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Following on from their highly successful Sustainable Fashion Show and market last April, Native Events, Ireland’s leading sustainable event production company, together with D-Light Studios, a creative multi-functional space housed in a converted woolen mill, presents the Sustainable Christmas Market. FREE to attend, the indoor market will take place on the weekend of Friday, December 6 to Sunday, December 8 at D-Light Studios.

Located in the heart of Dublin 1, D-Light studios is just a minute walk from the historical Five Lamps area and only five minutes from Connolly Station. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Sustainable Christmas market will host a range of sustainable gifts and products from 30 Irish traders including Celtic Fusion Design ethical high quality designer wear with a Celtic inspiration, Jump The Hedges recycled yoga and fanny bags, IMARA Earth conscious brand and creator of the hag (hat/bag), Bear With Nature handmade natural skin and hair care, Organic Movement ethically and sustainably produced yoga wear, Attention Attire sustainably procured and handmade outerwear, ID11 Photography Studio uniquely printed Christmas Cards and silk scarves and ReTale Vintage clothes and accessories.

There will even be food from from the Vegan Sandwich Co home of the vegan chick*n fillet roll.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Native Events undertook a thorough investigation of each trader's supply chain to ensure products sold are sourced and produced sustainably and ethically. No traders are permitted to use plastic in any of their products or packaging, The Sustainable Christmas Market is a Plastic Free Event. Market-goers can also enjoy festival music from Native Events who will showcase their fully Solar Powered Sound System to the eco-friendly shoppers. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Every Christmas Ireland produces 83,000 tonnes of packaging waste. Much of this waste includes non-recyclable wrapping paper. To combat this the market will feature a Sustainable Wrapping Station, giving market-goers the option to wrap up their gifts with upcycled papers and materials. 100% of donations to this will go to our charity partner Inner 

City Helping the Homeless (ICHH), who’s outreach teams had a total of more than 9,400 on-street engagements with people sleeping out around the city, between July and September of this year. 

Native Events prides itself on being a sustainable company that encourages and supports enterprises who operate on sustainable and circular principles. The Sustainable Christmas Market is a Plastic Free Event and they encourage market goers to bring canvas bags, reusable coffee cups, and to travel on foot or by public transport to the event on bus routes 14, 14c, 15, 27, 27a, 27b, 29a, 31, 31a, 31b, 32, 42, 43, 53, 130 or by train from Connolly or Docklands Stations. 

 

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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.

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. Reusable q-tips

You probably know that millions of cotton q-tips end up in the ocean so that would be great if you could switch to reusable q-tips like LastSwab. These reusable q-tips are created to reduce harmful waste impacting our environment. LastSwab is an eco-friendly alternative that is super easy to use and it can easily be a part of our everyday routine.

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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"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."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"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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For the August bank holiday weekend, Dr. Bronner's will collaborate with All Together Now as one of the festival's sustainability partners.

The organic, Fairtrade, biodegradable-vegan, versatile personal care brand will bring their gorgeous soaps to the festival's 'Eco Area', where the team will promote good practices.

Attendees can be educated on what changes need to be made to combat climate breakdown and encouraged to make sustainable choices in everyday life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Dr. Bronner's team will be undergoing their 'Heal Earth' campaign to promote regenerative organic agriculture.

The brand's efforts to combat climate change will be emphasised, and their product range of certified organic, biodegradable goodies will be sampled and available to buy.

Dr. Bronner's soaps will be supplied all over All Together Now's showering facilities for attendees, as well as in the backstage areas of artists like Hot Chip, The National and Patti Smith.

Paul Irwin, Director of Life’s Great said;

"We are delighted to be partnering with ‘All Together Now’ and providing attendees with ethical, environmentally friendly and fair trade Dr Bronner’s soaps while sharing the ‘Health Earth’ message which is very much aligned to the ethos All Together Now promotes".

The company was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The business remains family-owned and run, and the brand honours Emanuel Bronner's vision by making socially and environmentally-responsible products of the highest quality, while donating profits for a better world.

'We are All-One or None!' remains their mantra, and their combat climate change goals are perfect for a festival like All Together Now.

For more information on Dr. Bronner’s or to have a scope at their gorgeous goods, check out their range on Life's Great. 

Feature image: Instagram/@drbronner

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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.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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-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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How can we find the perfect skincare product which doesn't negatively effect the environment? In our world of climate breakdown, it's imperative that our beauty regimens don't come from unethical sources.

Tracking down the ideal, environmentally-friendly product can take time, but it's worth it when you come across a range like Casmara's Hydra Lift.

The family-run business uses the most advanced technology and the highest quality natural ingredients to deliver great skincare goods while respecting the environment in the process.

The company assures it's customers that every product in the Casmara range is made ethically, and are eco-certified, meaning the ingredients are derived from renewable resources and are made by environmentally friendly processes.

The Hydra Lift range even has a minimum threshold of 95 percent of total ingredients to be natural from organic farming, along with having biodegradable or recyclable packaging.

As well as this, the range is organic, vegan and vegetarian safe. It's basically the dream products for those wanting to maintain a healthy skincare routine while loving the planet.

1. Casmara Hydra Lifting Firming Fresh Serum, €40

Casmara Hydra Lifting Firming Fresh Serum, €40

Made using a new cosmetic concept, the firming anti-age serum has a soft, light texture and will leave you looking absolutely glowing.

The fusion of 100% natural marine active ingredients, certified by Ecocert®, and the latest advances from scientific investigation of the skin has created the perfect product,

Created with seawater to revitalise and tone the skin, as well as seaweed extracts, the rich treatment stimulates cellular activity at an incredible level.

2. Casmara Hydrating Firming Nourishing Cream, €40

Casmara Firming Nourishing Cream, €40

This product is perfect for dry skin, and is also ideal for mature skin in need of some firming.

The rejuvenating active ingredient Juvenessence® is extracted from Alaria Esculenta seaweed, and detains and reverses cellular ageing.

The nourishing cream retains 97 percent more moisure than hyaluronic acid, and activates 14 genes responsible for skin firmness. The deep-firming effect restores the skin's lost volume, and you'll love it forever.

3. Casmara Hydra Lifting Firming Plus Serum, €42

Casmara Hydra Lifting Firming Plus Serum, €42

Created with seawater concentrate and hyadisine™, the innovative properties like invigorating ocean plasma create the ideal serum for older skin.

After 15 days of Hydra Lifting beauty care, your skin should look 85 percent more toned, 70 percent more hydrated and 90 percent firmer. The results speak for themselves, really.

4. Casmara Marine Cleanser, €19

Casmara Marine Cleanser, €19

This moisturising facial cleansing gel is formulated with 100 percent natural active ingredients which are biocompatible with the skin.

The product cleanses the skin thoroughly without damaging it and provides effective moisture which lasts all day. Get fresh, purified skin without imperfections for just €19, it's a win-win.

The Casmara range is available online on Eden Beauty and from select stockists nationwide.

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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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Most of us don't think twice about plastic in our make-up and beauty regime. Yet once it's pointed out to us, it's completely unavoidable; plastic is EVERYWHERE in beauty.

From eyeshadow palettes to shampoo bottles, plastic toothbrushes which take over 400 years to decompose, foundation which isn't ethically sourced to packaging which could easily be replaced with recyclable equivalents; beauty is problematic when it comes to our environment.

What do we mean by sustainable cosmetics? Essentially; fair wages for workers, recyclable and biodegradable packaging, ethically sourced and natural, cruelty-free ingredients, renewable resources. In summary: doing no harm to the planet, other people or animals in the process.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Solid Waste Management Program (@omsarswmp) on

Sounds great, doesn't it? So many of us tune out when we hear things about the environment; it all just seems overwhelmingly impossible to face it head-on.

Yet swapping your beauty routine for a greener option is SO easy, even small changes have large repercussions. We each must think individually about our own actions, rather than the planet as a whole.

Here are our top tips for reducing your carbon footprint through your beauty regimen…IT'S VITAL that we embrace the change.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Humble Co. #HumbleBrush (@thehumble.co) on

1. Swap plastic toothbrushes for bamboo counterparts.

Toothbrushes are constantly bought and thrown away, without a single thought about where it goes after our bins are emptied. Basically, it heads to landfill, where plastic takes up to 1000 years to break down. Incredible, isn't it?

Changing your toothbrush for a bamboo one can HUGELY reduce the harm caused by your oral hygiene.

The Humble Co. sell great ones, check out their website here. You can also pop into your nearest Holland and Barrett health store. Pair it with Fig + Yarrow Cornmint Lavender Tooth Powder, which comes in little recyclable/reusable glass bottle and is created with white clay, sea salt, baking soda, and antibacterial essential oils.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Humble Co. #HumbleBrush (@thehumble.co) on

2. Recycle your empty make-up containers in stores now

Since the creation of plastics, humans have made 8.3 billion metric tonnes of it. Of that amount, an incredible 6.3 billion metric tonnes have already been thrown out and 91 percent of that waste has NOT been recycled. It makes a lot of sense now why governments and communities are raising support for the banning of single-use plastics…

Make sure that your plastic bottles and empty make-up sets are recycled properly; companies such as Lush, The Body Shop and L'Occitane have unreal reward systems for returning your plastic packaging to the stores.

More stores are committed to limiting their impact on the environment. L'Occitane's new initiative with TerraCycle enables the recycling of beauty products from any brand. TerraCycle is a collection and recycling programme which specialises in difficult-to-recycle packaging, so they know their stuff.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by TerraCycle (@terracycle) on

Any L'Occitane customers can recycle their empties at any store now. Thirty-five percent of Lush products are sold 'naked' (with no packaging), so zero-waste washing is absolutely possible. Their products sold in pots and bottles are 100 percent post-consumer plastic. 

Save and return five clean, black pots to any local Lush store for a free face mask; you give back and you get in return. 

3. Know your brands, and choose ones who are HONEST about where their ingredients and packaging come from.

It's not difficult to be totally aware of what you're consuming and if it's harming anyone else. Send Instagram DMs or email the company to ask if the information isn't readily available on their packaging or websites. Hint: if the information is hard to find, it's probably NOT a good company to go with.

There are so many incredible natural, cruelty free and ethical make-up brands around now; Bia Beauty is an up-and-coming Irish brand we adore. Beauty Without Cruelty products for sensitive skin are considered among the best on the market. 

Lush are another company who partner with the Ocean Legacy Foundation to use recovered plastic from the ocean as material.

Christopher Davis, who is The Body Shop's international director of campaigns and corporate responsibility, said the brand is undertaking a "comprehensive review" of sustainable packaging choices. They are hoping to remove fossil fuels from 70 percent of its product packaging by 2020.

"Our long-term vision is that packaging will not harm people or the environment and can be repurposed," says Davis. "All our solutions need to be truly sustainable."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Body Shop Official (@thebodyshop) on

4. Get smart about your container use.

Why not try and use bars of shampoo rather than bottles? Numerous shops now have methods of bringing your own plastic bottles which have been recycled to collect any goods from the store, so they don't waste packaging.

Reuse empty make-up plastic packaging for something more creative. You can also try and use powdered deodorant or bars of soap instead of the spray-cans. For pump-bottles, you should generally throw away the pump before recycling as the metal springs inside can’t be recycled.

Once part of it isn't recyclable, it nearly always ends up in landfill or the sea, and we don't want that. Oh, and GET A METAL STRAW right this minute.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Axiology (@axiology_beauty) on

Terracycle has a partnership with Bausch & Lomb which aims to recycle contacts, blister packs, and the top foil from contact lenses, if you wear glasses. Terracycle also have an incredible partnership with Garnier, which recycles ANY hair care, skin care, and cosmetics packaging. 

5. Use recyclable make-up remover pads or a face cloth instead of wipes.

 According to the FDA, wipes are made from an amalgamation of ingredients such as polyester, polypropylene, cotton, wood pulp, and rayon fibres. Many of these are not biodegradable, but some wipes are compostable, such as RMS Beauty and Yes To.

We recommend the MakeUp Eraser remover cloths, they're absolutely life-changing. Buy them on iHerb at a great price, and never look back. The Cleanse Off Mit is another wonderful option; all machine-washable.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Original MakeUp Eraser (@makeuperaser) on

6. Eco-brushes

Pretty much every make-up brush is made from plastic, but we've discovered some alternatives. EcoTools brushes are made from recycled bamboo, recycled aluminium, and some recycled plastic: GORGE.

Morphe also has a beautiful 18-piece vegan brush set that we have our eyes firmly set on. ZOEVA do bamboo brush sets via Beauty Bay's website, for a heftier price.

In terms of hair brushes, try the WetBrush Go Green Detangler Brush, which is made of plant starch and designed to break down within five years.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by EcoTools (@ecotools) on

7. Eco-lipstick

AXIOLOGY is your go-to for non-toxic lipstick. They value a holistic, vegan lifestyle and are 100 percent transparent about where their ingredients come from. The brand is pretty expensive if you're a student or on a lower wage, but it's excellent quality and totally ethical. Their boxes are sourced by Bali women who recycle local waste into paper.

The founder of AXIOLOGY, Ericka Rodriguez, is proud to use no palm oil or palm oil derivatives in their goods; "Palm oil is causing widespread deforestation and causing the extinction of many animal species. We donate to the Orangutan Foundation International to help the orangutans during this crisis."

Once again, go for plastic-free lipstick holders or lip liners if possible, or at least recyclable options. Check out earth911.com to find out about your plastic bottles and recycling options. Over 40 percent of the plastic we use is in the form of packaging, so it's time to change.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Axiology (@axiology_beauty) on

8. Ditch those plastic disposable razors ASAP

Girlos who shave, it's time to get a razor you can use again and again. Throwing away constant disposable plastic razors causes phenomenal harm to the environment, and we are so much better than that, ain't we? The EPA estimates 2 BILLION razors are thrown away each year….wow.

You can find a reusable, stainless steel razor in any major retailer, and can get reusable blades for cheap. It's cost-effective and eco-friendly beauty, let's DO IT. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kirsty (@kirstyf84) on

9. Invest in double-duty products

Do you really need sun-cream AND foundation AND highlighter AND concealer AND moisturiser AND primer AND bronzer AND setting spray AND powder? We're guessing not.

Try choosing products which double-duty; like SPF BB creams, lip primers which have moisturising properties, tinted moisturisers etc. Minimise as much as you can, and really think about what you need versus what you want.

10. Tampons

Disposable tampon applicators are one of the BIGGEST forms of ocean plastic pollution. Why not try switching to applicator-less tampons, or invest in a menstrual cup. The cups last for up to 10 years, producing far less waste than disposable menstrual products, and avoid the chemicals present in tampons.

They also save you a lot of money over time, and are becoming far more popular as more women in Ireland try them out. In terms of applicator-free tampons, try Emerita.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Environmental Working Group (@environmentalworkinggroup) on

Finally: Campaign for change.

Contact product manufacturers, give feedback to brands and express your wish that plastic they use is recyclable. Annoy them if you must; consumer pressure makes a significant difference. You can make the change.

It's worth a shot, lobby your local TDs so we can improve environmental laws. Email your favourite make-up brands, show your support for eco-friendly and ethical companies especially.

You can do it gals, a little change goes a long way.

Feature image: eco warrior princess

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