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eco-fashion friday finds – inspired by ireland

Ah, the emerald isle. With St Patrick’s Day on the horizon, we look to the Irish today for some eco fashion inspiration.

ecofashion ireland

The Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, Dublin encourages everyone to rediscover the value of waste. It’s a community-oriented enterprise providing work and training to anyone interested in re-using and re-designing “tossed” materials, creating useful fashion, accessories, homewares, furniture and even refurbished bicycles.

green label ireland

The dresses above were produced with 100 percent recycled materials for their 2013 Green Fashion Label Spring Line. The Centre also offers training programs in dressmaking for anyone interested in re-fashioning materials that would otherwise wind up in a landfill. Awesome project! more @ (more…)

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Friday, March 14, 2014

three eco tips for keeping your hiking trip as environmentally friendly as possible

couple hiking

There’s nothing quite like getting out into the open air with your family.

Doing so is a great way to free yourself from the stresses of daily life as hiking, like many outdoor activities, improves general fitness, keeps a mind healthy and lowers the risk of an early death (if you are active for seven hours a week, your risk of dying early is 40% lower than someone active for less than 30 minutes a week).

At the same time however, it is important that when we do go out hiking into the great British countryside, that we try and minimalise our impact on the environment as much as possible.

Here are three tips for looking after the environment when you’re hiking:

1. Campsites are found not created
If you plan on camping while on a particularly lengthy hike, one of the golden rules is to find a campsite that already exists rather than creating one yourself (unless of course, you have no other choice).

If you plan on staying in an area for more than one day, try and move your tent every night to minimalise the impact that you leave on the grass. At the same time however, keep your campsite small and do not create any structures such as furniture or trenches.


2.  Remember not to feed the animals you find
Unless you have explicit permission from some sort of authority, it is important that you do not feed any of the wildlife that you encounter. Take special precautions when packing away food to ensure that you do not leave any wrappers or containers that may pollute or harm wildlife.

Remember also, that it may be some time before you come along a bin (or trashcan if you happen to be American), so carry a resealable plastic bag with you for your food.

Also, remember that if you wash your dishes, do not do so in a lake or shallow river as doing so may contaminate the water for the animals living nearby. It is advised to wash your pots, plates and pans at least 200 feet away from any water source.

couple at campfire

3.  If you’re building a fire, be responsible
Though it will get cold at night, in the heat of the summer, fire can easily get out of control and start forest fires. Although we do not have them quite as regularly in the UK, they are still a major concern for the summer time.

In 2013, Epping Forest caught fire, meaning that over 60 firefighters had to respond to the issue, causing chaos at the Olympic Park nearby. It was also reported that the London Fire Brigade had dealt with more than 500 grass fires in the month of July alone.

If you want to know anything else about looking after the countryside when you’re out and about, take a look at the Countryside Code here.

But are any outdoor brands doing their bit?
Thankfully there are a number of brands both in the UK and the U.S. that have pledged to reduce their impact on the environment.

The North Face clothing company for example, works hard to maintain a sustainable business and has decreased its U.S. emissions by 25% over the last six years.

Similarly, Craghoppers, who supply outdoor equipment and clothing throughout the world, maintains a strict standard of responsibility, especially when it comes down to waste management, recycling and ethical trading.

If you really want to curb the impact of what you see and do while in the countryside, then there is no better way of doing this than finding out just where your favorite companies stand on important issues such as the environment.

tent in woods

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