ECO

“ECO @Home” is a new initiative by ECO-UNESCO to encourage young people to continue their environmental action projects from the comfort of their homes and to encourage youth groups to keep in touch over the online channels.  

During isolation ECO-UNESCO would like young people to invest their spare time into taking Eco-Action, that’s why ”ECO @Home” was created for. By working on projects and taking the time out of their day to go out and be among nature, it can be great for the environment but also the mental health of young people. 

Many of ECO-UNESCO’s current programmes will be available for young people at home through this virtual initiative; we want to highlight these programmes to encourage those already engaged to engage further and those not engaged to get involved in some way in eco-action and in our programmes. 

ECO@Home Online Programme

May 2021

Young Environmentalist ECO-WEEK 2021 & YEA Ceremony

A week-long series of events to educate, motivate and inspire young people to appreciate our world and act to protect it.
From 24th May to 28th May. We will be celebrating the Young Environmentalist Awards 2021 on the 26th May at 2:00pm.
Primary Audience: Young people aged 12-18.

Registration coming soon...

Environmental Youth Summit - The Heat is on!

The Environmental Youth Summit is a one-year project to bring together young people from Spain, Scotland, and Ireland to learn from each other and experts and influence environmental policy. Participants will take part in workshops, structured dialogue with policymakers, nature excursions, and cultural exchange.
We have partnered with Resilience Earth in Spain, Wester Ross Biosphere in Scotland, and Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere in Scotland.

We will be celebrating the Environmental Youth Summit Ceremony on the 25th May 2021.

Environmental Workshops

We deliver fun, informative, and interactive environmental workshops for participants ages 10-18.

These are some of our workshops:
Climate Action
Fashion Focus
Waste Warriors
The Battle for Biodiversity
Get Drastic about Plastic
Exploring Ecology
Student Council Training
6 Steps to Success
6 Weeks TY Sustainable Development

For bookings - bookings@ecounesco.ie

May

International Days we’re Celebrating this May

8th May - World Migratory Bird Day

Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird! 

That is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, focusing on the phenomena of bird song and bird flight. Reconnect with nature by actively listening to and watching birds! 

Birds can be found everywhere: in cities and in the countryside; in parks and backyards, in forests and mountains, and in wetlands and along the shores. They connect all these habitats and they connect us, reminding us of our own connection to the planet, the environment, wildlife and each other. Through their seasonal movements, migratory birds are also regularly reminding us of nature’s cycles. 

As global ambassadors of nature, migratory birds not only connect different places across the planet, they also re-connect people to nature and to themselves like no other animals on the planet. 

Find out more here. 

20th May - World Bee Day

The goal of World Bee Day is to strengthen measures aimed at protecting bees and other pollinators, which would significantly contribute to solving problems related to the global food supply and eliminate hunger in developing countries.

We all depend on pollinators and it is, therefore, crucial to monitor their decline and halt the loss of biodiversity. The diversity of pollinators has a direct and positive impact on crop yields. Bees and other pollinating insects are, in fact, improving the food production of 2 billion small farmers worldwide, helping to ensure food security for the world’s population.

In Ireland, we have 98 wild bee species (77 solitary bee species and 21 bumblebee species) and 1 honey bee species. However, one third of our bee species are threatened with extinction from Ireland, as we have drastically reduced the amount of food (flowers) and safe nesting sites in our landscapes.

To learn more about World Bee Day, pollinators and how to protect them visit United Nations site here and the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan here.

21st May – World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

In 2002, the UN General Assembly declared 21st May to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Diversity of cultures and civilizations are crucial to achieving sustainable development – Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. Acceptance of cultural diversity is essential in achieving dialogue and respect among civilizations and cultures.

This day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity, to promote human rights, and to integrate culture into sustainable development frameworks. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals can best be achieved by drawing upon the creative potential of the world’s diverse cultures, and engaging in continuous dialogue to ensure that all members of society benefit from sustainable development.

22nd May - International Day for Biological Diversity

The UN has proclaimed 22nd May the International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme for 2021 is “We’re part of the solution”. It builds on last year’s theme of “Our Solutions are in Nature”, reminding us that we are part of nature and of the importance of living in harmony with the natural world.

Biodiversity encompasses the incredible diversity of all living things on our planet. This includes genetic differences within a species, the variety of species on Earth and the variety of ecosystems that are home to these species.

Biodiversity underpins human wellbeing in the present and future – we are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for our water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, just to name a few. However, biodiversity is declining, as a result of climate change, invasive species, over-exploitation of natural resources, pollution, urbanisation and more. This loss threatens both nature and humans.

From nature-based solutions to climate, health issues, food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build a sustainable future. Now is the time to act to save biodiversity! Raise awareness and take action for biodiversity this Biodiversity Day. What will you do to help protect and promote biodiversity this May?

23rd May - World Turtle Day

World Turtles Day was founded by American Tortoise Rescue. Its purpose is to spread the word about turtles and tortoises being endangered around the globe, and to educate people about what they can do to protect the habitats of turtles and tortoises!

Turtles are reptiles, characterised by a special bony or cartilaginous shell developed from their ribs that acts as a shield. Some species of turtle are rapidly disappearing as a result of climate change, habitat destruction and urbanisation, and the pet trade. For example, female turtles won’t lay on beaches if they are too light, and instead drop their eggs in the sea instead of sand. Hatching turtles go towards the lightest horizon – often they head towards city lights rather than the sea. These are some of the impacts of artificial light from coastal towns and cities.

The order Testudines, which includes all turtles, evolved over 200 million years ago! Tortoises evolved from this order about 50 million years ago. Jonathan, a Seychelles giant tortoise, is now the oldest-known animal in the world, aged 189 years old! That means he was born around 1832! He has lived at the Governor’s house on St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic Ocean since 1882.

Some things we can do to help save turtles and tortoises:

  • Adopt turtles or tortoises from rescue centres if you are looking for one as a pet
  • Reduce plastic consumption, opting for reusable items where possible
  • Take part in beach clean-ups to reduce the pollution of our oceans

April

International Days we’re Celebrating this April

World Health Day 7th April

World health day 2021: Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone.

Our world is unequal – some people have the opportunity to live healthier lives with better access to health services than others. This is simply down to the conditions in which they are born and live.

This is preventable – Leaders are urged to ensure that all people are able to access quality health services when they need them.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is committed to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can realize the right to good health.

“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” WHO

Visit WHO to learn more about World Health Day

Health equity. Fair opportunity to attain good health

International Mother Earth Day - 22nd April 🌍

International Mother Earth Day is celebrated to remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.

Promoting harmony with nature and the Earth.

Our planet is alive! It is a complex system of living organisms that have evolved alongside each other and interacted with each other over millions of years. This includes plants, animals, ecosystems and all other life forms, some too small to see with the naked eye.

Biodiversity acts as an indicator of the health of our planet. But biodiversity is declining at a fast rate, showing the poor health of our Earth.

Human survival is directly tied to our relationship with the natural world, and yet, we behave as if we are not part of Nature. We need to understand and value our relationship with Nature, and with it stop biodiversity loss and protect the Earth!

This month is about our connectedness with Nature and Biodiversity 🌳

Learn about biodiversity, helping pollinators and the SDGs, and try some activities at home.

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity means variety.

Biodiversity means variation between…

  • Individuals: A Lion is different to other pride members. A sunflower is different to its sunflower neighbour. No individuals are the same!
  • Species: Lions are different to Sunflowers which are different to Whales which are different to Robins which are different to Oak trees… There are lots of different species!
  • Habitats: Irish grasslands are very different to an African savannah, or the Amazon Rainforest, or the ocean, or Antarctica! There are loads of different habitats that plants and animals live in.

So, to sum up: Biodiversity is the variation within and among species and habitats!

How many species are there?

So far, around 1.2 million species have been discovered.  Scientists believe there are actually around 8.7 million species of plants and animals in existence, we just haven’t found them all yet! (National Geographic Society, 2019)

More than two-thirds of all identified species are Insects!

If you’re looking for humans on the pie chart, we’re in that tiny group called “Chordates” along with all the other species with a spine. A bigger slice on the pie chart means more species in that group!

Pie chart showing the proportions of the groups of identified species (Slater, B.J., 2014).

Beautiful Biodiversity 🐦🌲🐝

Sustainable Development Goals and Biodiversity

SDG 14: Life Below Water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

  • Our oceans absorb around 30% of the Carbon Dioxide we produce, causing ocean acidification.
  • More than 24 million kilometres squared of waters were covered by Protected Areas, more than doubling since 2010.
  • Only 65.8% of fish stocks are within biologically sustainable levels.

SDG 15: Life on Land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

  • Forests are home to more than 80% of all terrestrial species of animals and plants. Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas – that’s more than 4.5 million football pitches!
  • The work of Pollinators is worth at least €53 million in the Republic of Ireland alone!
  • 44% of key terrestrial biodiversity areas are protected.

What causes biodiversity loss?

The main driver of biodiversity loss is habitat destruction. This can be caused by a number of things:

  • Climate change can mean their habitat is no longer safe or suitable.
  • Deforestation for agriculture, such as palm oil, soya and beef.
  • Construction (e.g., roadways).
  • Plastic pollution

Other causes of biodiversity loss include overhunting, poaching (illegal hunting) and invasive species.

What can we do to Increase Biodiversity?

There is lots we can do at home and in our communities.

At home we can:

  • Let the dandelions bloom! They are an important food source for bees in early spring.
  • Have a “no-mow” area in your lawn.
  • Sow pollinator-friendly flowers in your garden, pots or window boxes.
  • Reduce meat consumption and buy local, responsibly produced foods, such as organic products.
  • Eat seafood from lower trophic levels. Check out Food Smart Dublin’s recipes here!
  • Plant native plant species.
  • Buy sustainably sourced products such as FSC-certified paper.
  • Avoid plastic wherever possible!

In our communities we can:

  • Let road verges and roundabouts grow!
  • Eliminate pesticide use – protect our pollinators and other insects!
  • Let the hedgerows grow when possible – they provide shelter and food for animals.
  • Have green spaces, including diverse, native plant species.
  • Create pollinator-friendly wildflower areas.

Show us what you’re doing for Biodiversity at home or in your community! Tag @ecounesco #EcoAtHome

April Activities!

We have loads of activities in store for you this month, don’t forget to share your results and tag us @ecounesco #EcoAtHome!

 

Sow Pollinator-Friendly Flowers!

Sow some native wildflower seeds at home or buy some potted flowers to attract pollinators to your garden! If you don’t have the space to plant flowers in a garden, flowers can be grown in pots or in windows boxes too. Try to buy varieties that are native to Ireland like daisies, crocuses, and bluebells. Some herbs are also good for pollinators, like Thyme, Rosemary and Lavender.

 

 

Build a Bug Hotel!

Build a bug hotel to create a habitat for little creatures in your garden! This is a safe place for insects to live and lay their eggs. See who comes to visit! Try this video to upcycle a used plastic bottle into a bug hotel! Easy Bug Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create a “No-Mow” Area in your Garden

You’d be surprised what wildflowers are already in your garden. When you mow frequently these wildflowers can’t grow, and you’re left with a grassy lawn with poor biodiversity. Try letting your lawn grow, only mowing every 6 weeks. If this is too much, then try keeping a “no-mow” area in your lawn where you let the wildflowers grow. This creates a natural wildflower meadow, a wonderful habitat with food and shelter for pollinators. Avoid mulching (leaving the grass cuttings on the lawn), as this makes the soil more fertile, encouraging fast-growing plants like grass to grow and take over form the wildflowers. The “All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and “Don’t Mow, Let it Grow projects have some great ideas on “no-mow” gardens.

Check out these Top Tips for Creating a Wildflower Meadow

Image courtesy of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

 

Start your own Vegetable Garden

Starting your own garden is really rewarding! It’s lovely to watch your fruit and vegetables grow from seed, to sprout, to plant to harvest! There is little better than harvesting vegetables from your garden that are on the kitchen table five minutes later. It’s also a great way of ensuring your fruit and veg are free from chemicals such as synthetic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, that are harmful to wildlife and reduce biodiversity. The best part is, they are the tastiest fruit and veg you’ll ever eat! Show us how you get on, and tag ECO-UNESCO and GIY using @ecounesco #EcoAtHome @giyireland #GIY

You can grow vegetables in the ground, in a raised bed, or even in containers! Here are some videos for growing vegetables and herbs inside or outside in a vegetable bed or in containers. All of these can be sown at this time of year.

Basil can be grown year-round on a sunny windowsill inside: https://giy.ie/veg-directory/basil/

Salad leaves can be continuously harvested, just cut away some leaves and let it regrow: https://giy.ie/veg-directory/salad-leaves/

Peas are great to grow – you can eat the leaves and flowers on salad, or let the flowers develop into pea pods and harvest the peas! https://giy.ie/veg-directory/peas/

Radishes are so easy to grow – they are ready to eat in about a month! Crunchy and peppery, they go great in a salad on sandwich, or as they are! https://giy.ie/veg-directory/radish/

Strawberries take up very little space and grow well in a container! They’re also a great plant for pollinators, in fact you’ll get a better harvest if bees pollinate your strawberry flowers! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m1QE_FCzIQ

Remember: If you’re buying compost, try to buy peat-free compost to protect our bogs! You can also use homemade compost once its well-rotted (no bits of food are visible).

GIY (Grow It Yourself) is a non-profit initiative helping people grow food and learn about food sustainability. Their TV show GROW COOK EAT teaches us how to grow fruit and vegetables at home, whether in a garden or in containers. Each episode has a star vegetable grown from seed to harvest and then used to create a delicious meal! Check it out here: https://giy.ie/series/grow-cook-eat/

 

 

 

 

 

 Learn to Identify Local Species

Check out these identification guides to learn how to identify different native species in your area! Try this Crash Course in Bumblebee Identification, or learn How to Identify Butterflies with the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

You can use your identification skills to become a Citizen Scientist! There are projects for beginners and experts, so choose one that suits you and see how you can get involved!

Butterfly Atlas 2021

Bumblebee Monitoring Scheme

Backyard Biodiversity

 

Flower-Insect Timed Count

This is a really easy Citizen Science activity you can do at home, and it’s very peaceful! Watch a patch of flowers for 10 minutes and count how many insects visit, then submit your findings online! Find out more here.

Help to survey for insects – try a 10-minute Flower-Insect Timed Count (FIT count)

Get Creative!

Celebrate biodiversity by getting creative! This can be biodiversity-themed art, poetry or photography, you could even write a story, an article or a song about biodiversity! Create a rainbow garden with different coloured flowers! However, you choose to express yourself, try to include nature and let us know what you create.

Mindfulness in Nature

When you’re out and about in nature, take a moment to smell the flowers. Listen to the birds – do you hear different calls? Smell the salty air at the beach. Touch the soft grass. Sit awhile. Keep an eye out for bees. Hug a tree. See how many different coloured flowers you can find on your walk. Close your eyes and feel the sun on your face. Take a deep breath – be present when you’re in nature.

Pollinator Facts

A queen bee needs to feed on 6,000 flowers per day to survive when they come out of hibernation in spring! Dandelions are a really important early food source for Queen bees.

75% of our crop species (like apples, coffee and almonds) are pollinated by animals, so pollinators are important for us to have a healthy diet and for food security.

In Ireland, pollination services are valued at €53 Million! In the world, they’re worth €153 Billion!

Not all pollinators are insects like bees, butterflies and beetles – some are birds and bats, even lizards and monkeys!

Important Ecosystems

An ecosystem is all the organisms (living things) living in a community and the abiotic (non-living) factors with which they interact (air, water, temperature). Put simply, it’s living things and their environment.

Ecosystems require balance to exist – there is a place for everything and everything in its place. If you change one thing, like increase the temperature or remove a species, the balance is lost and there can be a domino effect on other species.

Biodiversity is important for ecosystems to function correctly, to provide us with services like clean air, clean water and pollination, and products like timber, food and medicine, among many others!

Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are often called the “Rainforests of the Ocean” because of the incredible biodiversity of these ecosystems. Coral reefs make up less than 0.1% of the ocean surface area but are home to more than 25% of described fish species – the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem!

Corals have a specific type of photosynthetic algae inside them, which make food for the corals using sunlight. At night corals filter water to feed on plankton. When corals come under stress, they release the algae which provide them with food, causing them to starve, in a process known as Coral Bleaching. This is caused by ocean warming and ocean acidification.

Here’s a great video about corals and how important they are to us and the planet.

What Happens If All The Coral Dies?

To save our coral reefs, we need to:

  • Reduce our CO2 emissions.
  • Plant more trees to absorb CO2.
  • Use non-toxic sunscreen at the beach.
  • Ban damaging fishing techniques like trawling and explosives.
  • Teach others about coral reefs!

 

Forests

Forests cover 30% of the Earth’s surface, yet they are home to more than 80% of the Earth’s plant and animal species on land! Forests are also important in tackling climate change, as trees absorb carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming.

Forests provide valuable resources such as timber for fuel, construction and manufacturing, as well as vital services such as flood protection, clean air and water and even recreation and education.

Deforestation is the removal of trees to use the land for something else, like agriculture or construction. This destroys habitats, causing biodiversity loss, and it releases stored carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

Watch this video to learn about the effects of deforestation and what can be done to combat deforestation!

Climate 101: Deforestation | National Geographic

To protect our forests and tackle deforestation, we need to:

  • Plant trees at home!
  • Buy sustainably sourced products such as FSC-certified paper.
  • Reduce our waste.
  • Avoid products that contain palm oil, a leading cause of deforestation.

 

 

 

March

International Days we’re Celebrating this March

World Wildlife Day 3rd March

World Wildlife Day 2021 celebrates the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.

Between 200 and 350 million people live within or adjacent to forested areas around the world, relying on the various ecosystem services provided by forest and forest species for their livelihoods and to cover their most basic needs, including food, shelter, energy and medicines.

This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments to alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life on land.

To learn more, visit https://www.wildlifeday.org/

International Women’s Day 8th March

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

International Women’s Day is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • Celebrate women’s achievements
  • Raise awareness about women’s equality
  • Lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • Fundraise for female-focused charities

 

If you want to learn more about International Women’s Day, go to https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

#WomenWhoInspire

The #WomenWhoInspire campaign highlights women environmentalists who are making a change in how we view sustainability and climate action. These women fight for climate justice and inspire us to take action in our own communities and fight for equality and equity in all justice movements. Tell us who inspires you to be a changemaker and tag us @ecounesco with the hashtag #WomenWhoInspire.  

Global Recycling Day 18th March

This month we’re partnering with Sick of Plastic to celebrate Global Recycling Day. This day is dedicated to recognising the importance of recycling as a resource and we’ll be focusing on how we can make changes in our shopping habits and in our local stores.

 

Stay tuned to our social media channels for some recycling tips and activities – @ecounesco

World Water Day 22nd March

World Water Day, 22 March 2021, is about what water means to people, its true value and how we can better protect this vital resource.

#Water2Me Campaign

We want to know what water means to you! Share your views on social media and tag your post with #WorldWaterDay #Water2me #EcoAtHome and tag @ecounesco !

Your voice will help shape the World Water Day 2021 campaign and will inform a document about what water means to people around the world.

See https://www.worldwaterday.org/ to learn more!

Seal Hospital Virtual Tour

Seal Rescue Ireland (SRI)  is a charity organisation that works around the clock to rescue, rehabilitate and release native seals found sick, injured or orphaned from across the coast of Ireland. SRI strives to promote ocean conservation and sustainability through proactive education, community engagement and research programmes, in order to protect our marine environment and all life within.
 
If you would like to adopt a seal (for you or a friend!) and receive a Seal Adoption Pack and updates on your seal’s progress, visit their website here.
 
If you want to become an Earth Hero, check out Seal Rescue Ireland’s website here.
 
You will find everything you need to know about being an Earth Hero, including doing a fundraiser and conservation activity, accessing videos and workbooks, a virtual seal hospital tour and even getting a Free Seal Adoption and Earth Hero Certificate! It’s a great project for Transition Year students, and it can also be entered into the Young Environmentalist Awards.

This March we’re talking about Water!

All things H2O!

Some Facts about Water

Water covers about 70%
of the Earth’s surface!

97% of all water on Earth
is in the oceans

2% is frozen in glaciers. That leaves just 1% for us to use for things like drinking, agriculture and manufacturing.

The average person in Ireland uses about 80-100 gallons of water a day.
That’s about two and a half bathtubs!

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

- 2.2 Billion people lack safe drinking water
- 3 billion people lack basic handwashing facilities at home
- Water scarcity could displace 700 million people by 2030

SDG14: Life Below Water

- More than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods
- 30% of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited
- On average, 13,000 pieces of plastic litter can be found on every square kilometre of ocean

Water: From Cloud to Glass

Did you know it takes 3 days and 7 stages to make raw water drinkable?

water.ie have created this interactive story about how water makes it from the clouds to being safe drinking water in your glass! https://www.water.ie/water-supply/cloud-to-glass/

March Challenges!

This March, try some of these challenges to be more sustainable in the ways we use water!

1. Be Food Smart!

Did you know that Ireland has 10 acres of land under the sea for every 1 acre of land? We have one of the richest seas in Europe.

The main seafood consumed by our society are top predators like tuna, salmon and cod – the tigers and lions of the sea. This is unsustainable and we have to change our eating habits towards seafood from lower down the food web.

Food Smart Dublin encourages us to eat more sustainable seafood from lower down the food chain by tapping into local marine resources and rediscovering forgotten Irish seafood recipes. The Food Smart Dublin team have unearthed historical seafood recipes and work closely with chef Niall Sabongi to make these historical recipes sustainable, seasonal and enjoyable for modern tastebuds!

Food Smart Dublin needs your input! They are looking for volunteers to cook these forgotten seafood recipes published monthly on their website, and complete a short survey to tell them what you think. You must be over 18 to complete the survey. If you are under 18, please ask your parent/guardian to fill it out for you, because we would love to hear what you think!

Tag @ecounesco @foodsmartdublin #EcoAtHome #irishseafood

Food Smart Dublin needs your input!

Food Smart Dublin needs your input! They are looking for volunteers to cook these forgotten seafood recipes published monthly on their website, and complete a short survey to tell them what you think. You must be over 18 to complete the survey. If you are under 18, please ask your parent/guardian to fill it out for you, because we would love to hear what you think!

Tag @ecounesco @foodsmartdublin #EcoAtHome #irishseafood

Try out these recipes:

Pickled Cockles and Mussels:

Recipe: https://bit.ly/305vxWM

Survey link: https://bit.ly/3uQtrrV

Dublin Bay Prawns & sourdough toast:

Recipe: https://bit.ly/2Pwe5sz

Survey link: https://bit.ly/3rfUgDH

Gurnard/Fish Curry:

Recipe: https://bit.ly/382w688

Survey link: https://bit.ly/3rhb5Ow

Join us for an interactive workshop

Join us on 11th March for an interactive workshop about Irish marine life and coasts, and sustainable eating habits!

Register > Interactive Workshop

To get involved and learn more about Food Smart Dublin, check out their website! https://www.tcd.ie/tceh/projects/foodsmartdublin/about/

 

2. Take a shorter shower

A 10-minute shower can use about 100 litres of water!  Time yourself and see if you can take a shorter shower and save water.

3. Save your cooking water

After cooking, let the water cool and then use it to water your plants. That water is full of nutrients leached from your veggies!

 

Here are some more ways you can conserve water at home this March! https://www.water.ie/conserve/#content

Water and Biodiversity

Dive in!

Coral reefs are often called the “Rainforests of the Ocean” because of the incredible biodiversity of these ecosystems. Follow this link to Google Earth Street View where you can learn more about corals and DIVE IN to see the Great Barrier Reef!

Dive in here> http://bitly.ws/bYVt

Wetlands

A wetland is an area of land that is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally.

Ireland’s wetland habitats range from the very small (like a freshwater spring) to habitats which dominate the Irish landscape such as lakes, rivers and bogs. Even within a single wetland, the plant species can vary greatly across the site, resulting in a mosaic of habitats.

Wetlands are home to a large diversity of plant and animal species, especially many species on migration.

The value of the biodiversity of Irish wetlands is estimated at €385 million per year to the Irish economy! 

Wetlands also contribute to the €330 million nature and eco-tourism value of Irish habitats.

To learn more about our amazing wetlands and their importance, check out http://irishwetlands.ie/

A Bog is a type of wetland. Watch this video to learn about the wonder of Irish bogs and why we should conserve them!

Chapter 1 – What is a Bog and Why Should We Conserve it?

Water: A Women’s Crisis

The Challenges:

In many countries, the presence or absence of a safe and sufficient water supply and improved sanitation facilities has a disproportionate effect on the lives of women and girls for three main reasons:

  1. Women and girls usually bear the responsibility of collecting water, which is often very time-consuming and arduous.
  2. Women and girls are more vulnerable to abuse and attack while walking to and using a toilet or open defecation site.
  3. Women have specific hygiene needs during menstruation, pregnancy and child-rearing.

 

The Facts:

  1. Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 8 out of 10 households with water off premises, so reducing the population with limited drinking water will have a strong gender impact (WHO).
  2. Reducing the time it takes to fetch water from 30 to 15 minutes increased girls’ school attendance by 12% according to a study in Tanzania (UNICEF).
  3. Women around the world will spend a collective 200 million hours collecting water (water.org).

 

The Solutions:

At the local level, gender-sensitive approaches are helping to improve the suitability, sustainability and reach of water and sanitation services by both focusing on and involving women in the facilities’ design, implementation and management.

Embedding gender equity into policy at all levels will be crucial to achieving water and sanitation for all, which in turn will help advance many other parts of the SDG agenda, particularly education and work.

Source for these images: https://water.org/our-impact/water-crisis/womens-crisis/ and https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/gender/

Innovations in Water - Hydroponics

Hydroponics means “working water” in Latin. This is a way of growing plants such as vegetables using just water and nutrients, no soil required!

  • Pro: Plants can grow faster and have a larger yield, while using minimal floor space.

 

  • Con: It is tricky and expensive, as water, nutrients, light – everything needed by the plant – has to be provided, for the system to work.

Cooking @Home

February

World Pulses Day 10th Feb

Challenge: Cook a meal with pulses and share it on social media!

Here are some ideas:

 

 

  • Follow this link to find out more about the nutritional value and environmental benefits of pulses: https://bit.ly/2Z1v07A

 

  • 10 reasons why you should include pulses in your diet! 

http://www.fao.org/fao-stories/article/en/c/1176990/ 

  • Fancy having a go at growing your own pulse vegetables? Check out this video on how to grow peas at home! You can grow them in a vegetable garden or even in a container if you have limited space or if you’re new to gardening. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2rjrDOBhbE 

 

Pancake Tuesday 16th Feb

This Pancake Tuesday make Fairtrade Pancakes!

You can use Fairtrade ingredients in your pancakes like sugar, bananas, and chocolate chips, or simply add delicious Fairtrade toppings like chocolate spread, nuts, or even ice-cream!

 

Fairtrade Week Feb 22nd - 7th March

Buying Fairtrade is another way of shopping responsibly! Fairtrade gives farmers a better deal by agreeing on a fair minimum price and by paying a premium that goes into community funds. By buying Fairtrade, you can protect the people and the land which produces your food.

Fairtrade products that you can buy include tea, coffee, chocolate, bananas, even ice-cream!

Follow this link to learn more about Fairtrade: https://www.fairtrade.ie/what-is-fairtrade/

Fairtrade products

With loads of items to choose from, the Fairtrade products list is huge! Whether you’re in the market for coffee, cocoa, or cotton, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark when you’re out shopping. Here a full list: https://www.fairtrade.ie/fairtrade-products/

What is Fairtrade and why is it important? 

Mohammad talks about Fairtrade, and why it’s important to buy Fairtrade products when you can > Read his article HERE

 

Easy recipes

 

Try some of these recipes to reduce food waste in your home!

Sustainable baking

Read Sarah’s blog post!

With all this extra time we’re spending at home, you may have taken an interest in baking! Or maybe you’re like me, and you’ve always enjoyed baking, but now you have more time to do it. Either way, it’s important to try to be sustainable in the ways we bake!

Check these tips on how to be a more Sustainable Baker!

Composting

Composting is a great way of disposing of kitchen scraps. By making compost, carbon is stored, whereas in landfills, carbon is released as greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide. This can be done at home or by using your brown bin!

Here’s a handy article on how to make your own compost!

https://www.mywaste.ie/what-to-do-with-my-home-composting/

Food waste facts

1.3 billion tonnes
of food is wasted
every year

Food waste causes 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions
every year

Almost 870 million people in the world go hungry every day

In Ireland, we create at least 1 million tonnes of food waste each year

When we waste food, it is not only the food that is wasted, but the water, labour and energy that goes into growing, transporting and storing the food too.

If you want to learn more about food waste, follow the links below!

Stop Food Waste website: https://stopfoodwaste.ie/ for tips on buying, storing, cooking, and composting food to reduce food waste at home!

What to do with my food waste: https://www.mywaste.ie/what-to-do-with-my-food-waste/

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals encourage us to protect our planet, end poverty, and improve the lives of everyone on our planet.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

821 million people in the world are hungry

The number of people who are hungry is increasing, and at the current rate there will be more than 840 million people affected by hunger by 2030.

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Each year, 1/3 of all food produced is wasted.

About 1.3 billion tons of food worth around $1 trillion ends up rotting our bins at home, or during transportation and harvest.

It is important to support sustainable food initiatives by supporting local producers, buying sustainably produced food, and by buying less to reduce food waste. This will help in the fight against hunger as our population increases by forcing businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

Here you can find some local brands working to produce food sustainably with the Origin Green programme: https://www.origingreen.ie/who-is-involved/manufacturers/

Follow this link to learn more about Fairtrade: https://www.fairtrade.ie/what-is-fairtrade/

More resources

Publications, activities, readings, announcements and more

Learn about the different classes of birds we have in Ireland
Click here

Robin, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Wren, Chaffinch, Bluetit, Feral Pigeon, Goldcrest, House Sparrow, Starling, Rook, Mallard, Dunnock, Jackdaw, Magpie, Mute Swan, Herring Gull and Black Headed Gull.

Dichotomous Key for some Common Irish Tree Species
See more here

Yew Tree, Horse Chestnut, Field Maple, Sycamore, Rowan, Ash Tree, Scots Pine , Birch, Hawthorn, Wych Elm , Irish Oak, Birch, Beech, Lime, Hazel and Alder.

I'm a Young Environmentalist by Lauren Abraham
Read the full article here

I am a young environmentalist because I want to make a positive difference to the earth. I worry about what lies ahead for our planet. Future generations will have to deal with the consequences of the choices that we are making today. Although I don't consider myself a tree hugger, I do love to hug trees every so often!

DIY Terrarium at home🌱

Create a mini eco system at home.

Materials: 

-Drainage clay pebbles, moss, charcoal, any plant that you like and sand or rocks to decorate

Upcycle a piece of an old t-shirt

DIY fabric necklace. 

Upcycle your stained and old t-shirts into a necklace.


Consider the Rabbit

We are learning from observing! 

Dunchadh, one of our facilitators sent us this video today from county Wicklow. He wants to invite you to connect with the natural world.

Planting at home

We are planting tomatoes and green beans at home with a newspaper pot.

Here the link for the newspaper pot https://youtu.be/7dlGQP81yfo

Make a retro 80's sweatshirt

Upcycle an old or stained sweatshirt into a retro version

You can follow ECO@Home activities on our social media channels

Use the hashtag #ECOAtHome