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Ecological Integrity

The earth is experiencing changes like never before, such as loss of biodiversity, climate change, species going extinct and environmental crises, and the impact is being felt at a local and global level. There is an opportunity right now for communities to be at the forefront of a movement of change towards a sustainable future through behaviour change, role modelling and inspiring innovative solutions.

Conversations to Explore

Consider our relationship to the land, to our native species and trees, waters, coastlines and boglands. What needs to be protected now to sustain the earth for future generations?

How are we planning for our community in a world affected by climate change, depleting resources, threatened food security and loss of biodiversity?

Activity Idea


Take a walk in your local area with members of the community, along with any staff and volunteers who will be involved in driving this Sustainable Communities work forward in your community. 

 

Notice nature… notice the air, the green spaces, the trees, the plants… notice how the birds and animals interact with nature… notice the feeling of peace that comes when spending time in nature… notice how sacred and delicate nature is and feel the responsibility of humans to look after her. 

 

Host a conversation outside on the importance of protecting nature now and for future generations. What are the benefits we see for our community if we were to operate more closely in line with nature? What changes could we make in the short term and the long term, and what support would we need? Are there people within the community who could join with us in this journey? 
 

Action Ideas

Develop ethical purchasing and travel policies for your organisation


Encourage staff to avail of cycle-to-work scheme to help reduce your impact on the environment.




Carry out a waste audit for your organisation


Learn more about the Food Waste Charter for Ireland and how you can sign up. See the template from Galway County Council on preventing food waste within organisations.




Carry out an energy audit for your organisation


You can apply for a Better Energy Communities grant - Ireland’s national retrofit initiative. It's aimed at upgrading the energy efficiency and renewable energy usage of buildings and facilities.




Organise a workshop for households on how to create water harvesters for their home


Organise a workshop on how to create water harvesters for homes locally.




Encourage people in the local community to sign up to an 'Eco-Pledge'


See: http://southernwasteregion.ie/content/ecopledge/sustainable-living




Make information available for households to to retrofit their homes


There are a range of grants available through SEAI: www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/better-energy-homes/ and retrofit programme: https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-grants/deep-retrofit-programme/




Facilitate a process of working towards becoming a Transition Town


Check out: https://transitionnetwork.org/country/ie/




Set up a community garden


You can get support from http://cgireland.org/ or even apply for Energia 'Get Ireland Growing' funding from Grow It Yourself, e.g. clearing space for an inner-city community garden, putting a polytunnel on a school roof or creating a pond at an allotment.

https://giy.ie/get-involved/grow-in-the-community/




Apply to become a Tidy Town


www.tidytowns.ie




Develop a biodiversity plan for the local area, including measures to encourage pollinating insects


See what has been achieved by Ennis Tidy Town:
http://ennistidytowns.com/project/wildlife/




Invite your supermarket to host an information day on packaging and to offer recycling points for packaging waste


See what Midleton Tidy Towns achieved: http://localprevention.ie/2013/04/08/midleton-event-on-alternate-environment-friendly-household-cleaning-agents/




Use the ‘See It Say It’ app from EPA to report pollution in the local area


This is something local people can get involved with in the reporting:
http://www.epa.ie/livegreen/myhomemycommunity




Sign up to the Sustainable Energy Community network


Your community can work towards becoming as energy efficient as possible:
https://www.seai.ie/sustainable-solutions/community-projects/community-network/




Make 'Wild' any green spaces within your local community


Consider wilding green spaces within your local community.




Work with local businesses to support them in their waste prevention, as well as raising awareness of hazardous waste and promote sustainable alternatives


Learn from what Carlow and Kilkenny county councils have created:
http://localprevention.ie/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/carlow-kilkenny-midres-2.pdf




Arrange a community workshop on recycling


Check out the Recycling Ambassador Programme from VOICE Ireland:
http://voiceireland.org/our-work/recycling-ambassador-programme/




Organise a monthly birdwatch or wildflower walk


For more information on free wildflower walks, visit: www.facebook.com/WildflowerWalksIreland. Birdwatch Ireland organise walks and other events on their website.





Link in with: https://www.foeeurope.org/natures-keepers
European network showcasing what it is that people love about nature in their local area – invite someone locally to contribute a video!




Draw attention to nature!


Organise a monthly bird watching morning/ wildflower walk/ other activity to draw attention to nature – if there is no one with local knowledge on these issues there are lots of online apps to assist with this!





Case-studies

Zero Waste North West

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Cloughjordan Eco Village

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Further Resources & Supports

‘Our Sustainable Future’ plan for Ireland: https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/environment/topics/sustainable-development/our-sustainable-future/Pages/default.aspx

www.epa.ie/livegreen – a portal that provides advice, awareness and education on sustainability at home and in the community 

 

LA21 Funding for increasing environmental awareness
 

www.localprevention.ie – some brilliant and community grown solutions of what is happening to address many of the issues we have mentioned. 


Cultivate: www.resilience.cultivate.ie 


Friends of the Earth: www.foe.ie 
 

Surfing the Waves of Change:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdv_iAa5rnk
https://www.changex.org/us/thegreenplan 
http://aplasticplanet.com  

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