About Me

Me speaking about Living with Less Plastic from the GIY stage at Bloom in the Park 2019

I believe in a life that is simple, kind and joyous

Life is so complicated these days and it’s getting harder and harder to live well in a sustainable and ethical manner. A little bit of knowledge makes sustainable living that much easier and that’s what this website is all about.

And here’s a little about me;

My husband, two kids and I live in South Dublin, Ireland. I’m am a designer with a passion for visual beauty, all forms of problem solving, socially beneficial initiatives and human connections.

I started researching sustainable living after discovering in 2016 that standard single-use coffee cups were neither recyclable nor compostable. This was all the more shocking considering that at the time of discovery I had been in charge of policy production for an environmental political party for 4 years. I wondered what else I didn’t know and so set off to find out, recording what I was learning in a blog, which was to eventually become this website.

I’m proof that small changes do make a difference. Our bin charges are a third of families with a similar set up, and this is just one of the sustainable choices that help us save €2500 – €3000 per annum. Our carbon footprint is also 88% of the UK target and we use 20% less resources than the earth can replenish every year, i.e. if everyone lived like us, human life on this planet wouldn’t be in the danger it currently is. And we do all this while driving a car, eating some meat and without living a life of penury.  To find out more click on this link for articles about my personal zero waste journey

Media Appearances – I was invited onto the morning breakfast show of Ireland AM on the 29th of September 2020 to talk about easy steps towards sustainable living.

I’ve spoken on the Claire Byrne Live Show, RTE 1, about waste reduction (14th Jan 2019) and food waste (13th May 2019) and sustainable laundry (21st Oct 2019).

I’ve also done quick pieces on radio on all aspects of sustainable living including;

And contributed to the following newspaper and website articles including;

I also contributed to a booklet on Green Living by the national newspaper Irish Independent



Talks – I have given talks on living sustainably and zero waste living to GIY groups, community groups, at multiple Zero Waste Festivals, at the Food Festival in Airfield in 2018, at the Love Your Home Show in March 2019 and on the GIY stage at Bloom in the Park 2019.

Some of the topics I talk about include;

  • Preventing Waste in the Kitchen
  • Creating a Stylish Sustainable Wardrobe
  • Raising Zero Waste kids
  • Toxin-free Cleaning
  • Living a clutter free life; and how to rehome the rest.
  • Sustainability on a Shoestring

If you’re a company I charge €200 for a 60 minute talk.  To date I’ve given talks to or on behalf of the following organisations.

Consultancy – I am also available to do home or work visits with individuals and organisations on how to move towards sustainable living and businesses. If you’d prefer just adhoc advise as and when you need it then consider supporting my work with a monthly donation via the website Patreon

Support my Work
I don’t do sponsored posts or accept gifts. Instead, I rely on the support of my readers. If you enjoyed my writing then please share some of my articles, buy me a coffee on Ko-fi, or make a small monthly donation via Patreon, or a one-time donation via Paypal

Dublin, Ireland

PS – if you’re having trouble following my website let me know at living lightly in ireland @ gmail . com (delete spaces before emailing)

PPS – I’ve you’d like to hear from me more regularly than my weekly articles then follow me on Facebook or Instagram, or both!

21 thoughts on “About Me

  1. fairweatherpaddler – Ireland – I am a dreamer who longs for a little patch of ground that will produce food for our table and maybe even surplus for our larder. I haven't the foggiest notion how exactly I'll do that and have made many mistakes up to now and, let's be realistic, plan on making many more.
    fairweatherpaddler says:

    Hi Elaine. I nominated you for a Liebster award. You can find the post here: https://homegrownheaven.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/happy-birthday-to-me/

    1. Thanks a mill for the nomination. Made my day! Will defo get cracking on my blog post and be in touch.

      1. fairweatherpaddler – Ireland – I am a dreamer who longs for a little patch of ground that will produce food for our table and maybe even surplus for our larder. I haven't the foggiest notion how exactly I'll do that and have made many mistakes up to now and, let's be realistic, plan on making many more.
        fairweatherpaddler says:

        Great. Delighted to share the love. 😉

  2. Just stumbled across your blog and LOVE it. It’s rare to find an ‘eco’ blog where the person actually seems to have considered all the issues and how to be helpful to readers. Really appreciated your recent fashion one – lots of elements that often get overlooked plus a handy source list. I’ve signed up for more but would love to see you on Twitter/Instagram too…

    1. I’m blushing Emily. Thank you so much for those kind words. I’m in instagram under the name msebutler. Must put link on my blog!

  3. jkaybay – I have two sites, both focused on ethical consumerism. The Green Stars Project (https://greenstarsproject.org/) aims to start a movement based on crowd-sourced ethical ratings. Ethical Bargains (https://ethicalbargains.org/) is focused on new products that I've bought at the Grocery Outlet.
    jkaybay says:

    Hi Elaine!
    I went through my subscribed sites on the WP reader and found that for about half of them (even though I had subscribed) the email notification button was turned to off. I didn’t do this and it seems to be a random WP thing that I don’t understand. In any case, it’s switched on now (they all are!) so I look forward to reading more of your posts as they come out.

  4. kalpanashankar – Professor, School of Information and Communication Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland Research and teaching interests: documents in scholarly practice, scientific documentation and data management practices, research evaluation, information ethics
    kalpanashankar says:

    Hi Elaine – Have you done a blog on finding sustainable bed linens and towels? A friend in the UK and I were commiserating over our difficulties in this arena.

  5. Not yet but have you tried fairthreads.ie or whiteandgreenhome.com , both Irish. Also UK based King of Cotton do keenly priced organic cotton, as do some of the Eco supere-tailers listed in my post on clothes.

  6. Lucy Weir – Ireland – I take a philosophical approach to yoga, teach yoga and yoga philosophy, write fiction and non-fiction, and see my role in life as bridging the gap between 'them' and 'us'. I focus on three main areas of relationship - self, other people, and the more-than-human world. I teach online courses in ECOnnected Yoga and also train teachers for Hot Yoga Studios Dundrum.
    Lucy Weir says:

    Hello Elaine. I’ve tried blogging about these issues myself for many years but I’m disorganised/ have an addicted brain/ have been living very lightly but with almost no security for a number of years so it didn’t happen. One of my students (I teach yoga for ecological awareness – http://www.knowyogaireland.com) put me onto your blog and I’m delighted to find it. I just wondered if a) (and I may have asked this before) you could add my own business to your list. I teach virtually at the moment but am based here in Kilworth, Co Cork. And b) I’m looking for sustainably made yoga mats. I thought it might be something you could feature (there is an article from a couple of years ago online from the Irish Times, I think but it would still be good to see it on your web – I can point to some excellent businesses making stuff here too – trataka stands, especially…) so do let me know if you want to connect. I’m a great believer in connections and creating win win situations.

  7. Thanks Lucy for your message. I have bookmarked a few yoga brands and once I have enough I intended on doing an article on them. To be honest the most sustainable yoga mat is one that current exists so if you can pick one up that suits your needs that’s the best option.

  8. irishpressies – I am a graphic and textile designer living in an old crumbly farmhouse in the sticks in Ireland. Not quite growing my own vegetables yet but that will come when I finish the house. I draw the line at chickens.
    Mella OBrolchain says:

    HI Elaine,I love what you’re doing. So much great information. I just wanted to let you know about a west of Ireland based eco hosting company to add to the couple you have. https://ecohosting.ie and wonder have you come across https://www.80max.ie ? Run by a wonderful and altruistic woman called Jane Jackson.

    1. Thanks so much Mella for those kind words and those links. I hadn’t come across either of those before and am delighted to hear bout them. Will add them into the relevant articles. Elaine

  9. Dear Elaine,

    I really enjoyed your website – so much useful information, ideas and inspiration.

    I have been on my own zero waste journey for the past few years, which begun with cloth nappies. I’ve also made changes gradually. Over time, by acquiring new habits steadily I am much more aware of waste and how to avoid it. These days we can go for weeks without having to put a bin out for collection.

    Thanks so much,

    1. Delighted to hear that you like the website and find it useful, and well done on your own sustainable journey. Sounds like you’re making great headway. What do you think is the hardest aspect of living sustainably in Ireland?

  10. I just googled “irish chocolate in sustainable packaging” and it brought me to your website. I work with Paul and he mentioned Living Lightly and the work you do. Wow, what a great website – really helpful. Well done on this and all your work for the planet. Aoife

    1. So great to hear that all my efforts at seo on the website paid off and that you found me organically. Glad you like the website too. It truly is a labour of love! Enjoy reading!

  11. monicadaly – Joint owner of Heartworks. We handcraft slate mirrors clocks and picture frames from recycled slate. check out our website www.heartworks.ie
    monicadaly says:

    Hi there, I was wondering how I can get a mention on your website. I do natural skincare. All my packaging is either in tins or cardboard with no plastic and I am a great believer in a simple, natural way of living. I follow the Irish Facebook page of zero waste and practice it as best I can, especially with my business. My website is https://www.heartworks-skincare.ie/ if you want to have a look. By the way well done to you for setting up this website. It is very much needed in Ireland to bring about awareness about wasteful ways and how we can combat this, regards Monica

    1. I’d be delighted to Monica. I do have you mentioned in a few places but not in the skincare article. I’ll remedy that as soon as I get a chance. Take care, Elaine

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