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Easy Sustainable Swaps

May 14, 2020

I started my sustainability journey a few years ago. Between starting an allotment, hiking, and sea swimming I was growing more and more aware of the impact our lifestyle can have on the environment. While I’m not 100% perfect (nobody is), I’ve made some really easy sustainable swaps in my day to day life that will make a difference. I do my best to use as many Irish eco-friendly brands as possible but for those that aren’t Irish I buy through Irish retailers like, The Kind and Reuzi.

To start the journey, I stopped throwing out any of the empty bottles in my bathroom for three months. Now this might sound super sloppy but I did it to show myself just how much plastic was being produced in one tiny aspect of my life. Honestly, I was horrified at the end to see the mound of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel bottles. Having that visual cue spurred me on to make some changes. Now this isn’t a call for you to throw out all of your things and replace them with more eco-friendly options! It’s more a case of slotting in the more sustainable option as your other products run out.

There can be some learning and adjusting as you navigate your way into a more sustainable way of living but here are some of the easiest sustainable swaps that have worked for me.

Shampoo & Conditioner

When running our little experiment in saving the bottles in the bathroom, I was heartbroken at the result. I used to seriously overuse my products and go through a shampoo and conditioner every week or two – I know, terrible! This has to have been one of the simplest sustainable swaps I’ve made. Instead of buying my usual bottles of shampoo and conditioner that I’d grab when doing the weekly shop I made the switch to solid bars.

There are so many gorgeous Irish brands making natural shampoo and conditioner bars. As with ‘normal’ hair products, it can take a little trial and error finding the ones that suit your hair. I’ve found that most Irish producers are happy to help you figure out what might work for you.

I tend to flit about on my shampoo and conditioners a but am currently using Dalkey Handmade Soaps shampoo and a Friendly conditioner. I’ve also used the Airmid and Three Hills Soap shampoo and conditioner bars and absolutely loved them. The cheeky bonus with using the shampoo bars is that they are amazing when traveling! You save space in your bag and if you are flying they don’t count towards your precious fluid allocation. (Terrible turn of phrase but I’m leaving it in 😳) You know what that means – more space for your other lotions and potions!

Shower Gel/Squirty Soap

The other biggie for myself and Joe was shower gel, we had been sharing bottles of shower gel and were going through roughly one a week between general washing and après sport/gym showers. The simple sustainable swap for this? Bars of soap of course! Handily, most of the suppliers that do shampoo and conditioner, also offer soap bars. There are some amazing natural soap companies popping up all over Ireland and they are just gorgeous.

The soap company I go back to time and time again is Dalkey Handmade Soaps. They are beautifully made and don’t turn to mush at the end like some brands can.

Hair Mask

I’ve never been big into hair masks but sometimes your hair just needs it. I’m noticing this more as I spend more time outdoors and in the sea. In the last few years I’ve attended natural cosmetics courses with Irish Seed Savers and have read up on natural beauty treatments in Fiann Ó Nualláin’s books to get ideas for more natural options. Instead of buying a new hair mask every few weeks, I made the sustainable swap to using coconut oil. Yes, the kind you use in your wok!

Simply melt it down, put it in the lengths of your hair, tie it up and stick a wooly hat on – this adds some warmth to help it soak in. Leave oil and hat on while you go about your business, no need to sit perfectly still to avoid drips. Once you’re done, stick your hat in the wash and wash your hair.

I find that you have to give your hair a double shampoo after but it feels great and looks so shiny when the treatment is done. Just to add, doing this treatment also has been approved by my hairdresser!

*Please don’t go out in the sun with your hair doused in coconut oil as you could essentially cook your hair…*

Toothbrush & Toothpaste

This was one of the easiest sustainable swaps I’ve made! Out with my usual plastic toothbrush in with a bamboo toothbrush. My favourite brand that I’ve used so far is Bambooth, I find the handle much more akin to a traditional toothbrush so it’s an easier adjustment. After gushing about it on my Instagram page, I was delighted to be asked to be their ambassador. For each toothbrush they sell, a donation is made to a different environmental charity depending on the colour purchased.

Now to the toothpaste, we’ve switched to Truthpaste as often as we can (unfortunately sustainable options can be a little trickier to get your hands on). I feel that my teeth are cleaner when I use it compared to traditional toothpastes. There are other brands like Georganics, that might suit you if you aren’t into Truthpaste – the texture, etc can take a little getting used to.


Deodorant is another easy swap, especially good for travel. I made the move from an aerosol deodorant to a cream alternative about two years ago and haven’t looked back. Again, this saves space when travelling and won’t take up much space in your handbag, if you want to take it with you.

I use both Warrior Botanicals and PitPutty, depending on which I can find when I need to restock. PitPutty comes in a range of scents and sizes. Both are available from most eco-friendly stores.


For body moisturiser, I’ve made the super easy swap from a lotion or moisturiser in a plastic tube, to a more sustainable one in a jar, or even better, a moisturiser bar. The body moisturiser bar that I am currently using is one of the Janni Bars and I have to say, I love it! It smells of lavender so it gives off a super relaxing scent.

For my face, I use a Sukin Rosehip Oil and Green Angel moisturiser in the morning, both are in glass containers. At night, I use the Janni Bars Honey Glow Face Balm (also in glass). I started using this a few weeks ago and my skin looks so much better!


This one can be trickier… but one really easy sustainable swap we’ve made is buying loose fruit and veg rather than those in pre-packed containers or using the plastic bags in the shop. Another gem we have found is Bunalun Organic Frozen Berries, which comes in a cardboard box. The frozen berries reduce food waste as they last so much longer. Plus, there’s the added bonus that they come in a box that can be recycled! This was a bit of a game-changer for me as I have berries in my porridge literally every morning.

There are more bits you can do when food shopping, like going to a bulk store like The Good Neighbour or The Source Bulk Foods. We regularly bring jars up to The Good Neighbour for our shopping at the weekend. This can be daunting to some, so even the little steps above, that you can do in your supermarket will make a huge difference.

These were some of the first changes we made when trying to shop and live more sustainably. They’re the foundations we started building on before changing other aspects of our lives, but the additional changes might be for another day. If you’re interested in switching to a more eco-friendly way of life, I’ve done a post on my favourite sustainable brands.

Have you tried out any of these easy sustainable swaps? Do you have any more that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments.


My Top Sustainable Irish Brands

March 28, 2020

In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to support local. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite sustainable Irish brands that I think are well worth supporting. Not only do they offer gorgeous products but you’ll also be doing your bit for our local economy and our planet.


With people trying to stay fit when remaining home, there’s been huge demand for exercise equipment. Well, let me introduce you to Huku, the sustainable fitness brand. Huku’s products are made by hand, in Donegal. I use their balance board not just for balance, but push ups and bridge too. I’ve also been attempting to squat on it – admittedly the squat hasn’t quite been mastered just yet but something to aim for…

They also offer a range of yoga wheels (Huku Moons) that help with deep stretching and posture. With every product purchased the guys will plant a native hardwood tree in Glenveagh National Park. I’m hoping to join them for one of their tree planting days in the future (fingers crossed).

You can see the full range of Huku boards and moons on the Huku Balance website.

All Things Fiona-Lily

Saving end of line stock from landfill and turning them into beautiful beacons of positivity you can wear. She offers crew necks, t-shirts, socks, totes and has just releases a range of kids crew necks. Let’s face it, we could all do with a bit of positivity right now and just look how gorgeous her products are. Fiona Lily also owns a zero waste cafe called Simply Green in Ballyshannon, which is going on my must visit list.

Check out the full range of garments on the All Things Fiona-Lily website.

Yogandha Oils

We could all do with a little calm in our lives and personally I love to stick on the defuser with some essential oils to help me relax. That said, I definitely plan on trying out the Yogandha Oils. They offer roller aromatherapy oil that you apply directly to the body. If I can bring the same zen I get from the defuser with me wherever I go, I’m all in! They are 100% natural, vegan and in recyclable and post-recycled packaging making them a fab sustainable option.

You can see the full range of product and scents on the Yogandha Oils website.

Fresh Cuts Clothing

Fresh Cuts Clothing offer high quality ethical and sustainable basics for everyday wear. They have a shop on Drury Street but also have an online store for ease. I got a jumper from Fresh Cuts in December and I love and wear it so much I’m after buying a second of the exact same jumper. Army green oversized crew necks – I genuinely live in them right now. Joe has a pair of their jeans and some t-shirts that he loves. They are unbelievable quality and their jeans will definitely be one of my next purchases.

Browse the full collection of their products on the Fresh cuts Clothing website.

Warrior Botanicals

Warrior Botanicals is a herb and botanical craft studio set in West Cork, making small-batch natural skin care. I have used their deodorant cream on many occasions and love it. There is an added bonus that you can get your empties refilled in many sustainable stores nationwide. They also offer serums, oils and balms for face and body that I plan on trying soon.

View their full collection on the Warrior Botanicals website.


Reuzi is an online store to help you get all of your essential sustainable bits. They also have a bricks and mortar shop in Foxrock, Dublin 18. From shampoo bars and soaps, among other hair and skin care options, to kitchen and living supplies, they’ll have you covered for all your sustainability needs. I’ve bought from them before both online and in store and they offer a fantastic service.

You can find all of their amazing bits on the Reuzi website.

Grown Clothing

Grown create amazing sustainable clothing made from 100% organic cotton, hemp and recycled fibres. All of their creations are inspired by the sea. I have a t-shirt and a jumper from Grown and love them! They represent my interests in sea swimming, surfing and sustainability. The company also plant a native Irish tree for every garment purchased.

They also also offer a ‘gift a tree’ service in partnership with Moy Hill Community Farm, near Lahinch. Myself and Joe purchased a native Irish tree for each of our niblings (nieces and nephew) as part of their Christmas presents. We have also used this to offset some local travel.

You can see the full range of gorgeous clothing on the Grown website.


Bambooth is a great sustainable brand created by Irish Duo Niamh McGill and Joe Finnegan, and are a fab alternative to your standard plastic toothbrush. I’ve been using sustainable toothbrushes for over two years and Bambooth are by far my favourite. Each of the Bambooth’s four colours is linked to a different conservation effort so 10c per brush is donated to a conservation group. I was thrilled when they asked me to be a Bambassador for their Forest Green brush that is linked to the Jane Goodall Institute.They also come in a sustainably made tube, making it super convenient for travel.

You can get them in loads of sustainable stores, include Reuzi mentioned above, or on the Bambooth website.

Due South

Due South are a Dublin based ethical clothing company, using eco-friendly materials, ranging from 100% organic cotton to recycled polyester. They create great quality basics with designs that pay tribute to some of Ireland most recognisable landmarks. I have their Cliffs of Moher t-shirt which is super soft and a fab colour. Recently, I’ve been thinking of reviewing their designs to plan some future trips.

For their full range visit the Due South website.

The Good Neighbour

If you’re in the Dublin area, The Good Neighbour is a fantastic zero waste grocery store in Dundrum Village. We’ve started dong our weekly shop here and can get most of our bits in the store, while drastically reducing our waste.

You can bring your empty jars and containers with you, weigh them when you go in, fill with whatever you need and then weigh again before paying, At the moment they are offering an order for collection service. You download the order form online, fill it out and send to them and when your order is ready they will text you with a SumUp link for payment. You can then collect your order or text and someone will bring it out to your car.

Check out The Good Neighbour website for full details on their collection service and a list of products

The Burren Perfumery

The Burren Perfumery is a gorgeous little company, based in The Burren on the west of Ireland. They create beautiful perfumes and cosmetics inspired by the local landscape.

Having visited the perfumery on a trip to Lahinch, I can definitely recommend a trip. You can see all of the plants that go into making the products and they offer tours so that you can learn all about their processes. I’ve used some of their serums and creams and highly recommend them. I’ve been meaning to get some of their beautiful seasonal perfumes to change things up a bit.

To see the full range, see The Burren Perfumery website.

Do you have any sustainable Irish brands that you think should make the list? Let me know in the comments.