Tag Archives: Environment

19 Positive Steps

So here we are one week into 2019. I am not making resolutions this year but instead coming up with 19 positive ways to help the environment.  These may be things I already do, may be things I wish to do better or maybe something I haven’t tried yet. I hope you can find some inspiration here too. Here and there I have include some links with more information.

1. Compost whatever we can.

2. Grow some more food. I am hoping to grow more in my vegetable plot this year. Even if you just have a window still you can grow some herbs.

3. Buy some stainless steel containers for buying meat or fish from local butcher/fishmonger.

4. Use canvass or other types of reusable shopping bags.

5. Investigate what we can order in bulk, to reduce waste.

6. Seek alternatives to goods sold in plastic. So for example, buy solid soap bars as opposed to liquid soap. Alternatively, find somewhere were we can refill plastic bottles of washing up liquid or detergent.

7. Make more space for wildlife in the garden. And / or work with local community groups to improve areas for biodiversity.

8. Make more of our own bread and when buying do so from bakery that uses paper only bags/wrappings.

9. Don’t buy bottled water.  Bring your own.

10. Buy unwrapped fruit and vegetable. Local market may be good place to start.

11. Make own yogurt in grass jars.

12. Walk and cycle more.

13. Plant some more Pollinator Friendly Flowers (will do post on this soon).

14. Cut the lawn less.

15. Buy clothes made from natural fibers (cotton, lines, wool etc) and organic if possible.

16. Donate unwanted clothes and other items to your local charity shop.

17. Use vinegar, bread soda and lemon or other eco friendly cleaners for cleaning.

18. If painting, use eco friendly paints.

19. Take time to go for walks and enjoy nature.

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Heritage in Schools

Heritage in Schools is a scheme run by the Heritage Council, here in Ireland. I have recently become a member of the Heritage in Schools panel. This panel is made up of individuals with expertise in various heritage subjects including science, geography, history and culture. Primary schools are encouraged to invite members of the panel to visit their school so that the children may develop a greater awareness of Ireland’s natural and cultural heritage. The children have fun learning outdoors and get to enjoy many different aspects of heritage and the environment.  The cost of the visits are subsidised by the Heritage Council.

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My own workshops will focus on biodiversity, pollinators, Ireland’s wildlife, and school gardens. Workshops can be tailored to the needs of the school or the individual classes.
I am looking forward to working with schools here in the west of Ireland.
For more information click on any of the following links:
Or alternatively contact me here.

2017 – The Environmental Year

I thought I would have a brief look at some environmental topics that were hitting the headlines both here in Ireland and wider afield in 2017.

  • Wild native Irish honey bees are still here.  A good news story for a change.
  • Melting ice, read more about the melting of the Larsen C iceshelf here.
  • Fracking. Thankfully onshore fracking was banned in Ireland earlier in the year, though it is still possible to do off-shore fracking. Still a huge step in the right direction.
  • Wildfires – California saw it’s largest ever wildfires in 2017. Over 40 people were killed in wildfires in Portugal and Spain. Canada, Greenland, Chile and southern Europe all experienced devastating wildfires during 2017. It has been one of the worst years for wildfires globally and many link the fires to climate change.
  • Hurricanes – both national and international hit the headlines. Hurricanes Irma, was the most powerful recorded Atlantic hurricane in written history. Hurricane Ophelia had been down-graded to a storm by the time she made landfall in Ireland. However, she was the most easterly Atlantic major hurricane on record. 2017 is classed as the fifth most active on record, with 17 named storms.
  • Other weather events – there was torrential rainfall the the NW of Ireland in August causing substantial flooding and property damage particularly in County Donegal.
  • Neonicotinoids are know to be harmful to bees and other insects including aquatic insects and there is increasing evidence that they affect other animals (e.g. songbirds) too. Research from England has found that 88% of tested rivers showed contamination by neonics. Of these eight rivers exceeded recommended chronic pollution limits, and two were found to be acutely polluted.
  • The Great Barrier Reef appears to be dying at a much a faster rate than scientists thought. Again climate change is a factor, as the reef suffers sever bleaching due to rising water temperatures.
  • Plastic in our oceans. This has been a growing problem for many years but this year it seems to have hot the headlines more. We produce over 270 million tonnes of plastic every year, half of which is simple use. over 7 million tonnes end up in our oceans. To learned more click here.
  • USA leaving Paris Climate Accord Agreement. This can only be bad news. Climate change is a global issue and we need to work together.

Let us hope that in 2018 the world will start to take note. Climate change and pollution are some of the greatest threats we face as a human race. We cannot keep abusing this place we call home, because if we do there will be no home left for us.