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Tag Archives: climate change

The big question: Should we keep the home fires burning?

Given the twin issues of respiratory health and climate change the much-loved tradition of lighting the fire in our houses has come under the spotlight. Bridget Ginnity asks if we should keep the home fires burning IN these cold dark evenings, sitting around a fire brings a glow of comfort. There’s something almost hypnotic and primitive in looking at flames. A fire is also practical in these days of high electricity costs. Over 60% of homes have domestic fires and it can be a cost effective way of heating the house, especially with a back boiler. But is our grá for the home fire damaging the environment? It is estimated that about 1,400 people in Ireland die prematurely each year due to air pollution, mainly fine particulates, and blame for some of that pollution is placed on domestic fires. In addition to pollutants, carbon dioxide is generated from home fires. Carbon dioxide causes global temperature increases and the climate disasters …

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Environment-friendly resolutions for 2023

Would you like to do something to help the climate problem in 2023? Bridget Ginnity has some suggestions, both for individual and system change actions. Pick a couple that suit your budget and lifestyle. What’s more, you might even save money too! Transport and travel • Drive slower and smoother • Lift share • Walk and cycle more • Change to an electric car • Think twice before you fly Things   • Buy less, buy wiser, buy local • Share big items like tools/sports gear • Reuse, repair, recycle and upcycle • Gift experiences, not things Home energy • Change from open fire to stove • Cut down or cut out use of coal, peat, oil and gas • Reduce times and temperatures of hot water and room heating • Improve air tightness and insulation • Install solar panels Food • Eat less meat and fish • Reduce processed foods • Eat sustainably produced and local food • Plan …

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One Clare girl’s campaign to save the world

A ONE-girl crusade to help save the planet is taking place in Clare with young Lani Meaney urging people to take action and do their bit to save the environment. 11-year-old Lani has become a regular sight where she lives in Darragh putting up posters in the locality calling on people to think green and clean up after themselves. Recently the Lissycasey national school student wanted to get her message across to a wider audience, so she wrote an article for the Clare Champion. In the article she asked the public to, “Stop Climate Change Before it’s too Late”. She wrote, “Climate Change is happening right now, this second. It’s already starting to get out of hand. Letting Climate Change get worse, would be like destroying someone’s home, and then destroy everyone else’s home in the world. “Earth is everyone’s home and we need to take care of her. When a home is messy we clean it right? Well Earth …

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Research highlights environmental importance of forestry

RESEARCH carried out on behalf of Coillte shows that there is an almost universal view among the public that forests are important in helping to address the climate crisis. In April this year, Coillte, the semi-state forestry company, announced a new forestry strategic vision which aims to deliver multiple benefits from its forests and bring more focus to climate action, setting ambitious new targets on biodiversity and recreation, while continuing to deliver for the forest and wood products industry. The new approach aims to sustainably balance and deliver the multiple benefits from Ireland’s state forests across four strategic pillars: climate, wood, nature, and people. RED C independently analysed feedback from both Coillte’s public attitude survey and Coillte’s public consultation process, completed during summer 2022, which was part of Coillte’s commitment to consult widely with key stakeholders on its new strategic vision. The survey, conducted among a nationally representative sample of adults in June 2022, was combined with the response to Coillte’s public consultation process, and shows there is an almost universal view that …

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We will have to keep the home fires burning

Joseph Woulfe believes the energy crisis means we must continue to burn turf   EVERYONE in our family visits the bog almost every year. It’s our pilgrimage in some ways. it has been done for generations – to use what nature offers in our locality to heat us through the winter period. I remember my late father, Charles, building a special timber wheelbarrow to bring the sle’an turf from the bank and carefully laying the sods out to dry in the summer sunshine at Jack at Rita Moroney’s Bog near Mullagh. On the way home from a hard day’s work, we would be given a treat (or perhaps you could call it a bribe) of ice cream at Sexton’s Shop in Mullagh or the Crosses of Annagh. Over time, we moved to a more mechanised bog system in Kilmihil where the Coughlan family use a hopper. In primary school, we learned all about fossil fuels, how they grew and, over …

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Looking at climate change through the lens of water

Féidhlim Harty, director of an environmental consultancy company tells Bridget Ginnity, how being a bad windsurfer led him to specialising in reed bed system design and other eco-friendly sewage options. For as long as I can remember, my family was interested in environmental things of various sorts, whether it was beach clean-ups, chemical or sewage pollution in Cork Harbour area. My grandmother was Myrtle Allan of Ballymaloe House. When she was president of Euro-Toques, the global society of chefs, she had us children filling envelopes and addressing them to all corners of the globe. We watched the early European legislation on food being developed and it was a real education that you can bring your opinions directly to the table and decisions will be made that reflects that input. I set up my business in constructed wetlands as an activism measure in the ’90s. I wanted to clean up Cork Harbour using reed bed systems, mainly because I was a …

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Falls Hotel’s power play led to other green savings

Sharon Malone, Marketing and Green Manager of the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, tells Bridget Ginnity how her work has inspired her personally. It is one of only two carbon neutral hotels in Clare, the other being Hotel Doolin My interest in the environment started when I was about 13, when my dad bought me a book called “50 Things Kids Can Do To Save The Earth” – I’d say he rued the day. I drove the family demented with all the ideas I got from it, like when I had them all turn off all the taps to check if we had a leaky house. There was a chapter on vegetarianism and I gave up eating meat. My parents humored me completely though. I am the oldest of six and concern for the environment filtered down – my brother even stopped throwing tyres on Halloween bonfires! I went on to study marketing and was delighted to get the opportunity to …

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Working together for a better world

Bridget Ginnity speaks with Cormac McCarthy an ecologist with Waterways Ireland who is responsible for its Climate Action Plan. He is also chair of Ennis Tidy Towns which has many biodiversity and sustainability projects BIODIVERSITY is one of the ways that we can address both the biodiversity crisis and the climate crisis. For example, pollinator management with reduced grass cutting is a climate action in itself. In Ennis we’ve increased the amount of wildflowers on the roundabouts, just by changing our mowing regime. We even have orchids. Longer grass sequesters more carbon, and because you’re using machinery less often, you have less diesel emissions. Planting loads of trees isn’t the only nature-based way of sequestering carbon. It really needs to be properly thought through, because in taking what is well intentioned action, you may actually be doing more harm than good. For example, if you push for afforestation to sequester carbon you may be losing peatland areas or farmland. We …

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