June 2020 Update!

Well hello there, and welcome back to the blog — Yes I disappeared for what? 3 weeks, or thereabouts?

To be truthful with you, I ran out of ideas. Running a blog on a regular basis can be difficult, especially when you throw in a full time job into the mix, as well as a global pandemic that makes life a little different than normal!

My last post was of my dresser makeover, and after that the ideas, they just stopped flowing. I had so many ideas for the month of May, and I did most of the things I made on my list, but when it came to making my list for June, I literally sat staring at the page in my notebook designated for blog post ideas. I got two blog post ideas, one was this one you’re reading right now (I know, great right? 🙄), and the. other was something to do with my new iPad, how I’m using it, my favourite apps, etc, but this isn’t a tech blog, and I don’t know if you guys would be interested in something like that— let me know! After that, my ideas ran dry…

June isn’t usually a busy month for me on a normal basis, but throw in a pandemic into the mix, and June is just pure dud. Apart from going to work, I’ve been drawing and practicing on my iPad with Procreate, making art for some friends and family, as well as getting a commission to make a logo for an up and coming local business. I’m very much all about keeping my art stuff separate to this blog, but if you’d like to read about my art stuff here, again, let me know, and maybe I’ll make a blog post every now and again with some updates as to what I’m working on and anything else art related I might be doing!

July is just around the corner, and Ireland is slowly starting to return to some ‘normality’ if it can be called that. July is also the month for “Plastic-Free July” which is where more awareness is made about how much plastic we use, and how we can replace/use less plastic! Last year I made a series of blog posts on the topic and I’d love to revisit it again this year, so if you’ve any ideas let me know, or have any questions about how to use less plastic leave comment with your question.

As usual, you can follow me on social media to keep up with all my antics—my Instagram handle is @dean.kealy and I post there a lot more frequently than I do here, so make sure you are following me there if you want more me! 🙂

Until then, I’ll see you next week soon! 😉

#PlasticFreeJuly2019: Reduce Plastic in the Bathroom!

So as we continue on with #PlasticFreeJuly2019, I thought that I’d share another aspect that I am trying to improve on, and that is removing the amount of plastic I use in the bathroom. Believe it or not, the bathroom is one of the biggest culprits for the amount of plastic we use and waste, and when you go looking, there are actually so many easy replacements.

Plastic waste is a problem in the bathroom – from toothpaste tubes to shampoo bottles. … If you’re trying to reduce your own plastic waste, one place you may feel a little stumped is in the bathroom. When it comes to hygiene and beauty products, plastic packaging is often hard to avoid  — from friendsoftheearth.uk

One of the first things I replaced in my bathroom was the soap. I stopped using dispenser soap and went back to the traditional bar of soap. Yes, those old things, remember those? The one I use, and in fact, most of the products I use in the bathroom is by Bull Dog. Along with the bar of soap, I also use their moisturizer, face wash and stubble moisturizer.

The bar of soap, straight away depletes a plastic soap dispenser from our bathroom, and the bar comes in cardboard packaging, making it recyclable. As for the moisturisers and face wash, the ‘plastics’ that Bull Dog use are made from sugarcane.

The tubes that Bulldog’s products come in are different. That’s because Bulldog is the first male skincare brand in the world to use sugarcane as a raw material in our packaging. So instead of using plastic from fossil fuels, Bulldog’s tubes use sugarcane plastic, made from Brazilian sugarcane, a renewable source that needs little more than natural rainfall to grow. — from bulldogskincare.com/sugarcane

Images via bulldogskincare.com

Each year skincare companies use lots of plastic in their packaging. Most of this plastic is made from fossil fuels, which are non-renewable and release carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming. — bulldogskincare.com

Next up Processed with VSCO with n2 presetis my toothbrush. I’ve stopped buying standard plastic toothbrushes, and instead have replaced mine with a biodegradable plastic alternative. I’ll be the first to put my hands up and say, yes its not a plastic free alternative, but it’s still an alternative. I did try the bamboo toothbrush everyone is going mad for, but I can’t stand the texture of it, personally, so I found this biodegradable plastic alternative. Ironically, I now can’t find them on Amazon (maybe the seller removed the listing?) but the packaging did insist it was biodegradable–hopefully I wasn’t deceived.

Approximately a billion brushes are thrown away in the United States annually — that’s 50 million pounds of waste. Roughly 3.5 billion brushes are sold worldwide each year — they all have to go somewhere, and that somewhere is usually landfill. It’s staggering to comprehend. But we can change it. — via Susan Goldberg on medium.com

Along with my toothbrush, I also just recently switched out my toothpaste and mouthwash. In the past couple of months I’ve been following a small little starter company on Instagram called Green Outlook, and I finally placed my first order there last week and picked up a few bits, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

https://www.greenoutlook.ie/product-category/bathroom/

These alternatives are much better than your standard shop bought toothpaste and mouthwash. They don’t contain fluoride, so they’re less abrasive on your teeth and the packaging they come in is completely plastic free. With the toothpaste you simply apply a pea sized amount to your toothbrush with the supplied wooden spatula, and the mouthwash comes in capsules that you dissolve in 20ml of water and rinse and gargle like you normally would with regular mouthwash.

There are so many other replacements too, including using roll-on deodorant instead of aerosols, avoiding plastic packaging by buying alternatives, and basically just being more conscious of how and what you use in the bathroom. I recommend checking out GreenOutlook.ie for all they have to offer in being plastic free–everything on there has zero plastic and even the packaging it’s delivered in is from recycled materials.

I could go on forever, but I feel like that’s enough for now to bombard you guys with. If you’ve any questions, feel free to ask them and I’ll answer to the best of my abilities.

If you’re getting fed up with my #PlasticFreeJuly2019 posts, this may be the last one — no promises though!

😉

#PlasticFreeJuly2019: Stop Food Waste

Two weeks ago I made about #PlasticFreeJuly: Be More Enviromentally Friendly, and how July is being a month of awareness of how much waste we produce on this little planet of ours. While plastic is one of the massive causes, food is also a massive thing that we are wasting in our everyday lives, and that’s what I want to highlight in today’s post.

Last Monday I ventured off to a talk all about how to stop food waste and how to be more sustainable with our food/food waste. It was a very interesting talk hosted by Taz Kelleher, co-founder of Sustainable Fashion Dublin, and from that she has created Sustainable Food Dublin; along with her she had Dee Laffan of Food and Wine Ireland, Eoin Cluskey from Bread41 Dublin, and Stop Waste Ireland all sharing their tips and tricks on how you can be more aware of what you are wasting.

LRM_EXPORT_50646465177112_20190711_145210556
The 1st Sustainable Food Dublin talk

Here are some of the key things I took from the talk:

  • The making of 1 quarter-pounder burger = a 90 minute shower!
  • Even if a cup, plastic or paper, says it’s decompose-able unless you recycle it properly/put it in a compost bin, it’s actually causing more damage to the environment, due to the gasses the cup emits while in general waste. You’re better off just using reusable cups and bottles.
  • While shopping, try and avoid foods that are wrapped in plastic. If you can buy your fruits and veg loose, it’s much better than buying them in plastic. Some supermarkets allow you to discard of plastic off their produce at checkout and sometimes even have bins provided.
  • Composting is key to fueling our planets natural resources.
  • Try and avoid processed foods whenever possible.
  • Be the solution, not the problem. If you feel overwhelmed with all these new things, try take on even just 1 new habit every month. Start with reusable cups this month. Something else next month, and so on until these habits are everyday life.

Processed with VSCO with  preset
leaflets we were given at the talk

Solutions to Help Prevent Food Waste:

  • Plan your meals for the week before going shopping. Only buy as you need, never ‘just in case’.
  • Try keeping leftover foods in clear containers. You’re more likely to want to use the food quicker before it goes bad if you can see what’s in the container as opposed to coloured containers, or containers you can’t see through.
  • Try not go by best before/use by dates. Use your senses to your advantage, sight, smell and taste. Just because produce says use by 07/12/19, it’s not automatically going to go expire at midnight.
  • Buy local, buy fresh. When buying meat and fruit and veg, try shop from your local butcher, markets, and fishmongers. Also don’t be afraid to ask questions about where the produce is from.

4 Key Things You Can Do To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint:

  • Eat Less Meat — Try having one meat free day a week.
  • Buy Seasonally — find out what fruits and veg grow in each season, and try to eat them when they’re ‘in season’, as that’s when they are at their best.
  • Buy Local — buy from your local butcher, fishmonger and markets, as opposed to buying from massive supermarket chains.
  • Cut down your food waste. There’s very little food that can’t go in your food waste bin, but that doesn’t mean we should just chuck it in there. Try freezing leftover portions, or heck even feed it to the dog (once its safe for them of course).

Processed with VSCO with  preset
Free kombucha was given at the talk. I’m now reusing the bottle for my cold brew coffee.


Our generation are probably one of the most wasteful generations in existence, and it’s now more than ever that we need to become more and more aware of what we’re consuming, how we’re consuming and what we’re going to do to change that going into the future!

If you’ve any questions, feel free to ask, and I’ll answer to the best of my ability, and if I can’t answer, I’ll veer you in the right direction!

🙂

#PlasticFreeJuly: Be More Enviromentally Friendly

In the past few months, I’ve been trying to do my bit and reduce the amount of plastic waste I use in my every day life. Now, in today’s world, it’s not the easiest thing to do with plastic being almost everywhere, but at the same time, it’s not impossible and there are solutions and alternatives to stuff we use and buy every day.

I’m hopping on the #PlasticFreeJuly bandwagon, making sure I use, purchase and waste as little plastic as I physically can. Like I mentioned, I have been trying to do this over the past couple of months, so I do have a little advantage, but for those of you who feel like you would also like to join me on doing our bit to make our planet a little better, here are my tips, tricks, solutions etc.:

Coffee Cups & Water Bottles

This is probably one of the easiest things you could do starting today! How many plastic bottles do you go through? Just think about it. How many to-go coffees do you get every week? Imagine if you had a reusable coffee cup or water bottle. How many cups would you have not used? How many plastic bottles would you have avoided? If it’s between 5-7 of each, then you’re part of the problem. Get yourself a reusable coffee cup and reusable water bottle the next time you’re out. They’re not that hard to find. Most cafe’s now offer the option to purchase a reusable coffee cup while queuing, and even better again, some offer a discount if you hand them a reusable coffee cup when you order your coffee. As for the water bottle, you can get them almost anywhere. What size you get is completely up to you. I have a 500 ml bottle, a 1 litre bottle and a 2 litre bottle, and which one I use depends on what kind of day I’m going to have.

  • Disposable paper cups contain 5% polyurethane plastic, making composting and recycling of disposable cups extremely rare. — from ecoffecup.eco
  • Half a trillion disposable cups are manufactured annually around the world; that’s over 70 disposable cups for every person on the planet. — from ecoffecup.eco
  • Just one person switching to a reusable water bottle keeps 2,580 balloons of CO2 out of the air per year. Drinking from reusable water bottles can be safer then disposable bottles. For instance, a glass or stainless steel option won’t contain BPA, a harmful chemical used when making some plastics. — from add-impact.com

Processed with VSCO with n2 preset

Straws

Yes, that’s one of my iced lattes from a few blog posts ago and yes, that was indeed a stainless steel straw in the photo. Plastic straws were on of the first things I cut out when I started, and it’s also super easy to replace them, and it’s only going to get easier as more and more companies are replacing plastic with paper straws. For those of us at home it’s super easy too, paper straws are the common replacement, but for those who aren’t 100% keen on paper, you can also get other alternatives like bamboo and stainless steel straws, like pictured above. I bought my steel straws in TK Maxx, but I know lots of places are now selling them like Sostrene Grene and Flying Tiger have the paper straws.

  • In just the U.S. alone, one estimate suggests 500 million straws are used every single day. One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world’s beaches. Eight million tons of plastic flow into the ocean every year, and straws comprise just 0.025 percent of that. — from nationalgeographic.com

Shopping Bags & Produce

“A bag for life”. How many times have you seen that written on your plastic ‘reusable’ shopping bags, only to end up bringing it home and throwing it away. When it comes to shopping, try bring a reusable bag that’s not a plastic bag, or even better, try not accept a plastic bag. Most places offer a paper bag alternative, or even better, bring your own! I use this tote bag I picked up in Penney’s a while back, and if I know I’m going to be picking up a few bits, I’ll bring a backpack with me too. As for produce, this is a recent endeavor for me, where I’m more conscious about what I’m picking up and how it’s packaged. Now-a-days all our fruits and veg seem to come wrapped in plastic–why? What’s wrong with the non-plastic wrapped version? I’ll also try refrain from putting the veg into the small plastic bags they offer to put said fruit and veg in–there’s no need for it!

  • Reusable bags are sturdier than disposable bags. Each reusable shopping bag has the potential to eliminate the use of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime. Reusable bags are durable enough to be used for much more than just shopping trips. — from sites.psu.edu

Those are just some of the tips I have to share with you folks, I could probably spout on about so much more, but I don’t want to bore you guys. Hopefully I’ve gotten it across to you guys that it’s so important that we become more enviromentally conscious in everything we do, because unfortunately we can’t help that plastic is everywhere–heck, it’s even in the very air we breathe!