As some of you may be aware, I held a public meeting on climate change in ‘The Goat’ in Goatstown on November 12th.
We were lucky enough to have Professor John Sweeney of NUI Maynooth as our special guest speaker, who is one of Ireland’s foremost experts when it comes to climate change.
It was a fascinating meeting, and we were left under no illusion as to how serious a matter global warming will be if we do not take immediate action.
We learned that this is not a far-away problem, but something that could have serious repercussions much closer to home then any of us could have ever imagined.
It was clear that people really wanted to be given direction in terms of being informed of what they could do as individuals in the community to combat climate change.
With that in mind, I have outlined 4 practical steps that any of us can consider in terms of helping to create a more sustainable future.
- Home Insulation
Heat loss through walls, the roof and the floor commonly accounts for over 70% of overall heat loss. While heating itself is an expensive cost to most homes, it also has a negative effect on your carbon footprint.
A simple trick that can save energy as well as money is by wrapping your water heating with an insulating blanket, which reduces your hot water energy use.
These are not too expensive, and can be bought for around 18 euro from most hardware stores.
- Clever Commuting
The usage of electric cars to reduce fuel emissions is something I feel very strongly about.
I have been using one for the past year and have found it a dream in terms of saving money on petrol – it’s very quiet on the road, and it plays a major role in reducing my carbon footprint.
Another thing to consider, especially when travelling into the city centre, is to utilise our public transport system. With Dublin city becoming less car friendly by the day, the 16, 11, 46a, 145 and 47 bus are just some of the buses that travel to and from Dublin Rathdown as well as the Luas. They take around 15-20 minutes at to enter the city centre.
- Buy local
While national and international supermarkets are making more of an effort these days in terms of reducing their carbon emissions, the industrialisation and globalisation of food production still poses huge challenges to our environment.
Buying products grown & sourced locally not only supports your community, it is also a sure way of helping to reduce your carbon footprint.
Food markets are the perfect example of where you can source food that has been grown and raised within the locality.
By shopping local, you are playing your part in terms of minimising packaging consumption and supporting farmers that only harvest their food when it is ready to consume.
- Put pressure on decision makers
At our public meeting, Professor John Sweeney said “We [Ireland] want to be a leader not a laggard” in terms of the role we play in reducing climate change.
I feel it is my duty, as well as every other politician in Ireland to have a proactive stance on this issue and have a mandate for tackling climate change.
If any of you have any thoughts or ideas on how I can represent our community in promoting awareness of climate change in our constituency, as well as at a national level please feel free to contact me and I will do all that I can .
We are the last generation that can tackle climate change we have a duty to act – and if we work together I truly believe that we can make a significant difference in ensuring the safety of our planet for our children.