Take Action - what can you do?

Climate change is happening now. The sooner we act the less damage will be done to our society, economy and environment, and to us. The national policy position for Climate Change establishes a vision for Ireland to pursue and achieve, by 2050, the transition to a climate resilient, biodiversity rich, environmentally sustainable and climate neutral economy. This goal will be pursued across the electricity generation, built environment and transport sectors; and an approach to carbon neutrality in the agriculture and land use sectors, including forestry.

On an individual level, there are many ways to you can take part in the fight against climate change. Below are some climate action steps that you can take.

Inform Yourself

Understanding how climate change impacts our environment can help in taking action. Using the resources available informs the approach that we can take going forward. Translating scientific data and knowledge into action is an important step. The mission of the EPA is to further scientific knowledge to protect, improve and restore our environment. This is  delivered through the Monitoring & Assessment of our environment and issues related to climate change.

The EPA is constantly monitoring the quality of our water, air and other natural resources. The EPA also monitors activities that could have potential impacts for our climate. This information is available on our website. Detailed information about the impact of climate change on Ireland can be found on the Climate Ireland website.

Reduce, reuse and recycle

By reducing consumption and participating in the Circular Economy, we can have a positive impact on our environment. Reducing the amount we consume can reduce the resources associated with these products. This can also save money and promote sustainability. Consumption can be reduced by considering the following:

Reuse

Reuse what you already have by repairing your stuff as an alternative to buying more. Or give away what you don’t need to friends, family or by donating to charity. If you are unsure how to repair your items, check the online repair directory for information.

Reduce

Reduce waste by avoiding single use products and packaging and by using rechargeable batteries.

Recycle

Recycle goods so the materials can be repurposed. Make sure to segregate your waste into the correct bins!

More resources on how to participate in circular economy activities can be found on our website.

Reduce food waste

Reducing food waste in the home is a very simple and effective way of taking action against climate change. Wasting food is also a waste of the resources used to make it so reducing food waste can also reduce resource waste. Consider the following tips to reduce your food waste:

  • Create a weekly shopping list and try to stick to it.
  • Plan your meals every week so you know exactly what you need and how much.
  • Try to buy local as much as possible to reduce the resources necessary to produce your food.

More resources on how to reduce food waste can be found on our website.

Preserve energy usage

The energy sector creates emissions released into the atmosphere to generate energy. Preventing energy waste can have a positive impact on our environment while also saving you money. By reducing energy waste, you are reducing the waste of resources. You can save energy in the following ways:

  • Only heat rooms that are in use in your household, make sure to set your thermostat to a room temperature between 15 – 18 degrees.
  • Turn off any appliances that require energy when they are not in use.
  • Consider insulation in the home. For example, draught proof windows and doors. Swap for double/triple glazing to keep heat in. Losing heat through poorly insulated walls and windows increases energy usage and costs.
  • Be efficient with hot water usage, only heat it when you need it. Don’t forget to turn of the immersion when not in use!

More resources on how to save energy at home can be found on the SEAI website.

Travel wisely

Consider options when travelling as a way of reducing emissions and protecting our air quality. Here are some ways to take climate action when travelling:

  • Using public transport or car-sharing arrangements.
  • Use opportunities to walk or cycle to destinations. Active travel is good for the climate, air quality, biodiversity, water quality and your physical and mental health.
  • Consider vehicles that are more fuel efficient i.e. electric cars (if options are available to you).

Environmental Complaints

If you believe you have witnessed an environmental problem, or any activities that could cause pollution or harm to our environment, there are ways to take action to help our environment.

  • First, you can contact the individuals involved to communicate your issue and how it could potentially be resolved. This is often the quickest and easiest solution.
  • Or you can also contact the relevant public body. This could either be your local council, or in an instance involving an EPA regulated site, contact the EPA.

More information on what is an environmental complaint, as well as how and where to address them, can be found on our website.

Further Information

Carbon Calculators