumers to be more sustainable and reduce their environmental impacts. We all know about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—while these are evergreen habits that we should all practice regularly, we must be more proactive and have bigger aspirations," she adds.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ocean Conservancy (@oceanconservancy) on

"Take a second to think about or develop your personal priorities and make sure your purchases align with those values. "

Community action can go a long way, as can starting the conversation with those around you;

"Volunteer, sign petitions and educate others. You don’t have to be near a beach to pick up rubbish, start your own cleanup or even organise a group to pick up rubbish around your neighborhood. And we have a handy app, called CleanSwell that you can track your daily pick up. When you submit the items you’ve collected, it goes into our global database and helps inform policy solutions around the world."

What are the goals of Ocean Conservancy, and how do they stay motivated? Climate breakdown can keep us all up at night, but Janis Searles Jones doesn't come across as a woman who gives up easily;

"Ocean plastic is a complex issue because it’s about a whole global system of consumption – products, business models, infrastructure, policies, and consumer preferences and behaviours. The two ideas at the core of Ocean Conservancy’s strategy are to recognise the urgency of the problem and to stop plastic from getting into the ocean in the first place," she begins.

"We’re calling for an end to the flow of plastic waste into the ocean by 2030. And we need all of our ocean allies to come together to achieve that goal. While ambitious, it’s what the ocean needs. Otherwise, if plastic use continues to rise, there could be almost 100 million more tonnes of plastic in the ocean by 2030. That is simply unacceptable."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Educating ourselves is imperative, but we can't ignore the fact that greenhouse gas emissions changing the ocean-scape as we know it. Janis stresses that this will affect each and every one of us as a result, whether we live on the island of Ireland or in a land-locked nation;

"Climate change is profoundly an ocean issue. Ocean Conservancy is working hard to make the ocean-climate connections, and make sure that countries who have committed to the Paris Agreement take the ocean into account and develop ocean-smart policies to protect our ocean and our future."

Imagining what our oceans will resemble in 50 years' time can be an anxiety-inducing thought, but it forces us to be realistic about our hope for the future;

"The ocean will be different. No question. We have already drastically altered the ocean as a result of climate change and human activities, and we will need to learn to adapt to those changes."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"But we do have a choice about how much more change is going to happen," the CEO adds. "And we are at a tipping point both in terms of the importance of action now, and in terms of broad and worldwide commitments to that action.

"I truly believe that in 50 years, many fish populations will have stabilised, thanks to improved management. I believe we will collectively agree that geo-engineering and deep-sea mining is not worth the risk and those activities will be unacceptable from a profit and public standpoint," Janis continues.

"We will have fewer coral reefs, but they will continue to exist."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@oceanconservancy) on

"Most importantly, I believe we will have a collective understanding – from people, governments, companies – that the ocean is critical to life on this planet and we need throw everything we have at protecting it."

If you want to get involved in the 2019 International Coastal Cleanup on September 21, use this interactive map and sign up to clean up here.

#TeamOcean includes everyone from Glenn Close to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Ocean Conservancy are expecting another million volunteers to come together in an effort to keep our oceans clean. 

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With concern about microplastics growing worldwide, we're not surprised that retailers are finally taking notice about the damage to the environment.

Popular retailer Marks & Spencer have joined the eco-effort by banning glitter from this year's Christmas cards, wrapping paper, crackers and calendars.

The brand is aiming to be 100 percent glitter-free by the end of 2019 after testing a biodegradable alternative to glitter on plants and flowers.

The worry about single-use plastics such as straws, water bottles, takeaway cups and microplastics (tiny particles that cause huge pollution) has significantly risen after the prominence of environmental documentaries, school strikers like Greta Thunberg and consistent climate breakdown disasters.

Glitter is usually created from etched aluminium bonded to polyethylene terephthalate, a form of microplastic that can end up in the sea.

The guess is that up to 50 tonnes of microplastic particles have accumulated in the ocean, according to The Guardian.

According to campaign group 38 degrees, up to a third of fish caught in the North Sea contained microplastic particles, including glitter. 

M&S’s action on glitter and plastic is following eco-crackdowns by brands like Waitrose and Tesco, who are switching to plastic-free ranges or environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Aldi is scrapping plastic glitter from their 2019 Halloween range, and even Strictly Come Dancing is banning glitter from their programme. Music festivals and playschools are also taking action.

M&S is now providing recyclable Christmas stationary designs and minimal use of foil for festival sparkle.

Most of its boxed cards have also switched from plastic to card packaging, which is saving almost 50 tonnes of plastic.

1,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from across the business have been scrapped, and M&S aims to ensure all its packaging is widely recyclable by the end of 2022.

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If you haven't heard of Eminence Organics, you need to catch up on the revolutionary skincare brand loved by well-known celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lawrence and Meghan Markle.

Duchess of Sussex reveres the Eminence Citrus Exfoliating Wash as her must-have beauty product, so the brand literally has royal approval. 

Luckily for Irish beauty lovers, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links have announced the launch of the highly-anticipated Eminence Organics range in The SPA Portmarnock.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@eminenceorganicsirl) on

Guests of the spa will be offered an incredible organic treatment with biodynamic ingredients from a brand that have taken the beauty world by storm.

Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links has some breathtaking views for visitors of the spa to take in, as if receiving world-class skincare treatments isn't enough. 

The boutique SPA, led by Head Beauty Therapist Ashleigh O’Connor, embraces the tranquillity and serenity of the hotel’s natural coastline surroundings.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Hungarian-based brand is well-known for its award-winning combination of natural ingredients, using a mix of fresh fruit pulps, plants and exotic spices to create the Eminence products

Their products contain potent healing and beautifying properties, with the SPA Portmarnock offers five luxurious treatments.

You can choose between the Yam and Pumpkin Facial, the Blueberry Detox firming & stimulating multi-acid peel, the Arctic berry peel & peptide illuminating skin peel, the Mangosteen Gentle Resurfacing Peel, and the Acne Advanced Treatment, which are all carried out by a team of beauty experts.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@portmarnockhotel) on

The holistic approach to farming and production is part of what makes Eminence Organics Skincare so popular. The cruelty-free brand plants a tree for every purchase, and currently have over 7 million trees planted worldwide.

Three years of research and development go into every Eminence product before it hits the shelves, so they mean business when it comes to getting perfect results.

Speaking about the new line of treatments, Head Beauty Therapist Ashleigh O’Connor, said;

"Through the use of organic and wholesome ingredients, Eminence products leave long-lasting, positive effects on the skin."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@portmarnockhotel) on

"The Acne Advanced Treatment is the newest Eminence treatment we have available in The Spa Portmarnock. The popular facial treats acne naturally without using harsh chemicals, instead using botanical-rich, organic ingredients," Ashleigh adds.

A full range of Eminence Organic Skincare treatments available at Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links can be found on their website here.

Why not treat yourself to the same skincare routine as the Duchess of Sussex?

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With the rise of eco-consciousness, it's no surprise that certain popular brands are catching up to the importance of sustainable materials.

Primark's homewear ranges are always ones to watch, but their latest collection featuring 100 percent sustainable cotton has us racing down to the store.

A fresh set of bedding can be the pinnacle of bedroom relaxation, and their latest range is perfect for your bed-time oasis of calm.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@primark.home) on

Primark have taken inspiration from refined Nordic interiors, creating a selection of soft Scandinavian greys and crisp white linens for the ideal minimalistic home.

The range serves as the perfect base for colour blocking with your favourite colours. The fresh, spa-worthy sustainable towels add to the theme, and are only €9 each.

Small wire basket €4, large basket €6
Image: Primark Home

Primark's reusable cup is just €6, for those of you who no longer want to waste cardboard takeaway coffee/tea cups.

The rise in popularity of Keep Cups are most likely contributing to brands like Primark focusing on reusable homewear features.

Image: Primark Home

Their gorgeous striped duvet cover single set comes in at the affordable price of €11, the double is just €16 while the king is €20.

Utilising sustainable materials such as cotton rather than microplastics of synthetic materials (polyester) can do wonders for the environment. 

Supporting brands like Primark in their quest to reduce harmful materials is hugely important, and the affordability can't be denied. Why not head down and check out the latest range before it sells out? 

Feature image: Instagram/@primark.home

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We've only recently realised just how wasteful the make-up and cosmetic industry is, seeing as pretty much every product is made using single-use plastic packaging.

We will forever worship our Urban Decay Naked palettes, and that love can't just go away, but it's time we search for more sustainable options while still looking slammin' every day.

Eyeshadow application isn't as easy as all the YouTubers and beauty bloggers have us believe. Not all of us are seasoned #MUAs, or had beauty tutorials to pore over when we were growing up. 

We've all butchered a smoky eye in our time, gotten irritable product in our eyes or chose the worst possible colour to spread across our lids; but what if a product was fully recyclable and easy to apply?

The world's first stick-on eyeshadow has FINALLY been created, and is bringing practical and beautiful products to our lives. Talk about sustainably slaying the game, wow.

Beauty buffs are absolutely raving about the new eco-friendly treat, which is the first ever fully-recyclable eyeshadow. Yes, that includes packaging, applicators AND the pigments themselves.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Majic Beauty's 'eyeMajic' Instant Eyeshadow is the first transferable eyeshadow which uses a heat-sensitive applicator to apply makeup to the eyelid in one easy swipe.

The product is totally hygienic, non-toxic and is 100 percent free of bacteria as well as paraben-free, cruelty-free and devoid of irritating fillers or preservatives. It's eco-certified too, we may actually faint.

The genius 'eyeMajic' is available in a whole spectrum of colour combinations online, from earthy browns and golds to metallics, shimmery pastels and matte or smoky shades.

The eyeshadow is made with extremely fine-grade pigment particles to formulate a rich, long-lasting colour and the applicators are all biodegradable.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@majicbeautycosmetics) on

The reviews on Amazon are nothing short of glowing, so the product definitely delivers what it hopes to. Imagine…you can have Eye-con beauty status while being kind to our environment?

'eyeMajic' buyers describe the product as easy to use with fantastic results, with make-up artists themselves recommending them for both pros and beginners.

It won't cost a bomb as well to slay the game while hugging the planet; at €6.69 a pack, 'eyeMajic' is a bargain. Don't miss out on the latest cult beauty product, it's set to go viral.

Feature image: Instagram/@majicbeautycosmetics

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We were already obsessed with Bleach London before they rebranded their packaging as 100 percent recycled cardboard and eco-friendly materials.

Honestly, their vegan formulas give us the best colours in hair as well as makeup, while maintaining a conscience.

Every since their sustainably-focused packaging rebrand, we've become unhealthily addicted to the energetic cosmetic company, and you will be too.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Co-founders of the brand, Alex Brownsell and Sam Campbell, made absolutely sure that their relaunched packaging was made from environmentally sound materials.

In our humble opinion, every makeup, skincare and cosmetics brand needs to follow suit. The vast amount of waste and plastic in landfill coming from the industry is mind-blowing.

The lads and their waste-not attitude led to the brand's customisation palettes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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These palettes come in a magnetic box and allow you to buy individual eyeshadow colours and collect them. The boxes come in a larger size for home use and a smaller one for on-the-go.

We're all guilty of only using one or two eyeshadow colours out of an entire palette, so why not curate your own kit and simply refill it when it runs out? Simples.

Bleach London 'Metallic Louder Powder', €5.60 (£5)

This translates to less waste, and a more sustainable beauty regimen. Bleach London's incredible hair range has also been totally vegan since 2017.

The company have a strictly cruelty-free ethos and are PETA-approved as part of their Beauty Without Bunnies programme. They're essentially magicians of beauty.

'Metallic Louder Powders' by Bleach London are available online for the affordable price of €5.60.

Feature image: Bleach London

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Plastic Free July is upon us, but the question is: Will you take up the challenge?

The initiative is a global movement that helps millions of people to be part of the solution to plastic pollution in order to have cleaner oceans, cities and environments.

The overall action is simple: Choose to make small, easy changes and refuse single-use plastics. 

Plastic Free July is all about reducing plastic consumption in order to free the world from plastic waste.

The initiative itself is run by a non-profit organisation called The Plastic Free Foundation, founded in 2011 by Rebecca Prince-Ruiz in Australia.

Organisers say that the movement is "designed to help people refuse single use plastic and improve recycling practices". Single-use or disposable plastics are used once before thrown away into landfill.

It's hoped that the large-scale challenge will "drive positive change through simple solutions that help communities live more sustainably".

Plastic-Free July also aims to "kick-start long-lasting solutions and influence business and governments to take action" to improve their environmental approach in a number of areas, including recycling.

Businesses desperately need to move towards a "circular economy"(promoting the reuse of materials) and for producers to take more responsibility over the end-of-life of products.

The consequences of plastic

Plastic bags often break ups into micro pieces that can easily blow into nature and, if mistaken for food and ingested, end up being fatal to animals

Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down in landfill, if it even breaks down at all, and reducing our use of plastic can help to counteract this.

Reducing waste overall is a better alternative to recycling, which uses a lot of water and energy, but we're all doing our best and changing what we can in our lives to alter our carbon footprints.

Top tips for Plastic Free July:

-Buy a 'KeepCup' and refuse to use a takeaway coffee cup. Even the 'recyclable' ones end up in landfill, so choose to dine in at your local café or bring a reusable cup.

-Plastic straws: Buy a metal straw and refuse plastic or paper straws as often as you can. There are now options to buy foldable metal straws to slot into your purse easily.

-Choose not to buy pre-packaged fruit and vegetables when you're doing the weekly shopping. Go to a local grocer, organic shop or farmer's market with a tote bag and collect your own loose fruit and vegetables instead, and save yourself all that single-use plastic. Support stores that offer paper bags rather than plastic bags, and who grow the food in Ireland.

-Don't buy pre-packaged meat: Support local butchers and bring your own containers to the shop. This scenario is only if you even eat meat at all, a plant-based, vegan diet is better for reducing waste and your carbon footprint.

-Choose to refuse single-use plastic shopping bags. Save yourself money by bringing your own reusable bags, and prevent as much landfill building up as possible. Plastic bags are incredible dangerous for wildlife and environment. You could even consider making your own reusable shopping bags using repurposed fabric, like the 'Boomerang Bags' movement. Bags made from natural fibres are a better option if possible, made from ethically-produced cotton, jute, hemp or recycled plastic bottles.

-Choose to refuse plastic bin liners: Line the bin with a few sheets of newspaper, or try using certified compostable bin liner bags. You can even use the bin as a ‘naked bin’, and simply washing it out as needed, or try home composting. Composting helps food scraps to deteriorate rather than producing methane from anaerobic landfill.

-Use lunch-boxes instead of packaging for food, and support vendors that offer cardboard or recyclable utensils and packaging rather than plastic knives and forks.

-BYOB: Bring your own bottle. Buying single-use plastic bottles year-round can cause a huge amount of damage, but it's incredibly easy to carry a reusable water bottle around with you. Carry small tote bags in your purse too in case you're in a situation where you need to reject using a plastic bag.

-Bamboo toothbrushes: Plastic toothbrushes can take 500 years to break down, but buying bamboo has never been as easy. Try buying organic toothpaste in recyclable packaging too.

-Avoid clingfilm like the devil: Wrap your food in cloths or keep it in containers instead rather than using single-use clingfilm to keep items fresh.

-Bin audits: Make sure the bins in your workplace, home and anywhere else are separated by category. Divide them into recyclable waste, general waste and compost bins, or by material (glass, cardboard, paper, plastic, etc). 

-Community clean-ups: Organise a group of friends, colleagues or community members to clean up specific areas around you. As well as improving your local environment, it shows a good example of teamwork for positive change and engagement. Use social media to gather and include as many people as possible.

-Cosmetic industry and wipes: There are many options for removing your make-up or washing your face that don't use micro-plastics and harmful irritants like wipes. Reusable cloths and biodegradable wipes are sold on numerous online beauty websites and are extremely effective, and try bringing your make-up palettes to be refilled in The Body Shop. Going make-up free for the month of July would be a big challenge, but reducing cosmetic waste and using skincare products made with recyclable packaging will create a beneficial impact.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@reduceplastic1) on

-Ask your local shops to use biodegradable products, and to support brands that use recyclable packaging or minimal packaging. Companies will listen if enough customers speak out.

-Spread the word: Talk to your co-workers, your friends, your family and neighbours about their lifestyle choices and how they may be impacting the environment. It may just take some encouragement for them to change small aspects of their lives and reduce their plastic usage.

Head over to the website here to take the Plastic Free July pledge, you'll be glad you did.

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With all the conversations regarding the decrepit state of our planet, it's no surprise that the terms 'ethical fashion' and 'sustainable clothing' are coming up again and again.

Whether it's the depressing lack of labour rights which garment workers possess, or the untold amount of damage a simple white t-shirt can do to the earth; it's time to get serious about the disastrous environmental impact of fashion.

Fact Attack

1. The truth of the matter is: the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry.

Unfortunately, developing countries are constantly the ones to suffer from developed nations and their materialistic consumerist culture. While high street shops have lower pricing, it's important to ask ourselves why this is so.

Normally, it's because the cost of production is incredibly cheap, and the workers aren't being paid in equity.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Patagonia Dublin (@patagoniadublin) on

For example, according to Stephen Leahy of The Guardian, 100 million people in India don't have access to drinking water. However, 85 percent of the daily needs of the entire population of India would be provided by the water used to grow the country's cotton.

The same cotton that goes into making our clothes, the clothes of people who have always had access to daily needs like drinking water. So the question is, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Fast fashion is a hugely feminist issue seeing as women in these underdeveloped countries are paid less than men for working in these garment factories.

The number of workplace injuries and deaths in factories in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Cambodia are still shockingly high.

Now, this article isn't intended to guilt or shame anyone. It's just a wake-up call, and knowing the facts of this vital topic can lead to change. Change can lead to less harm on the planet, and isn't that always a good thing?

2. First of all, it's important to know that the untreated toxic waste-waters from textile factories are often dumped directly into the rivers of countries where clothes are made.

These waste-waters contain toxic substances like arsenic, mercury and lead, which kill the aquatic life and health of millions living by that same river. Contamination reaches the sea and spreads globally.

The use of fertilizers for cotton production heavily pollute waters, another danger of creating just a single item of clothing for brands we all know and buy from. 

Image: Catch News

3. Clothing in our culture has become disposable, and more and more textile waste is accumulating as a result. According to Elizabeth Cline of The Atlantic, a family in the 'western world' throws away an average of 30kg of clothing every year.

4. Only 15 percent of this is recycled or donated, and what happens to the rest? Landfill or incineration.

What's worse, synthetic fibres like polyester are plastic fibres, and can take up to 200 years to decompose.

Global textiles production emits 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases every single year. That's more than international flights and maritime shipping put together, according to Fashion Revolution.

5. These biodegradable synthetic fibres are used in a shocking 72 percent of our clothing. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fashion Revolution Ireland (@fashrevireland) on

6. The UK population has £10.5 billion worth of unworn clothes in their closet, according to recent research. It's massively valuable to donate your unworn clothes rather than throw them away. Every item of apparel has a history, and can tell a story.

Fast fashion is having an unparalleled influence on the planet, with more and more clothes being incinerated into the air every year.

Workers are suffering in poverty to make our clothes, and we have no idea who they even are. We have a responsibility to bring ethics into what we wear and how we style ourselves.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ethical & Sustainable Fashion (@thekindguide) on

The issue may seem far away, but we can't ignore the problem any longer.

Clothing is a basic human need, give someone else the chance to wear the clothes you don't want anymore.

6. The apparel industry accounts for 10 percent of global carbon emissions, because our clothes are made in countries which power their factories with coal.

This means our synthetic fibres are basically made from fossil fuel, hence why it's so important to buy clothes with natural fibres.

Image: Remake

Here's our survival guide for ethical shopping and sustainable fashion, but remember: Nobody's perfect.

Even if you reduce your buying habits a tiny bit, or change one of your high street shops to an ethical brand, that's great. Just do your best; if everyone did a little, it would mean a lot.

Swap Shops

The Nu. Wardrobe is an Irish female-led startup company focusing on dramatically reducing fashion waste by encouraging the swapping or renting of clothes. Their tag-line is 'Look Good. Save Money. Reduce Waste.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@thenuwardrobe) on

Right on, gals. Extending the life cycle of clothes is hugely important in the fight against fast fashion.

Why not borrow an outfit from a friend or sibling instead of buying something entirely new when you probably don't need to?

Of course, it's important to treat yourself every now and again, and we all need new threads every once and a while when our body sizes change etc, but just remember to ask yourself every time: Do I really need this?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fashion Revolution Ireland (@fashrevireland) on

Charity shopping/Vintage outlets

Dun Laoghaire's main street contains some great charity shops like Bernardos, Oxfam, Age Action, Goodwill and more.

George's Street in the city centre also have a great selection of charity shops with the proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul, Oxfam and Enable Ireland.

The array of vintage shops in Dublin is not to be understated. Head to Dublin Vintage Factory (there are two shops) in Temple Bar for the cheapest but best selection of vintage clothing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dublin Vintage Factory (@dublinvintagefactory) on

Vintage has emerged onto the scene even more in recent years, and has undoubtedly become one of the biggest trends in Dublin fashion.

Why not buy something no one else could possibly have? Pre-owned and pre-loved.

Other options include; Tola Vintage, Nine Crows, Lucy's Lounge, Monto, The Harlequin, Folkster, Tahiti Vintage, Om Diva, The Cat's Meow, Siopaella and Retro in George's Street Arcade and Temple Bar.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tola Vintage Reworked (@tolavintagereworked) on

Apps: Depop/Good On You

Depop has become our addiction in recent months. The app is a clothes-selling platform, basically a digital swap shop, and the range of fashion styles involved is incredible.

Shipping from all over the world, the items are totally unique. You'll see some amazing style trends as well, and the app allows you to refine your searches for uber specific items and brands.

From vintage sportswear brands to quirky 1990s-era fashion pieces, don't miss out.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Depop (@depop) on

It's a great feeling knowing that you aren't buying brand new clothes all the time, and the app allows you to make some $ cash dollah $ by selling all of the clothes you haven't worn since your teenage disco days.

We first heard about Good On You from none other than Emma Watson. If she models and endorses them, they have to be sheer excellence.

The app allows you to inform yourself all about the workers rights and sustainability of your favourite brands.

They offer great suggestions for ethical and sustainable brands too, and it's practical and easy to use.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Emma Watson (@emmawatson) on

Our favourite ethical/sustainable brands

Finding sustainable clothing for an affordable price can be challenging in Ireland, mainly because of shipping charges.

It's a huge comfort to know that you're paying for clothing made by people who have workers rights, and that they are high-quality. Here are some of our all-time fave brands:

Reformation

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Reformation (@reformation) on

Weekday

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@weekdayofficial) on

People Tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@peopletreeuk) on

Oxfam

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Oxfam Ireland (@oxfamireland) on

Thought

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Thought (@thoughtclothing) on

Fame and Partners

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Fame and Partners (@fameandpartners) on

Ilk + Ernie

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@ilkandernie) on

Ninety Percent

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ninety Percent (@ninety_percent) on

Other gorgeous favourites include: Base Range, Etica, Everlane, Uniqlo, Exhibit, Komodo, Patagonia, Athleta, Petra Von Kant, Lara Intimates, Mayamiko, Thoreau, Boyish and ASOS Made in Kenya

Last but not least, we recommend watching The True Cost on Netflix, it pulls back the curtain on fast fashion and the developing world. It's time to wear your values.

Feature image:  Instagram/@cheriebirkner/@sustainablefashionmatterz

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Daily exposure to pollution can harm the hair and scalp, which means us city gals are a bit screwed when it comes to having healthy hair.

Klorane’s new Aquatic Mint range aims to gently cleanse, detoxify and protect the hair and scalp from these daily aggressors, so it basically saves the day?

Working and living in an urban environment means scalp and hair are exposed to a variety of pollutants including fine dust, exhaust gases, central heating, tobacco and food smoke.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Klorane UK & Ireland (@kloraneuk) on

In the short term, this leaves the scalp and hair dirty and dull, feeling suffocated and odorous while long term exposure can result in accelerated appearance of grey hairs and even premature hair loss.

The key ingredient in the range, Aquatic Mint, is cultivated at the brand’s organic farm in the South West of France and is specially extracted to obtain a pure juice from the fresh plant.

This particular species of mint contains the highest concentration of antioxidant and has been proven with frequent use, to detoxify and protect hair and scalp from ozone pollution, heavy metals and cigarette smoke.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Klorane UK & Ireland (@kloraneuk) on

The formula, which is silicone and paraben free, gently and effectively cleans and protects the hair and scalp without weighing it down.

The detox shampoo with Aquatic Mint, which is SLS and SLES-free, cleanses, detoxifies and cools the scalp leaving hair feeling extra clean, removing an amazing 97 percent of polluting particles.

The formula for the protective conditioner with Aquatic Mint is comprised of 95 percent natural ingredients too.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Klorane UK & Ireland (@kloraneuk) on

The hydrating complex cools and protects the scalp from pollution, while detangling and increasing the hair’s shine, leaving it light, protected and glistening.

The Aquatic Mint range is also part of Klorane’s 100% eco-responsible range, which makes it all the more gorgeous. We love a good, environmentally-savvy brand.

Take all my money, Klorane, I'm sold.

Feature image: Instagram/@kloraneuk

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With more and more restaurant chains facing scrutiny for their continuous single-use plastic habits, one brand has decided to drastically change how they do things for the good of the planet.

Healthy Thai delivery chain Camile has become the first chain in Europe to launch a compostable range of packaging which can go straight into the compost bin without washing.

Camile are moving towards plastic-free single-use products by the end of the year, with 95 percent of their packaging now fully compostable. Absolute heroes, who's next to follow this example?

A more environmentally-friendly, 100 percent compostable solution to takeaway food chains and their use of plastic is imperative at the moment. Climate breakdown is weighing down on us, and corporations and independent businesses alike have to change the way they do things.

Camile are investing 25 percent more on their packing costs to reduce the amount of plastic used, with Brody Sweeney commenting on the brilliant move;

"We believe that by showing leadership in this area, we can encourage other businesses to follow suit, and make the move to compostables…We have a responsibility to take sustainability seriously and take tangible steps to leaving the planet habitable for my grandchildren's children and generations to come."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Camile Thai (@camilethaiirl) on

We as consumers also have to play our part in eradicating as much single-use plastic as possible. 

Bord Bia's CEO Tara McCarthy applauded the effort, emphasising that Origin Green members are leading positive change in the industry.

Compostable packaging is a more sustainable option than standard paper or single-use products, but they are only an improvement for the environment if they are disposed of correctly. Remember to check which bins are for specific recyclables and waste.

Fair play, Camile. We hope other brands follow suit ASAP.

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Clarins are launching a new brand within their current esteemed skincare label – My Clarins. 

The new brand is geared towards young skin, focusing on the issues teens and millennials face with targeted skincare – however, as well as aiming to create innovative skincare that works, the new brand is also environmentally friendly in every way. 

First up, the 9-item line wont be sold in China, a market which unfortunately still requires animal testing on all beauty products that are sold there, so My Clarins can be considered totally cruelty free. With China being such a huge and lucrative market, it's a big gesture for a brand to eschew Chinese consumers entirely to be able to ensure there is no harm done to the other species we share our planet with. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MyClarins (@myclarins) on

It's also 100% vegan – so literally no animals were harmed in the making of this product and those who avoid all animal by-products can use it safely, in the knowledge that their skin wont be absorbing any derivatives from the animal kingdom. 

All nine of the products are presented in packaging made from recycled materials, and all pots, boxes and tubes are 100% recyclable, so once you're finished with them they can be made into something new. 

We went along to the launch of the range this week, hosted in The Alex hotel, to have a proper look and play around with the collection. The recycled packaging looks gorge, in simplified, minimal white bottles and boxes with a botanical theme (very Instagram). 

My Clarins aims to encourage good skin habits. Likening it to our diets, we as a generation like to know exactly what we are eating, with an emphasis on whole foods and healthy ingredients – so why should skincare be any different? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MyClarins (@myclarins) on

Your skin runs similarly to you, in that it needs a balanced diet, of sorts.

The line, which includes cleansing milks, moisturisers, a targeted spot treatment and a beauty mist, has 88% natural ingredients, ranging from coconut water to fig and goji berries. 

It runs on an 'In & Out' complex, which encourages the cells to absorb good elements and expel toxins and contestants. The vegetal complex provides the skin with everything ‘good’ (vitamins, minerals and trace elements) and removes the ‘bad’ (pollutants and impurities).

There are no parabens, phthalates or sulfates, so those with sensitive skin should be good to go. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MyClarins (@myclarins) on

Our top picks from the range? First up we have to mention the Re-Move Micellar Milk. Micellar has lost it's good reputation in recent years, with Micellar oils leaving residue on the skin that leads to break outs, and plain Micellar water being seen to just move dirt and oils around the skin rather than lifting them off.

The Re-Move Micellar cleansing milk absorbs dirt and grime and makeup, allowing them to be totally removed with a hot cloth or cleansing pad. 

The range has two moisturisers, each targeted to a specific skin type, and one night mask – The My Clarins Re-Charge Relaxing Night Mask.

Ideal for when you want to look like you got your 8 hours when you certainly didn't, the mask contains acerola seed, fig and huang qi extracts to detox and hydrate (and it smells gorge). 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MyClarins (@myclarins) on

Lastly, the Re-Fresh Hydrating Beauty Mist. Beauty mists are all the rage, and a cornerstone of a millennial skincare routine. Rather than opting for just rosewater or just cucumber, this all encompassing beauty mist brings together a medley of natural ingredients to replenish skin. 

The combo of coconut, fig, alpenrose and acerola allow the skin to become completely oxegenated and hydrated. 

The line retails at €17 to €27 and is available in pharmacies and stores nationwide, as well as online. 

Feature image: Instagram | jlyblnd

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