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Tackling Climate Change in Crosshaven

Writes Elaine Duggan

Can I change how I travel? Can I walk instead of drive? What am I eating? Can I cut down my meat consumption? What am I throwing out and where does that end up? What am I wearing? Where was it made? How many tops do I need? What am I planting for bees and butterflies? Can I not cut the grass and let part of garden go wild? What example am I giving to my children?

These are just some of the questions a new group is asking the community of Crosshaven to think about. One Green Village is a new environmental initiative looking at how a village community can respond to climate change and biodiversity loss.

Sue Walsh was prompted to set up the group having become frustrated that the issues of climate crisis and biodiversity losses were just not being addressed. 

One Green Village Organisers & Speakers at the Public Meeting in Crosshaven Community Centre: Aoife Deane (MaREI); Sue Walsh (CHASE) & Dara Fitzpatrick (Chemistry Lecturer UCC). Photo Siobhán Russell

More than 80 people of all ages attended the first meeting of the group last month, at Crosshaven Community Centre, while a follow-up meeting was held this week, on Tuesday night.

The group hopes that as a village moving forward they can document what Crosshaven can achieve as a community and assist other villages/ towns around the harbour to follow suit too if they wish.

Sue said: “If Carrigaline was willing to come on board with One Green Village, we would locally have what I believe would be a really positive powerful community action that could act as a model for other towns and villages.”

She added there are existing initiatives locally and nationally that the community can tap into, such as Refill Ireland, which cuts out the need to buy bottled water – instead people fill up their water at refill stations in the local community.

Food waste, where our waste is going and the choices we can make for our gardens, farms and businesses, to help address biodiversity loss were also raised.

Also addressing the meeting was Dr. Dara Fitzpatrick, a lecturer in Analytical Chemistry at UCC, who gave a presentation on the world’s biodiversity emergency, referring to the extinction of 1 million species. (UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Dara is also on the UCC Green Campus Committee and among his research interests is the environmental monitoring of habitats under conservation.

He outlined issues impacting climate change and biodiversity loss – such as population growth, emissions and oil consumption. He spoke about carbon dioxide levels, rising sea levels and biodiversity loss – not just globally, but nationally and locally.

He also outlined initiatives in other parts of the country, such as the BRIDE Project, an agri-environment project on the Cork/ Waterford border.

Other suggestions to tackle biodiversity included the introduction of an Uber bike scheme in Crosshaven, availing of heritage grants for Swift boxes and the avoidance of chemical use such as herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, insecticides and rodenticides.

Dara Fitzpatrick speaking at the One Green Village Public Meeting, Crosshaven 28th May 2019. Photo Siobhán Russell

Also addressing the meeting was Aoife Deane, Communications & Public Engagement officerat MaREI (Marine and Renewable Energy Research Development and Innovation Centre) who spoke about the impact of littering in our oceans, the sources of marine litter and what can be done. She also spoke also about ‘3 for the Sea’, a community-led initiative, adopted by Crosshaven Development Committee & Tidy Towns and supported by the MaREI Centre at UCC, which is encouraging people to bring home litter from local beaches.

If you would like to get involved or find out more check out the group on Facebook or email onegreenvillage@gmail.com

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