CoACTION Beara has won the national award for Global Citizenship Energy Theme 2020 in the Green Flag Project run by An Taisce.
This is the 7th Green Flag awarded to CoAction Beara and the first national award to be presented to them. Over the past 14 years, an all-centre approach to tackle climate change has taken place, each person contributing, both individually and collectively, to create change, awareness and to improve both the centre and the local community.
As part of the Global Citizenship Energy theme, which was carried out over the last two years, CoAction Beara took part in the following projects:
A Green fashion show – As part of their day of action, CoAction Beara hosted a family gathering. Outfits for the fashion show were created using newspapers, Tayto bags, bottle caps, cardboard, papier maché hats, beehive papier maché, plastic bags and other materials. They also cooked a barbecue using meat from the local butchers and organically-grown vegetables from their own onsite polytunnel.
They created beeswax wraps to use in their life skills kitchen to cover bowls and sandwiches. They used organic beeswax, jojoba oil and pine resin to create beeswax wraps. This project helped us to reduce our use of clingfilm and tin oil in the centre. The fabric they used was recycled from the local St Vincent de Paul charity shop.
CoAction participated in a community project in partnership with Cork County Council, Tidy Towns and Garra Fadó Garden centre in Eyeries. The planted bee-pollinating shrubs and apple trees in three raised beds in the new car park near Wiseman’s (and the Tearooms).
They held a Fairtrade coffee / hot chocolate morning in the centre to raise awareness of what Fairtrade means and how, by purchasing Fairtrade products, we are making the world a fairer place and paying farmers a fair price. They researched where in the local community such products can be bought.
Larger water butts were purchased for the centre to use in their polytunnel to reduce water consumption. They use organic seeds and compost in the polytunnel and grow their own salads and vegetables for the centre and residential houses in the hope that this will reduce their carbon footprint and use of plastic.
They participate in litter runs throughout the year from the Centre to Locmiquelic gardens in partnership with local Tidy Towns Committees
They recycled crisp / Tayto packets and chocolate wrappers for a company in Dublin named Terra Cycle. This company recycles old Tayto bags to manufacture into plastic pellets to make garden furniture. They hope to expand this project further in the coming years.
CoAction clients have learned that small steps can lead to great results and that each change they make is a step closer to limiting climate change.
During their research, they found that our ancestors were ahead of their time in terms of the use of electric cars / trams, use of reusable materials, farming practices, water consumption – the list is endless.
The Green Flag project has brought great enjoyment and food for thought. It has instilled a sense of responsibility in each of them on how their actions affect our future. It has inspired them to continue to learn more about ways we can create a sustainable lifestyle without further damage to our planet.
CoAction Beara was honoured to receive this award. It is a great achievement for all involved. They are looking forward to the continuation of all this hard work and the benefit it will bring to their centre and the wider community.
Colman Harrington, chairperson of the Green Flag Committee in CoAction Beara, commented: ‘The project was very interesting.
It was a project about Global Citizenship on Energy; how to reduce our usage of electricity, to make generating electricity more environmentally-friendly. I was very happy with the project and very proud to receive the award.’