1. Dig up your garden & never have to cut or water the grass again.
Replace your high maintenance lawn with a chamomile and thyme lawn. This beautiful, fragrant and easy to look-after
lawn will be a haven for bees and other insects. Add white clover to diversify even further. Check out this wonderful website Gardening know how for a guide to replacing your traditional lawn with an eco friendly nature loving lawn that will look fabulous year after year. While you have that spade in your hand dig yourself a vegetable patch and start growing your own organic vegetables. Log onto Grow it yourself International for full support. Even if a window box is your only outside space, utilise it. There is lots of help online such as An extraordinary day.net for tutorials.
2. Get on your bike!
Get a free workout, travel under your own steam, cut your travel costs and enjoy the knowledge that by upping your dopamine levels your are lowering your emissions. There is lots of support out there such as The Dublin Cycling Campaign
3. Have a ‘Green’ Day
Encourage your local school to have a ‘Geeen’ Day once a year whereby no power is used and classes are taken outdoors. Our school managed to save €11,000 in one year but just switching off classroom lights when the children played outside during their lunch break. This phenomenal saving of energy and of course money highlights perfectly the huge impact of small changes. Visit Green Schools Ireland for more ideas.
4. Stop buying new clothes.
Support your local charity shops and vintage clothes shops by committing for one season to buying pre-loved clothes. There is a huge joy in unearthing a fabulous something and as we all know everyone loves a bargain. Get out there and see what treasure lies instore.
Visit a Focus Ireland/ St.Vincent de Paul or Oxfam
5. Turn the thermostat down.
It sounds obvious but by turning down your household thermostat by a degree or two will lead to a saving in energy which will be reflected in your energy bills over the course of a year. There are many natty devices out there such as The Nest Thermostat which will help you in ways you never thought possible. This device will monitor your usage and via an app on your phone will allow you to control your heating from wherever you may be in the world!
6. Fill your dishwasher!
Yes you heard me correctly. A recent study in Germany discovered that a full-loaded dishwasher uses less water and energy than hand washing dishes. So put those Marigolds away and stack to your hearts content and don’t rinse your dishes by hand before you do. Let your dishwasher do all the work for you.
Visit the Tree Hugger website for full details on this Bonn University study.
7. Cook from scratch
This is one of my favourite ways to reduce packaging waste. Fancy something sweet? Cook it yourself and reduce the amount of packaging that your household sends to landfill and it is healthier! Listsn to the brilliant Michael Pollan talk about how cooking can save your life in this You Tube Video. In the meantime use my simple homemade Granola recipe to get yourself started first thing tomorrow morning: Green Bee Homemade Granola
8. Shop Local
Shopping local works on so many levels it is crazy not to when you can. Reducing car emissions is the big one and if you are lucky enough to be in walking or cycling distance to your local shops perhaps try leaving the car behind, buying little and often instead. Bulk shopping from Supetmarkets is the biggest contributor to food waste. Buy what you need fresh when you need it. Read Irish Economist David McWilliams article on Shopping local could save our dwindling communities street by street.
9. Let your Supermarket and Shops know how you feel about excess and non-recycleable packaging
As consumers we have more power than we realise. Let your Shops and Supermarkets know how you feel about excessive and non-recycleable packaging. Tell them in person, tell them in practice by leaving your unwanted packaging with them at the Cash Till and tell them on Twitter and other social media. If enough of us do this, often enough, they will sit up and listen. Join me.
10. Eat less meat and dairy products.
If you are a meat and dairy consumer perhaps try having at least one day a week that is meat free. Vegetarian or Vegan is one of the most exciting ways you can revitalise your diet. Look to the Indians or the Japanese for evidence of this. The production of meat and dairy takes up an enormous amount of energy, has dubious health benefits if any and despite being an enormous industry world wide is damaging our planet through carbon emissions. Try indulging yourself in a ‘meat free Monday’ and see the benefits for yourself not only on your health but also your pocket.
This Tunisian Cous Cous dish is quick to prepare, nutritious and delicious.
Add this incredible Aubergine/eggplant recipe to it and you have a main meal that won’t leave you hankering for snything else.
Happy St.Patrick’s Day!!