17 Tiny Actions You Can Take Today To Create A Better Future For Northern Ireland

Tiny Actions

It may not feel like you can help the environment on your own, but one small recycling or reusing gesture can have a huge impact. What #OneMoreThing will you do?


Invest in a reusable water bottle.

Make this the year you avoid single-use plastics. Carrying a reusable water bottle will help you reduce waste, save money and drink more water. Get a bottle with a built-in filter and refill it from the tap.


Quit asking for plastic straws in bars.

A cocktail takes 15 minutes to drink but a plastic straw can take 200 years to degrade (and will never be gone from the earth). Tell the bartender you don’t need a straw or buy a reusable stainless steel one.


Donate food to NI’s only public fridge.

The community fridge in Clough Mills allows food that would’ve been thrown out to be shared by local people. It helps families save money and reduces waste. Find out more here.


Carry a reusable coffee cup. 

Disposable coffee cups can’t be recycled easily as most are lined with plastic so buy a reusable one and take it to your local coffee shop. Some places in NI even offer a discount if you BYO cup!


Shop at local farmers' markets.

You’ll be supporting our fantastic local farmers and food producers. Not only that, the food you buy will have less plastic packaging than it will in the supermarkets. 


Download useful apps.

Bin-Ovation alerts you to bin day and has tons of recycling tips. Download it free from App Store or Google Play - it covers six council areas. Or get the Binformation app from App Store or Google Play.


Take old clothes to charity shops.

Taking clothes to charity shops prevents them being sent to landfill. Even if your old clothes aren’t in good condition, it’s worth doing as some charities get money for rags.


Find out where your local recycling centre is.

You may recycle your food scraps but are you also recycling things like old mobile phones? Click here to visit the Recycling Locator, pop in your postcode and find a place near you that’ll take your junk off your hands.


Grow your own herbs.

Growing your own herbs indoors will save you money and reduce plastic waste as herbs in supermarkets are often sold in plastic bags. It'll bring a little chunk of the outdoors into your kitchen!


Save energy at home.


br> Small steps at home will save money as well as energy. Replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient ones and unplug appliances instead of leaving them on standby overnight.


Say no to plastic cutlery.

When you get your lunchtime takeaway, tell the café you don’t need plastic cutlery. Keep a metal set in your office desk drawer instead or buy a reusable bamboo set.


Keep your reusable shopping bags at hand.

The most useful kind is probably the nylon kind that folds up neatly. Stash them in your car. And when you do your grocery shopping don’t forget to put them back!


Learn to cook with leftover food.

Raid the fridge and cook up a food waste storm with chef Paula McIntyre’s tips. She explains how to give leftover bread, cheese, veg and chicken a new lease of life here.


Give away things that can be reused.

If you’ve got an old bit of furniture you don’t use any more, why not give it to someone who needs it? Freecycle is about keeping good stuff out of landfills. Click here to find a group near you.


Invest in smart appliances.

Try gadgets that make life easier and save energy. Did you know you can get smart lightbulbs that last for up to 25 years and can be controlled with your smartphone? Read about some gadgets of the future here.


Fill your food caddy.

A food caddy will help to reduce the waste you send to landfills. Toss in all food scraps from meal prep - even small amounts of kitchen roll. If you've yet to order one from your council, find out where here.


If you have kids, teach them to recycle.

We asked a group of school children in Northern Ireland what they know about recycling.

Hey, you! ? What small change can you make to recycle more? Let us know using #onesmallthingMyNI on Twitter or Instagram @MyNiLife or in the comments below. 

What do you think?