My Waste Free Home is here!

myfh1

Yes, it is finally here and I am finally set up to manage my own house-hold waste myself, on site and actually saving money in the process! Getting the house waste free organised and ready was tough and I still have lots to do, but as I said at the beginning this is a lifestyle and my whole house will need to row in behind me. Now I do have a very small tin trash can with a biodegradable (Earth Rated Dog Poop) bag – as the liner, just incase my family or visitors bring me some items that I have not planned for or cannot recycle!

TrashedTo celebrate the start of this exciting venture for me and hopefully others will follow – saving tones of waste from landfill, I have a copy of  ‘TRASHED’  the amazing film starring Jeremy Irons, to give away to one lucky winner.

All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is:

Go to My Waste Free Home’s Facebook page and LIKE it.

If you don’t care for Facebook then please leave me a message or email me at claire@clairelewis.ie.

Be sure and keep checking my blog to find out all about my trials and tribulations, how much I am saving, the benefits of taking on a challenge like this to all of your family – bringing OUR waste problem HOME where we can show our children and others that we CAN do something positive to make a difference.

 

The Claire Lewis ‘Trashed’ Film Review

Trashed

What an AMAZING thought provoking and sometimes chilling film. I received the DVD copies sent so kindly by the film company behind the movie. One as a gift for me and to make sure I was practicing what I preached when I suggested as part of The Less Is More Challenge to watch the film ‘Home’ and the film ‘Trashed’. I also received two other copies one which went straight to Ms O’Keeffe and the students of Coachford College, Coachford, Co Cork, Ireland for their amazing participation in The Less Is More Schools Challenge for 2013.

The third will be part of a competition I will be running for My Waste Free Home – I set this up the day after watching the film – powerful viewing!!

The film was so chilling because it encapsulated the fact that we have reached the point of no return. The problem now goes back to each and every one who has a trash can and a recycling bin in their homes – we need to reconnect with the fact the when we throw something “out” or “away”, these terms just basically mean we are dumping the trash in our lands or burning it and will in turn eat it in some form or another.

Jeremy Irons was so perfect for the role as he was on point, funny and could deal with the crap that gets churned out by official people and people of power and he was not intimidated by anyone. He just wanted to find the facts about TRASH. What it is? What it does to the human body? Why are we leaving this happen? And What can we do about it?

The Film in my opinion is something that as a part of the consuming population it should be MANDITORY that you watch this. People historically dont care once the mess is not on their door step!! Well we now know that the mess is not only on your door step it is everywhere and is getting worse.

Check out the Trashed website Here.

My Waste Free Home Ireland – Starting Monday July 1st 2013

myfh1

After watching the film Trashed starring Jeremy Irons – I first felt a mixture of emotions such as rage, sadness and a huge drive to follow out my dreams of making a difference in the world. The idea for A Waste Free Home became more apparent. Sorting out my own trash problem,  and my families trash problem out in my own home. Reverting items that were usually sent to landfill because I have no where else to send them – partly because I too have relied on the convenience of paying someone to magically make my trash problem disappear – the term “throwing things OUT” comes to mind.

People need to take account for their own trash problem and governments need to step up and start following San Fransisco’s zero waste model. In San Francisco it is a federal offence not to adhere to the 0 waste model and sort out your trash, even if you are visiting the city!

My Waste Free Home will be a home where I have NO Trash Bin going to Landfill or Recycling bin that costs me money. I will sort all of my own recycling and deposit for FREE at my local recycling facility. I will also have to really get to know the products and produce that I can buy that will allow me to recycle EVERY part of the packaging. This will probably be the most difficult part as we all know packaging is confusing and sometimes excessive and I have no idea how some companies get away with producing a product that majority of the time is worth LESS than the packaging. I also am not alone in my home I have a hungry (not so green) husband and a three year old (going to be very green) little girl, both of whom love items already that come in not so recyclable packaging that I will need to find a way to either 1) Hand Back the Packaging when I purchase it or 2) Find a replacement product that comes in recyclable packaging…..!

I am lucky to be able to get great green companies to support my endeavours such as Great Green Systems who have kindly donated a Green Johanna and Original Organics who donated a Pet Poo Loo Wormery . I am now all set to deal with the waste that I was usually sending to landfill – with two dogs and a daily poo to clean from each I used to send them to landfill in biodegradable bags. And the only other items to go into my trash bin was food waste and some packaging that couldn’t be recycled.

I will be dedicating a section of my home to a recycling depot. My local authority recycling centre will receive my recycling waste on a weekly basis. I will also be visiting my local authority recycling centres around the country and documenting my findings, bringing you as much information as possible to help you make informative decisions about YOUR waste.

I am not saying this will be easy – it would if I lived on my own, but I have to coax the whole family into my way of thinking. I my mind my way of thinking is the correct way in terms of the environment and how we can do our bit. I am putting it down as a family carbon offset – if we work hard all year on My Waste Free Home we can cash in on our family holiday!!  Not only the money we save on our bins but also the CO2 saved on the following:

1) Landfill not only the physical space the waste would have occupied but also the environmental lechet and other nasties that would follow.

2) Transport from the waste truck pick up at our home going all around the city back and forth and the machinery at the landfill needed to burry and dig – big diesel guzzlers!! Lots of CO2 saved here.

3) The purchase of bought Compost – No need to purchase this as I will be making my own very excellent two varieties of compost. One from the pet poo (perfect for the non edible plants) and one from the Hot Composter (perfect for the veggies).

4) I will be cutting back completely on items that are packaged in non recycling packaging and emailing the company to tell them so! This can only be good for the environment and not so good for the company – named and shamed also!!

My motto is to ‘make it cool to care about the environment’ and I also hope to drive you all to make simple, manageable, informative steps to change towards living as Environmentally Responsible as possible.

If you would like to know more or get involved please contact me below:

email: mywastefreehome@gmail.com

Facebook: My Waste Free Home 

Instagram: /clairelewisco

Twitter: @claireLOK

Linked In: http://ie.linkedin.com/pub/claire-o-keeffe-lewis/24/782/4b7

I am Woman of the Month on AmiaOnline Magazine – totally Chuffed!

amiaonline

I was lost for words and totally chuffed to pieces this morning when I went to have a peek at my interview for online magazine amia. Editor Jan totally had the element of surprise when I realised that I was Woman of the Month – Totally blown away and honored. Thank You to Jan and all the team at amia for this great recognition. It is sometimes really hard when you are sitting in front of a computer all alone, trying to get your thoughts into action.  All the blood, sweat and tears that go into my work can sometimes feel to be in vein – because of the fact that I rarely meet the people I have an effect on it is difficult to see the change or the appreciation for my work. This major appreciation and recognition couldn’t have come at a better time! It is also like a very early birthday present as May is my birthday month and also one of my favourite months – so what better issue to be Woman of the month than May 🙂

amia magazine is a great read with lots of powerful stories that will inspire you, lots of fun things to do and healthy alternatives. The best thing is it is online so no magazine waste, but it is jam-packed with great reading!

THE MAY 2013 ISSUE:

WOMAN OF THE MONTH.

Each month we will profile “unsung heroes” – the kind of women who inspire others around them without realising it. Often, we will go “undercover” to do this as the women we profile will probably not see themselves as heroes. This is our chance to let them know they are.

Claire Lewis is a wife, mum, author and nature lover. She started Claire Lewis Co. to inspire people to connect more with the world in which they live. She set up the Less is More Challenge to coincide with Earth Day (22nd April) 2013 and to inspire people to think a little differently about their use of resources on that day and subsequently. Claire lives in Dublin and says that she was “born an earth scientist and will die an earth scientist” and that her goal is be one who has made a little difference

  • Tell us a little bit about your life, lifestyle and interests……

“Going forward, I know that the earth, the environment and living in an environmentally responsible way will become more and more important. Teaching (rather than preaching to) people is why I started the Claire Lewis Company – Making it Cool To Care About the Environment.  This is all about giving tips on how to start making small changes, plus ideas to reuse things and DIY projects to get you on your “Green Path”.

“My life is pretty hectic. I am married with a three year old daughter and two dogs. As well as doing my own work, I also work part time in an events company. My main focus in my life is on implementing ways I can make a difference, whilst educating my daughter too. Children follow your lead and I am hoping that she will develop this mentality of doing things with the earth in mind.”

  • Tell us about the Less is More Challenge and where the idea came from?

The Less Is More Challenge was born out of a blog post that I wrote on March 30th   (https://clairelewisco.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/less-is-more/) I was trying to stir up people’s thinking – to prompt them to think, “How did we get into the situation we have found ourselves in?”

The LESS IS MORE CHALLENGE asks people taking part to do as many of the following as possible:

1. Pack a lunch for work.

2. Use a reusable bottle for your water – Bobble Bottles are great for filtering as you go and are offering a discount during Earth Month.

3. Do not purchase Clothing for one day. But if you have to try and only purchase clothing that give back and make an effort to tackle environmental issues in the production of the product. I don’t think in one day you will in counter a fashion emergency!!

4. Swap a Chemical Based home cleaning product for an ECO alternative, two of my favourite companies are Lilly’s Eco Clean & Ecover.

5. Discover Terracycle and the ways you can help to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”!

6. Buy local organic produce or pre think your shop for the week to reduce food waste.

7. Plant a Tree and/or a plant that native bee’s like.

8. Cycle to work or take public transport.

9. Watch the film HOME & film Trashed.

10. Just open your mind for one day to the little things you can do to instil change in our world globally.

“Knowing that Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year I worked towards setting a challenge that everyone could participate in. I love psychology and part of the challenge for me was trying to impact on every-day people, like my husband, who on a regular day wouldn’t stop to think about the earth, environment, climate change or their own role in all of these issues. So I devised the challenge to contain 10 suggestions that would have a positive impact on the environment – but would also be easily completed by those who took the challenge. I have learned that people will change and listen to what you have to say once you do it in a positive way. If you start preaching about all the negative stuff in the world, this will help no-one and will overwhelm people. This could impact on my drive and the cause would be doomed.”

“It is important to keep positive and strive towards each individual having a positive view of their environment, keeping informed and taking an active role in improving things. Hopefully, one day this will lead to a neutral or positive impact on the earth!”

  • What were the main things you are hoping to achieve through the challenge?

“I set out with the view that if I had a positive impact on just one person that would be fantastic! Earth Day occurs once a year and if this one person took on the challenge and succeeded then maybe they might keep up one or two of the suggestions all year. Then when the Less Is More Challenge links to Earth Day 2014, who knows what that person will do to challenge themselves for the next year? For some people, it is a baby step process. There are others (like me) who were born with the switch firmly on, in the quest for the “perfect world” where people have a positive impact instead of all the currently negative ones.”

  • What do you think the main successes have been so far?

“Well, I can safely say I have beaten my quota of one person – I have over 420 people taking the challenge via Facebook. The special thing for me is that I set the whole thing up three weeks before Earth Day and the response was amazing and speedy. I even had a school – Coachford College in Co. Cork, Ireland totally embrace the challenge. They even planted a tree in my challenge’s honour. The success was so great that I am building on creating an awareness so that The Less Is More Challenge can be actively completed every day and not just for Earth Day. I would like Earth Day to be more of a celebration of actively participating the whole year round! Imagine that! If my dream came true for this, it would be amazing.”

“I have also set up The Less Is More Schools Challenge, which has slightly different challenge suggestions. More tailored to the student lifestyle and environment. Students are always eager to learn ways that they can make a difference and this challenge is a great way for even one interested class to get the whole school involved.”

“Another great success for me was the eager involvement of big green brands, as I call them. Brands like Ecover, TerraCycle, Lilly’s Eco Clean and the film Trashed (starring Jeremy Irons) were all very supportive and eager to lend themselves, their products and their brands to get on board and create an awareness of The Less Is More Challenge.”

  • How do you think more people can get involved in doing things that can make a positive difference to the world?

“To anyone looking to know “Where do I start?” I would say – go online and get searching for blogs, and companies to give you pointers about how to get involved. If people do not actively think about the earth, they will have no idea about all the debates, the hot topics and ideas, how to make changes, etcetera. My company (Claire Lewis Co) is just one example of the type of company I am talking about – I set it up with the view of ‘Making it Cool to Care About the Environment.” I I blog regularly about a whole lot of ways to help you start to personally make a change. I believe that it is not necessarily people’s fault if they do not actively think about the environment on a daily basis – it should be a learned behaviour so should be taught in schools and encouraged by governments and employers.”

“Just like brushing your teeth, 99.9% of people do this on twice a day because we were taught to do so when young to keep our teeth in good condition. Well let’s start teaching that the earth is like our teeth  – we need to care for it at least twice a day!”

  • What are some of the main things that you think can get in the way of this?

“I find that most people do care about the welfare of the earth and the environment – they just have not learned that their own active involvement means a lot. Similar to my tooth brushing example, we just need to recondition people’s mind-sets and things will change. More people will begin to ask questions and demand answers. For example, we are all brain- washed by large multinationals who for years have marketed products in such a way that allowed them to become market dominant brands. These brands may not have very good environmental practices or be good for the consumers. What we need are consumers who will go to the till and ask questions, such as: –

“How is this manufactured?”

“How am I supposed to know what these ingredients when I am not a scientist?”

“How are your employees treated when they make this product?”

“Why do you use toxic chemicals and how do you dispose of them?”

“People are busy – sometimes governments need to manage what companies are selling. We need to a greater emphasis on greener products and services and this must be government led.”

  • Which people have inspired you to want to make a difference?

“The main people to inspire me are Ecopreneur & TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky; Virgin boss Richard Branson and of course my husband Daniel Lewis! These guys are super positive and have “can do” attitudes – they are also not afraid of failing. I also just have this overwhelming urge to follow my passion which concerns all things to do with the Earth!”

  • What do you say to those people who say, “It’s too late” or “What difference can I make?”

“I would tell them my snowflake story and let them make up their own minds:

Each tiny snowflake is as individual as you are – beautiful, intricate designs as unique as your finger prints. Some are smaller than others and some bigger.  Collectively the snowflakes fall from the sky and can cover continents. But imagine if each tiny snowflake said, “Oh no, I can’t fall from the sky – I am so tiny that I will not make a difference?”

  • Where do you get your own drive from to keep your quest going?

“I think it’s a combination of traits. I come from a working class family – my dad worked and my mum stayed at home and was very environmentally friendly without even knowing it. I learned a lot from her and she is also an incredibly hard working person. My dad was very good with his hands and he was always in his shed, working and maintaining things. He was also the one who nurtured my love for animals. We always had a dog and he even bought us chickens, which I was in charge of – of course!”

There was always a huge emphasis on education in my home and we were encouraged to do what we enjoyed in college. I loved school but I really, really had to work my little cotton socks off and for that I am very pleased. This gave me my steely determination and dedication – without this trait I think success would be difficult.”

  • What are your hopes for the future?

“Where do I start? I have so many! My main area of focus is on writing children’s books. I want to be a successful children’s author, planting tiny little seeds in children’s minds and growing into full on love affairs with the earth and environment around them.  I know I have plenty of material for this task – it’s all running around in my head just waiting to explode. I am just waiting for my first book ‘The Soother Cycle’ to be released so I can see where this takes me.”

“I want to grow The Less Is More Challenge into a very successful awareness campaign that gets results worldwide. I also want to focus on getting into schools as this is a major area where we can improve the level of practical knowledge our young students have to go out into the world and so they know what steps they can take to make their lives more environmentally responsible.”

“I have just undertaken the Live Below The Line Challenge where I will need to live on €1.19 for 5 days and within that budget, cover all my eating and drinking costs!!  I think I may be the only person in Ireland doing this challenge and I love getting people to think, “Wow, I wonder what that is and could I give it a go?”

“There are a few other projects that I am working on at the moment that all centre around getting people involved in living environmentally responsibly and having a positive affect on the earth. So keep tuned in and follow my blog for more J”

Blog:

https://clairelewisco.wordpress.com/

Email me: claire@clairelewis.ie

Coachford College – The School who took and trialled The Less Is More Schools Challenge & made it a Success!

DSC_0262

I have never been so pleased, proud and excited when I received an email from Ms.O’Keeffe to inform me that the students in Coachford College Co.Cork Ireland, where really interested in The Less Is More Schools Challenge and how could they get involved. It went from an initial email to the end result of:

  • Poster Competitions to be placed around the school to highlight the simple ways people within the school could make a difference which the winner received a Bobble Bottle
  • A Tree planting to celebrate Earth Day with a beautiful Amalanchier tree that was so kindly donated by Griffins Garden Centre
  • A Power Point Presentation of Earth Day. Questions such as Q. What is Earth Day. Q.Why is it important to take care of the Earth Q.A Challenge to everyone to participate in The Less Is More Schools Challenge on Monday 22nd, Earth Day. Q. Do you know where your rubbish goes.

It really was an amazing achievement by all and Ms.O’Keeffe informes me that the students really enjoyed learning about the Earth but also passing the message onto others. Caring about the earth and the environment is an enjoyable experience as it gives us a feel good factor that we have taken steps to do something positive.

As a present to all the students of Coachford College Co Cork, Ireland – I have received a DVD copy of The Film Trashed starring Jeremy Irons. I hope that you can persuade Ms.O’Keeffe to let you watch it soon and if you also wanted to conduct a little competition you can all write about your thoughts once you viewed it. Send them onto me and I will judge the winner and your prize will be a guest blogger on my blog!

A big pat on the back again to you all for showing what simple steps can achieve and I hope your tree collection grows into your very own little forest!

Thank You from Claire Lewis & The Less Is More Schools Challenge see you all again next year but until then keep up the good work 🙂

Trashed logoEarthTagWebHigher

The Less Is More Schools Challenge

EarthTagWebHigher

My goal when starting The Less Is More Challenge was to reach out to as many people as possible and try in my own little way to get people to have a little sit down with their Earth Conscience and maybe instill change for the only purpose of making Earth a happier place for all….! Never could I have imagined the response from people all over the world taking up The Challenge and the desire from others to help as much and as best as they could. The Facebook page to date is not even 2 weeks old and already the response is over 200Likes which also converts to Less Is More Challengers. Press interest and the amazing support of global and national Green/Eco Brands such as TerraCycle, Lilly’s Eco Clean, The Film Trashed – starring Jeremy Irons, Ecover and many more. It really has been an amazing week and a half, and with momentum building for Earth Day on April 22nd it will be an even busier week and a half to go – but like you all I am Up For The Challenge!!

Due to the interest from schools all over Ireland I have decided to launch The Less Is More  Schools Challenge. Still the same concept as the main challenge but just tailored to suit the needs of the teenage population..I assume changing from Chemical Based to Eco Based cleaning products would be of no Challenge to a teenager!!??? I am just assuming so if I offend anyone please forgive me your parents must be delighted you like to clean 🙂

So just for the younger generatio, Earth Day 2013 is nearly here, show your support in some small way that together will make a massive difference. For one day take 10 suggestions and see if it changes your lifestyle forever?!

All you got to do as part of the LESS IS MORE CHALLENGE is to do as many of the following:

  1. Pack a lunch for school.
  2. Use a reusable bottle for your water – Bobble Bottles are great for filtering as you go and are offering a discount during Earth Month.
  3. Do not purchase Clothing for one day. But if you have to try and only purchase clothing that give back and make an effort to tackle environmental issues and sustainability in the production of the product .
  4. Turn off Lights, computers, TV’s and any other electrical item that consumes electricity.
  5. Unplug mobile phone chargers when not in use as they still consume electricity when left plugged in!
  6. Recycle & discover TerraCycle and the ways you can help to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”
  7. Plant a Tree and/or a plant that native bee’s LIKE.
  8. Walk, Cycle or take public transport as often as you can.
  9. Watch the film HOME & film Trashed starring Jeremy Irons.
  10. Just open your mind for one day to the little things you can do to instill change in our world globally.

The core of the LESS IS MORE SCHOOLS CHALLENGE is to tackle peoples acceptance to the emphasis on consumerism resulting in ginormous global waste issues and global warming. We all have the ability to change starting with ourselves and if for one day we all had a little think about our own personal journey and lifestyle then it could start something special. Let April 22nd 2013 be the day that YOU take up the CHALLENGE.

Go to the Less Is More Facebook page and all you have to do to register is LIKE the page and share a comment on what LESS IS MORE CHALLENGE you are going to set yourself on Monday 22nd of April 2013.

On the Facebook page check out the brands that are getting behind the challenge and offering discounts or freebies, send us a picture or some feed back of how you got on during your LESS IS MORE  SCHOOLS CHALLENGE or for just a general earthy chat…

Twitter  #lessismore

The very best of luck and most importantly ENJOY!!

If you would like to get involved in this challenge please email lessismore@clairelewis.ie

The Following Brands are Proudly Supporting the Less Is More Challenge for Earth Day, April 22nd 2013

Trashed logoThe Soother Cycle LogoThe Upcycle MovementTerraCycle Logo-green-vectornewlillys Eco Clean LogoCL_Logo_Colour-01Ecover Logo October 2011