• Cyril McAree

Clare's Greener Festival's Taking Action On Climate Change

Clare County Council are pleased to announce a two year programme which will see the development of a Clare Green Festival network. This programme is fully funded by Clare Local Development Company through the LEADER programme. Martina Minogue, Development Officer, Clare Local Development Company commented “We are delighted to be assisting the development of this programme which will see Clare’s existing Green Festivals coming together to develop as a network and to invite new festivals to complete training and participate in the network”.

The Green Festival Programme was originally an initiative of Clare Tourism in 2017 where ten festivals from across Co. Clare received Green Festival and Ambassador and Leader training throughout 2017 and 2018. The programme, which is the first of its kind in the Ireland, is now led by Clarecastle Tidy Towns in collaboration with Clare County Councils Greener Clare programme. This initiative is also supported by Clare Volunteer Centre, Limerick Clare Energy Agency, Southern Region Waste Management Office and the EPA Local Authority Prevention Network. Chairperson of Clarecastle Tidy Towns, Christy Leyden, outlined “Communities are becoming increasingly more conscious of sustainability and promoting activities that reduce environmental impact. Greening festivals is an obvious way to do this and Clarecastle Tidy Towns will be sharing learning’s from this project with all Tidy Towns groups across County Clare To date participating Clare Greener Festivals have successfully reduced their carbon footprint by up to 40% as part of their involvement in Clare’s Green Festival programme. Other achievements include the abolition of single use individually wrapped items where an estimated total of 17,600 items were prevented from going to landfill. An estimated 5,900 single use plastic food and drink untensils were saved from going to landfill by replacing them with reusable or compostable options. Waste segregation which includes separation of Waste to Food Waste and Compostables, Recycling and General Waste was also achieved by all participating green festivals.

Raquel Noboa from Fifty Shades Greener who will be delivering this programme in conjunction with the green festivals outlined that “In addition to preventing and managing waste at festivals this initiative has community involvement, sustainable travel, green purchasing, water conservation and energy conservation at its heart. This is in essence climate action at a local community level and fully supports the objectives of the Climate Action Plan 2019. Raquel continued “The overall goal of the programme is that we will have a number of Carbon Neutral Festivals in County Clare by 2021. Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer, Clare County Council commented “Festivals and events are a great way for towns and small businesses to show what they have to offer to visitors and locals alike. This programme is an excellent step by step programme, individually tailored for participating festivals. It will not only assist festivals with reducing their environmental impact but will also assist with the reduction of costs associated with running a festival. Michael Foley, Clare Volunteer Centre, added, “Taking actions to green a local festival instills a sense of pride in a community and it encourages people to come out and volunteer and be part of a community.” Information sessions will be held at Templegate Hotel on Wednesday the 13th of November 2019, from 2 to 3pm and again from 7 to 8pm. All festival groups organisers across Co. Clare are invited to attend one of these sessions. For more information, on the programme or how to get involved, email Raquel at info@fiftyshadesgreener.ie

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