Reminders for the winter months

Niamh Quinlan

Winter is cold. It’s a basic state of fact. But with the cold comes a mountain of consequences. Your skin will dry out, you will be drinking more hot drinks in an attempt to stay warm and those who sleep outside suffer the most. But there are a few small things everyone can do to make the long evenings and bitter cold nights not that bad.

Lip balm will be your life saver, but have one everywhere. Carry one in the pocket of the jacket you always wear, maybe one in your college bag or pencil case and, go on, a third for beside your bed. Labello balms (usually costing between €1.50 and €2.50), Palmer’s butter lip balm (no more than €3 from most drugstores) and any lip balm from Lush are just a few affordable moisturising products that don’t test on animals.

Lush also do 10g hand and body lotion in their range of Charity Pots, where “100% of the proceeds (minus VAT) go to good causes.” It’s tiny, and the perfect size to just fit in your pocket to heal scaly hands. And it costs about €1.20.

While DCU has done a great job in encouraging the switch to reusable coffee cups, take that initiative outside of college also. Don’t try to heat yourself up with a hot drink in a single use coffee cup. Carry a 16oz (473ml) Olympia Bamboo reusable coffee cup from for €5.49 or a Stojo collapsible reusable coffee cup for €11.95 from

Layer up. 80 denier tights are your new best friend, wear the 2 pairs of socks and a tank top under every shirt and sweater. And get a long jacket, one that goes to your knees, just trust me.

A long jacket will keep you warm, but on nights out, drink and cigarettes in the queue for the club actually won’t, even though it might feel like it does. My second biggest recommendation and my biggest regret from first year: just bring a €2 coin out for the cloak room.

However, my largest recommendation is to give a little. It’s November and the temperatures are already dropping to below freezing at night in some parts of the country. And however difficult it may be to withstand waiting for the bus, it’s even more difficult for those sleeping on shop doorsteps at night.

Carrying some spare change, 20 cent and ten cents, maybe 50 cent coins, to toss into the coffee cups held out to you will make a difference to someone.

And while all these things cost money, and not everyone can afford every one of these luxuries, spare change is spare for a reason. If physical money isn’t your thing, Focus Ireland, the Simon Community and the Peter McVerry Trust all accept donations online by card or PayPal.

Niamh Quinlan

Image Credit: NeedPix