By Claire Downey, Executive at CRNI
There are so many environmental, social and economic benefits to re-using – from saving on carbon emissions to creating local jobs and training opportunities and investing in the local community. However, it isn’t always easy to make re-use part our everyday lives and very often it’s hard to know where to start.
In my experience, it’s easiest to develop one new habit at a time based on which kinds of actions will work for you and your lifestyle or location. You might not have access to a lot of second hand goods locally, but could start to bring a travel mug with you to get it refilled or could talk to your neighbours about sharing tools.
When I stopped buying new clothes, I started a habit of dropping into my local charity shop whenever I have time for a quick scan or going to a Babymarket (which both have great social benefits too!). If I don’t have time for those and want something very specific, I’d always check free options first at FreeTrade Ireland or WeShare (where you can also borrow!) and then buying on Adverts.
Finding helpful and quality local repair services also helps to make repair attractive (see the National Repair Directory here). I’m delighted to have found a master cobbler near our CRNI offices just this week, who does fantastic shoe repairs (including for celebrities like Beyonce!) and has rescued some of my very hard worn heels. Up until now, my old scruffy shoes were building up as other cobblers I’d tried kept turning down jobs or were less reliable.
Another new part of my reuse (refill) routine is making yoghurt at home – it took a while to get used to, as there are a few steps – but now I don’t have to buy & throw away yoghurt pots and instead reuse my own jars.
I still have a lot more to do, and a big bugbear at the moment is restaurants & cafes that automatically add straws to children’s drinks. I just keep forgetting to ask them not to. So that’s my next habit to form.
Check out the suggestions on our “Learn” page for more ideas of what you could take on. And since habits take 21 days to form, there’s still time this reuse month to get one going!