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Who I Am

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I am Aishling Kerrigan a 24 year old globetrotter,Eco warrior, animal and yoga lover. I love being in the outdoors may it be going for a hike,sea swim or even a surf.

By the age of 21 I had a degree in environmental protection and just over a year later myself and my partner left to travel South America. This ended up being two years of travelling the world experiencing many cultures and experiences I will never forget.

We are now home over a year and I had felt since living back in Ireland that my every day job was just part of the fast retail and all that bothered everybody was making targets and no thought went into our waste or our effect we were having on our local area and environment as a whole. This really stuck a cord with me and felt a change was needed for me. I am delighted to have approached the wonderful Fiona McIntyre at The Natural Company Ireland to engage in a form of lifestyle that I was searching for in such a small sea side town.

For me travelling through both third world and first world countries I had become greatly saddened and immensely aware of the plastic pollution problem throughout the countries we had traveled to. It was heartbreaking to see even deserted beaches of Indonesia covered in plastic to the countryside's of South America. This is only to name a few, it is quite shocking to see not only plastic pollution but rubbish in general. I know the world we live in will never be perfect and clear of all the rubbish but piece by piece we can gain back natural beauty in areas that are being lost due to our lack of education and convenience shopping.

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So for me pursuing a more plastic free and conscious way of living has been on my mind for many years and it was time to act and do more for the environment and more for the planet that I enjoy exploring.

For me it has been difficult at times coming from a small country farm house in County Leitrim. To becoming the 'black sheep' sort of speaking within the family. I had grown up seeing rubbish being burnt in the back-garden to bins being filled incorrectly and large amounts of food being wasted.  I felt this was something i did not want to contribute to for my adult life. So for me this was a huge step in a direction that I was not brought up in but it was something I felt very strongly about and wanted to help make a difference, I knew it was something I had to.

I have been so lucky to have met an amazing partner who supports me and loves nature and adventures as much as I do. We have grown up in opposite ends of the world and it has been interesting to see the differences in culture in terms of education,and the effects we as humans have in the surrounding environment.

It has been interesting when i look back on what way I was taught in school about the environment. There didn't seem to be much emphasis placed on our wildlife or what happens to the water bottle that is discarded on the side of a road. You were just taught the basic three words Reduce, Reuse and Recycle but there is much more involved in this. The reality is these are issues that are still happening to this day around many parts of Ireland. To be honest I could talk all day about waste being dumped or about animals both in the marine world and terrestrial world dying due to what we have and are continuing to cause both locally and internationally.

In order to stop this vicious cycle of environmental catastrophe taking place. Adults and children need to become more aware of the impacts of pollution and the reasons for animal extinction. For this to happen education needs to be key in this process and starting at the younger generations is important to our planets future and the future of our society.

In saying that we all need to do our part and be examples to our little ones or children who look up to us. Becoming more conscious of our actions, even if it means taking the less convenient route sometimes. You will feel good for it in the end and for doing your part for the planet we live on. To finish up I thought I would recommend three switches that everyone can achieve and in some cases save you money in the long run.

Switch 1: Water Bottle

Did you know Ireland alone disposes 2,000 water bottles per person annually. With such a staggering figure it makes sense for all of us to own a reusable bottle.

I Personally drink a lot of water daily so I have two bottles to keep me hydrated throughout the day. A bottle can range any where in price so there is one to suit everybody's price range.

Switch 2: Toothbrush

It was difficult to find an exact figure for Ireland but I felt this figure from the United States was staggering. Between 850 Million to 1 Billion toothbrushes are discarded each year and end up in landfill. Not only this but they are made from a combination of plastics and crude Oil. Hence they remain in landfill indefinitely.

By swapping to a bamboo toothbrush that decomposes within six months in a composter is the best may to go. Be careful though when you are purchasing as some bamboo toothbrushes have their bristles made from nylon, which need to be removed before disregarding your toothbrush.

Switch 3: Reusable Coffee Cup (Keep Cup)

Did you know in Ireland as of 2018 we as a country dispose of 22,000 disposable cups EVERY Hour! This is a mind-blowing figure and is something that can be stopped by all coffee shops and facilities that have disposable cups on offer. Even if it is a compostable cup, dispose of it in the correct manner as these do not decompose in a general waste bin.

I myself have a few cups as you never know when you would need a second cup. It is easy and convenient to leave one in your car or your work bag and that way it is at your reach whenever you are on the go. Don't worry if it's dirty going in to a store they can simply just run hot water in the cup before refilling.

The Natural Company sells hand-blown glass cups which are great on the go and also look great. They are easy to wash and keep liquids warm for just the right amount of time. Click Here to Shop

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If there is one thing you get from reading this is to become more conscious when you buy or even better if you switch to one of the above alternatives it would make a huge difference. Even if we ourselves do not see the differences, the change is happening somewhere just the same way the destruction is happening to our ecosystem and our planet.  We all can help combat the issues that we are facing as a planet and as a community. Be thankful for our surroundings and think of the bigger picture the world is a beautiful place.

img_20190116_195812 New Zealand

img_20190116_195950 The Streets of Vietnam

By : Aishling Kerrigan

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