ICSA and CRNI launch Green Friday Campaign - Save money, save the planet, make a difference

This year consumers can make Green the new Black with the Green Friday campaign on 4 December, which aims to shift consumers to more conscious and sustainable shopping. This replaces the traditional overconsumption that takes place every year on Black Friday.

The Irish Charity Shops Association (ICSA) and Community Resources Network Ireland (CRNI) encourage consumers to hold off on buying new products on Black Friday and to instead purchase preloved goods, particularly those from local charity shops and reuse social enterprises across the country. This simple action can save money, save the planet and make a difference.

Save money and grab a bargain. Every day can be Green Friday when consumers shop in a charity shop or a reuse social enterprise, where good quality merchandise can be found at a fraction of the cost of buying new. There is a plethora of preloved goods available in Ireland and almost anything can be found — from clothing to homewares to books and media to bicycles to furniture to creative supplies and more.

Save the planet by shopping sustainably. Consumers not only save money by buying secondhand but also help to save the planet by lowering their carbon footprint and participating in the circular economy, which keeps existing goods in circulation for as long as possible. 11.5 million garments were sold through ICSA member charity shops in 2019. This and other reuse social enterprise activities saved over 150,000 tonnes of carbon, avoided waste and conserved natural resources by avoiding the consumption of new goods.

Do good twice by shopping sustainably and supporting good causes. By shifting their shopping behaviour, consumers will have a social impact. Charities and social enterprises fund essential services in communities both in Ireland and abroad and provide local jobs and training opportunities. Together, ICSA and CRNI members employ over 690 people, create social employment for about 2,200 people and 7,200 volunteer opportunities nationwide.

“Charities face a double whammy as demand for their services has increased because of the pandemic but they have not been able to fundraise. By supporting your local charity shop you are helping to make a difference to the lives of the most marginalised people in our communities. You’re also saving money and the planet too,”

stated Linda Ward, Secretary of ICSA. The ICSA is the umbrella organisation for registered charities who operate shops as part of their fundraising activities.

Claire Downey, Executive of CRNI said

“Shoppers are becoming more sustainably conscious all the time. Supporting Green instead of Black Friday — both online and in store — is a great way to boost local, social and sustainable businesses and save money in the process.” CRNI is the representative body for community-based reuse, recycling and waste prevention organisations.

Most shops are expected to reopen to the public on Wednesday, 2 December in time for Green Friday on 4 December and will have all Covid-19 precautions in place so customers can have confidence in shopping safely. Customers can find their local charity shops at www.icsa.ie/shops/. CRNI Members, providing upcycled and secondhand furniture, fashion and homewares, creative materials and paint, bicycles, and reuse and repair workshops, can be found at www.crni.ie/directory.

Meanwhile, some charity shops have inventory available via click and collect services or online at Thriftify and eBay. Information about other reuse services available during Covid-19 restrictions can be found at crni.ie/reuse-repair-recycling-covid-19.

Green Friday 4th December 2020 poster

Are you guilty of hoarding half empty tins of paint at home, those “just in case” tubs that you finally get around to dumping when they’ve dried up? Householders have traditionally brought their leftover paint to their local Civic Amenity Site for disposal, however this may be set to change, as a new pilot Community Paint Re-Use Scheme will soon get underway in Cork City and County.

Cork City Council and Cork County Council have received funding from the EPA’s Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN) programme for the joint scheme, which will see unused water-based paints in Civic Amenity Sites diverted towards one of two social enterprises.  The social enterprises, Northside Community Enterprise (NCE) in Farranferris, Cork City and Cycle Sense based in Skibbereen, will then filter, remix, recolour and repackage the paint before selling it at reduced rates in the local community. 

The pilot project will involve the City Council’s Civic Amenity Site at Kinsale Road and three of Cork County’s eleven Civic Amenity sites; two in West Cork at Derryconnell and Clonakilty and one in South Cork at Raffeen.

This unique collaboration between Cork City and County Council will divert paint from disposal and incineration to provide affordable, good quality paint for reuse in the local community. Not only will the project benefit our environment, it will also deliver economically in terms of job creation and reduced costs for the community groups and individuals who use the paint.

A similar scheme run by the Rediscovery Centre in Dublin has been hugely successful and will provide mentoring for the new Cork scheme, which is due to begin later this month.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said,

“This collaborative project between our two local authorities here in Cork is based on the Circular Economy model. We’re all increasingly conscious of the finite nature of resources available to us. Circular economies keep products in use for as long as possible and avoid waste. I find it very encouraging to see this pilot Paint Re-use Scheme starting up. It’s positive news for the environment and for our communities and I hope it inspires more projects in the same vein.”

Cork City Council’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Joe Kavanagh commented,

“This is a really exciting collaborative project which sees Circular Economy in action in our city.  I am delighted to see that the paint reuse initiative will deliver environmental, economic and social benefits to the community and wish to congratulate all involved in securing the funding to establish such a project in Cork.”

Greener Home - Hints, tips and ideas on greener ways to DIY

Let this guide inspire you to make greener choices about the products and services you buy and use and will also give you tips and ideas on a greener way to improve and love your home.  Before starting a DIY project or buying something, ask yourself.....Do I really need this? Can I repair or upcycle what I have already? What will become of the item I am replacing? Can it be reused or recycled?  

Click the following link to download the guide: Greener Home Guide

Greener Cleaning - Your guide to economical and easy greener cleaning

Reduce your household spending on cleaning products and make your own greener products using just five ingredients:

Baking Soda – also known as Bread Soda or bicarbonate of soda
Soda Crystals also known as Washing Soda
White Vinegar
Lemon Juice

Click the following link to download the guide: Greener Cleaning Guide

Greener Gardening - Your guide to chemical-free affordable gardening

Many of us rely on pesticides to kill garden pests and insects, herbicides to keep weeds at bay but there are many natural options available.

Click the following link to download the guide: Greener Gardening Guide


Waste Prevention Recycling Workshops Poster

Cork County Council’s Environmental Awareness Office are delighted to collaborate with Voice Ireland to offer a free waste reduction and recycling workshop to communities and groups in the Cork County administration area. 

The workshop includes a broad introduction to waste in Ireland, the concept of the waste hierarchy and individual actions to reduce waste e.g. loose buying and community actions e.g. Repair cafes. This is then followed by an interactive session on what goes in the recycling bin. 

A limited number of workshops are available.  To register your interest please send your enquiry to kcorkery@corkcoco.ie or phone (021) 4532700.  Groups must have 20 people at a minimum to avail of the workshop so it can work better if groups in a community can come together.

Depose of Unused Medicines Properly Poster 1





















Depose of Unused Medicines Properly Poster 2





















From Monday 24th February to Saturday 4th April 2020 you can drop off your unused or unwanted medicines to participating pharmacies in Cork County as part of the DUMP campaign (Dispose of Unused Medicine Properly).  Medicines should not be put in the bin or flushed away as this poses a danger to children, pets, the environment and our water systems.  Pharmacies will ensure that all medicines returned will be disposed of safely.  Proper disposal of medicines reduces the risk of:

Storing large quantities of medication at home can pose a hazard and put people at risk of:

Accidental poisonings (particularly in children)

The National Poisons Information Centre in Beaumont Hospital received 10,461 enquiries in 2018 involving poisoning in humans. Almost 60% of these related to children under 10 years old. Most poisonings involving children took place in the child’s home or that of a grandparent or child-minder. More than half of poisonings involved medicines, with Paracetamol being the most common medicine involved. Brightly coloured medications or liquids can easily be mistaken for sweets or drinks by children or other vulnerable people.

Inappropriate sharing of medicines 

  • It is important that medicines are taken as directed by the person for whom they were prescribed and only that person.  Medication is prescribed to cure illness/infection, however, sharing or not completing courses of medication may cause illness, injury, or even death. Also, when antibiotics are used inappropriately (i.e. not completing the course or sharing with someone), not all bacteria are destroyed and more resistant bacteria survive and multiply. These drug-resistant bacteria then make it harder to prevent and treat infections because fewer antibiotics are effective against them.  Increased antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat to global public health.

Overdose suicide attempts

  • The National Suicide Research Foundation reports that in 2018, there were 12,588 presentations to hospital due to self-harm with intentional drug overdose using prescription or over the counter medicines being the means of self harm in 62% of cases. In 2017 there were 251 deaths due to overdose using prescription or over the counter medicines

Damage to the environment

Unwanted medicines are often inappropriately disposed of by being dumped with other household waste, flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink. These methods of disposal can seriously harm the environment with products ending up in landfill, permeating the soil and entering our food chain and water supply.

  • This campaign is organised by Cork Kerry Community Healthcare with pharmacists in Cork and Kerry.  The campaign is supported by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, and Kerry County Council and almost all pharmacies are taking part.

Contact Us

Environment Directorate, Inniscarra, Co. Cork