02nd Apr 2022
Work Rest Slay is a monthly podcast hosted by our contributing editor Melanie Morris, who speaks to some of the most compelling Irish and international people in business, spilling the truth on the real secret sauce for a successful career.
Our next business podcast in the series launches on Saturday, April 2, 2022, and features Pat Kane – founder and MD of Reuzi, Ireland’s first one-stop shop for eco-friendly lifestyle, which also serves as an educational hub on all things sustainable.
Work Rest Slay: Episode 8
In conversation with Melanie Morris, Pat Kane shares insights she’s gained since living a more sustainable lifestyle and starting her business, from reducing the abundance of waste that comes with a new baby to sharing simple tips for shopping green.
Motherhood and reducing baby waste
When it comes to living sustainably, Pat’s eye-opening moment came after she and her husband welcomed their newborn into the world. After seeing how much waste they went through as new parents, they decided it was time to perform a life-audit and see how they could cut down.
“My husband and I were doing really well on only buying what we needed… making small changes here and there. We had our first baby then and I always say ‘babies equal love but also rubbish’. There are so many nappies and wipes, lovely but unwanted gifts. We needed to do better.
“We ran our life-audit to identify what areas we could do better in (e.g. work, travel, baby, kitchen, bathroom). We tried too much all together, and it was an epic fail. We were overwhelmed.”
Pro tip: Start with 3 simple changes
It was then that Pat realised that starting smaller was the better way – after all, you can’t expect to transform your lifestyle overnight. She recommends starting with three simple changes. “Start with what you have; you don’t need to buy anything new.”
1.) Try to shop less but more often, and try to plan ahead. Food waste is a huge thing, so just do better at that. Plus, you will save money on wasting food.
2.) Take a look at your bathroom and use up everything to the max. Use what you have all the way to the end. Once you are done with those products, replace them with sustainable products.
3.) Be mindful of your energy and water consumption. For example, when we shower we take for granted the amount of water we use; don’t waste water. The same for washing cars – use water-less car services. The same goes for energy – switch off the lights, make sure your dishwasher or washing machine is a full load. Keep it simple. Choose one thing and see can you do it better next time.
Filling a gap
When it was time to restock with more sustainable products, Pat realised the gap that existed in this space and had her genius spark for starting Reuzi – a one-stop-shop for all things green.
“I went back to work, and something wasn’t sitting right with me. To buy sustainable products I had to go to farmer markets, tiny little shops, a lot of Amazon, which is not what you want when you are trying to be sustainable. I thought: ‘I have a problem here; I can’t find everything I want in one place and the stuff I find is not the vibe I want’. I want pretty things that are still ethically made, sustainably sourced, and why not?
“I decided to launch Reuzi. This was five years ago… I started sourcing and testing things, and I launched the website just five days before my second child arrived. Now, we have over 1,200 products online. In our ‘new’ bit of the website, our products are about 70% Irish which is great.”
Making a difference
“The power of one, we can make a difference. Just to know what you are bringing in, buying and selling. To know it is fairly put together in all senses; human, planet and everything.
“I wanted Reuzi to have a bunch of beautiful products, good for you and good for the planet. But I didn’t want you to buy a product like a coffee cup just because it was pretty; I wanted you to know what happens here in Ireland, that 22,000 coffee cups go into the bin every hour. I wanted people to understand and educate themselves.”
For more on Pat’s career, listen to the newest episode of Work Rest Slay below:
With a background in the corporate world, Pat Kane is now a sustainability strategist, writer and speaker. She is also the founder of reuzi (@reuzi.ie), Ireland’s first one-stop shop for eco-friendly lifestyle and educational hub. She writes a column for Mums & Tots magazine and The HeyDay by Ellie Balfe, and contributes to several websites and radio programs on a regular basis. She has been widely featured in the Irish media and has presented to audiences at several businesses across the country.
It was when Pat became a mom for the first time she realised the amount of rubbish she was going through every day from plastic wraps and bottles to random boxes and the hundreds of nappies. It was because of this personal journey that she decided to create reuzi in 2018.
She never preaches about sustainability; she wants to educate people about swapping ‘dirty disposables’ for eco-friendly, durable, reusable products, helping people address our over-consumption of single-use items. Pat says, “I want to get to know people in the local community and to find out more about their own ways to create a positive impact and share our knowledge to become more eco-friendly together.”
This podcast is sponsored by One Nutrition, an Irish Brand which makes good nutrition easy with a range of supplements to support the demands of daily life. One Nutrition only use ethically sourced, premium pure ingredients with certified quality assurance. Find their colourful and sustainable packs on shelves in your local health store or pharmacy. Follow them on Instagram.