Make One Change - Cork County Council Launches Cork County Cuts Carbon Month

A group of people holding a sign saying make one change

When it comes to making sustainable changes to help reduce carbon footprint, one small change may feel somewhat insignificant to some, but when these changes are embraced by society, the combined results are staggering.

Climate change is primarily caused by too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Making small changes can make a big difference in reducing the carbon footprint.

During Cork County Cuts Carbon Month this November, Cork County Council is asking everyone in Cork County to Make One Change and support climate action. For example, when stopping for a coffee on the way to work each morning or out on a walk, bringing a reusable cup will save up to 365 disposable cups a year. Globally, it is estimated that 500 billion single use cups are discarded to landfill or incineration every year and in Ireland, it is estimated that over 22,000 of these non-recyclable cups are disposed of every hour.

Another example of Making One Change is around food waste. In Ireland, the average Irish household throws out 150kg of food each year. A simple pledge is to reuse leftovers this month with some useful recipes from www.stopfoodwaste.ie and if you can’t reuse, then compost.

As one person’s actions can make the difference, Cork County Council has also suggested a number of pledges, for adults and children, to ‘make one change’. These pledges are simple actions, such as connecting with nature, walking instead of driving for short journeys where possible, or pledging to buy no new items of clothing for November in support of slow fashion. A full list of pledges can be found on www.corkcoco.ie.

The Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Deirdre O’Brien, said

Let's all pledge to make one change. This November that one change - whether it is walking to the local shop instead of driving, reducing your household food waste, or even using energy saving light bulbs - will make a difference. One person or organisation cannot address climate change on their own, but together we can be part of a generation that does. Making one change can make all the difference.

As part of Cork County Cuts Carbon Month, Cork County Council has also organised a series of free talks and events for adults and children focusing on climate action, which are taking place in local libraries all over the county. These events will be covering a range of topics from ocean plastics and organic foods, to making your own bees wax wrap.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Chief Executive of Cork County Council, James Fogarty said,

James Fogarty

Divisional Manager - North Cork

Cork County Council Headquarters, County Hall, Carrigrohane Road, Cork, Ireland. Eircode: T12 R2NC.

Cork County Council, along with all other local authorities nationally, is developing Climate Action Plans to support the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) 2020 published by the government in 2020. Ireland has a target to achieve 51% emissions reduction by 2030, with further hopes to reach net zero by 2050. Cork County Council has launched its ‘Make One Change’ campaign to encourage the people of Cork County to think about climate change and make small, practical changes to their lifestyles in support of climate action.

Cork County Cuts Carbon Month is just one of a number of Council initiatives aimed at protecting the environment now and into the future. Recent energy efficiency actions undertaken by Cork County Council include building fabric and heating system upgrades of three divisional buildings, with 14 buildings having been converted to LED lighting. A major energy efficiency programme for public lighting will commence in 2023, which involves changing all public lighting to LED and targets a minimum of 55% energy efficiency improvement. An assessment is also underway to determine which light commercial vehicles could be replaced by electric vehicles. The strategy for 2023 is to provide at least 1 electric vehicle to each area and business unit within each Council Department next year.

A full schedule of events taking place during Cork County Cuts Carbon Month can be found on www.corkcoco.ie/en/events