Photo by Chris Scarffe

Ep 32. Climate Change & Over Fishing in Coastal Communities – Ruth Leeney

 

Ruth Leeney is a conservationist and fellow activist and vegan, working hard to preserve our under water world. We covered so much in this chat and still didn't get to talk about everything, so I know for sure, there'll be a second interview with Ruth sometime in the future! In the meantime, you can support Ruth's work through Women4Oceans here.

Photo by Chris Scarffe
Photo by Chris Scarffe

We covered:

  • (05:40) Ruth's background and when she became eco consious.
  • (08:34) Scuda diving in U.K. Vs Australian waters.
  • (13:44) How the community Ruth works with in Mozambique are being affected by over fishing.
  • (17:50) How the locals have been impacted by Climate Change.
  • (23:44) What, if any work is being done by NGOs or governments to aid and educate in this crisis.
  • (28:40) What is Blue Justice? Read this link for more.
  • (32:35) How we in the first world countries can help.
  • (37:28) Why Ruth first became vegan and how she manages working in coastal fishery communities considering that.
  • (45:15) How to know if the fish you do buy is sustainably sourced.
  • (48:20) How to avoid trawled fish.
  • (49:40) Dynamite fishing.
  • (50:40) The plastic Ruth has seen on her dive adventures around the world.
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Also Mentioned:

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Ep 29. Food Security in Ireland – Aisling Wheeler

Despite what we hear about Ireland doing well in terms of food security, it's far more treacherous than we think. Aisling Wheeler talks me through the problems Ireland faces, how it all changed and what we can do to make it better.

  • (05:35) The definitions of food security & food sovereignty, and how we fare in Ireland in regards to that.
  • (10:35) Organic farming in Ireland.
  • (11:45) The knock-on effects of relying on imported goods.
  • (15:45) What changed in recent decades to make our food system insecure.
  • (18:30) What has been done, if anything, in policy or government to help with food security.
  • (22:20) Soil health in Ireland - fertility and drainage.
  • (28:30) The difference between monoculture & permaculture.
  • (32:45) Growing your own food at home, encouraging farmers to diversify & CSA.
  • (37:35) Buying food in season & our relationship with food.

Also Mentioned:

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Ep 27. Creating an ‘A.r.k.’ in Nature – Mary Reynolds

Episode 27 is with Mary Reynolds who chats about We Are the Ark, an initiative to encourage people to give back some land to nature.

Check out their website and join the Facebook group for more information and support!

  • (04:50) What inspired We Are The Ark.
  • (08:05) Where the name came from.
  • (09:00) The importance of putting a sign on your ark.
  • (11:25) How much land is 'enough' for an ark.
  • (13:30) What it means to be a guardian of the earth as opposed to gardener.
  • (16:00) Is an ark compatible with pets and children?
  • (19:00) Getting an ark started.
  • (22:40) Giving sovereignty back to the land.
  • (25:00) Growing food in a wild garden.  Learn more about forest gardening here!
  • (30:35) Restoring your land to what it was before.
  • (34:20) How to go about turning public or government land into arks.
  • (36:30) How we can make sure our artificial outside lights stop damaging wildlife.
  • (38:45) Closing thoughts from Mary.
  • (43:20) What we need going forward to get systematic change.

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Ep 24. Toilet Paper vs The Bidet

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While toilet paper has been disappearing off the shelves, a lot of people have made the plunge to switch to a paperless toilet routine by opting for a bidet instead. So I thought I'd research the differences between the two with the environment in mind (but I also touch on money, health & cleanliness!). So listen in, or watch on YouTube, to find out how much of an impact your carbon buttprint is having...eh..eh?

  • [03:35] Definition & History of the Bidet.
  • [07:15 ] Our use of toilet paper.
  • [13:17] Pros & cons of toilet paper.
  • [17:35] Water Usage. (Watch this Netflix documentary on the Earth's water supply here.)
  • [21:17] Pros & cons of the bidet.
  • [27:19] Types of bidets.
  • [31:24 ] Flushable Wipes.
  • [32:45] Vascó's & Cecilia's personal bidet stories.
  • [37:00] How much resources an Irish person could save switching to a bidet considering we use on average 10.5kg per capita a year.
  • [38:20] Eco toilet paper options.

Buy Eco Toilet Paper:

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Ep 23. Making Easter Ethically Eco!

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OK, you may have forgotten what day of the week it is but the Easter Bunny has not! This Sunday, the 12th of April, is Easter Sunday. This is a holiday that, like many others, has good intentions but so much waste involved and is linked to the heavy carbon footprint of chocolate. In this episode, using the research I've done I delve into:

  • A very ...very... brief history on Easter.
  • A look at the carbon footprint of chocolate. 
  • Consumption of Easter Eggs in Ireland & the waste involved.
  • Eco friendly treasure hunts (buy reusable wooden eggs here).
  • Ethical decor and dinner suggestions as opposed to eggs and lamb.

Reports & Surveys Used:

  1. Euromonitor Chocolate Report.
  2. Euro 2017 Chocolate Stats.
  3. University of Manchester report on the Environmental Impacts of Chocolate. 
  4. Repak Easter Survey. 

And FOR THE FIRST TIME...this episode is now available to watch. Check out my first YouTube video below!

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Ep 22. Saving the River Poddle – Róisín McAleer

The River Poddle runs through Dublin City, sometimes underground, so not a lot of people know of its importance. Róisín McAleer, a teacher and member of Crumlin Community Clean Up group, tells us about the importance of the river and how it's being threatened right now.

Have a listen and don't forget to sign the petition here and follow the campaign on twitter to keep up to date. Everything else mentioned is linked below.

The Planning documents are available to view here.

Taking Action!

Contact the River Poddle Flood Alleviation Scheme here or email them at info@poddlefas.ie with your concerns for this project. Use whoismytd.com to find your local TDs and contact them too.

You can also copy and paste your email and send it to:

  • floodinfo@opw.ie
  • info@opw.ie
  • john.sydenham@opw.ie - Commissioner of Floodrisk Management
  • john.curtin@opw.ie - Director of Floodrisk Management
  • info@sdublincoco.ie

 

Get Involved With:

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Covered in this episode:

You can see the Poddle in:

  • Tymon Park.
  • Whitehall Road, Kimmage Manor.
  • Poddle Park/Ravensdale Park.
  • St. Martin's Park.

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Ep 15. Bringing Biodiversity Back into your Garden or Balcony- Collie Ennis

Collie Ennis is a fellow podcaster (check out The Critter Shed!), Science officer with the Herpetological Society of Ireland and a research associate at Trinity University Dublin. He's also a great laugh to have the chats with and a fountain of knowledge. We delve into all things critter related in this episode.

In particular we cover:

  • How Collie came to work with critters.
  • How important invertebrates are to biodiversity.
  • Why invertebrates are struggling today.
  • How climate change is affecting them.
  • The hidden species of Ireland from newts to toads.
  • How to easily turn your garden or balcony into a haven for invertebrates on rented or owned land.
  • What happened at the Tallaght Wetlands.
  • Advice as a community member on how to protect a local patch of land, vital to species, threatened by development.
  • Working with neighbours to turn estate greens into bio-diverse areas.
  • Growing food in a garden full of bugs.

Mentioned:

You can follow Collie on Twitter or Instagram and don't forget to checkout The Critter Shed podcast (who are on Twitter and Facebook).

Let me know what you think of this episode and don't forget to rate, review and share!

 

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What to do for Invertebrates on your land:

  1. Provide a water source either level with the ground or with a ramp of rocks around it so animals can get to and fro. Place in an underwater plant from a local canal or pond.
  2. Plant vines (like Clematis) around your garden so frogs can climb in and out. You can also knock a brick or small hole out of your garden wall on either side so animals like hedgehogs can come and go either direction.
  3. Plant wildflowers recommeded by the Pollinator Plan. If you're renting, plant pots with over flowing plants like nasturtiums.
  4. Pile old decking for bugs like bumble bees. (Let it rot!)
  5. Bring in some rotting wood (from deciduous trees, not pine)and fallen leaves for insects to feed from.
  6. On a balcony, place out a bucket or tray of stagnant water. Plant some wildflowers in pots.
  7. Sit back and enjoy the life around you!
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Ep 13. The Native Seals & Why a lot need Rescuing – Melanie, Seal Rescue Ireland

I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown to interview Melanie. Her extensive knowledge of conservation made this a really enjoyable educational episode, although sometimes very saddening due to how Seals are suffering at the hands of humans. Have a listen, share it around and be the eyes and ears of SRI when you're out along the coast.

We covered:

  • Melanie's background before coming to work for Seal Rescue Ireland.
  • Facts about the seals that are native to Ireland and how their populations have fared over the years.
  • Why SRI end up needing to rehabilitate seals.
  • How pollutants end up in the sea and what we can do to stop them.
  • The importance planting trees, particularly Riparian buffers, has on the health of the sea.
  • The relationship between seal conservationists and the fishing industry.
  • The benefits of Eco-Tourism.
  • How SRI rehabilitate their seals and releases them.

What to do if you see a seal on the beach:

  • Stay at least 100 metres away.
  • Call SRI's hotline number: +353(0)87 1955393.
  • Keep your dog on a short lead.
  • Do NOT approach the seal or try drag it into the sea!

 

Adopt a Seal here. Your adoption certificate will be e-mailed to you as well as regular updates!

 

 

 

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Don't forget to rate, review & share!

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Cormac protesting in style against the invasive sitka spruce.

Ep 12. Why it’s time to join the Rebellion- Cormac Nugent, Extinction Rebellion

For episode 12 I asked Cormac Nugent for an interview on behalf of Extinction Rebellion Ireland. He has been with the group for a few months and hosts some of their public 'Heading for Extinction' talks. He knows an awful lot about the climate crisis situation and more importantly, what we need to do about. We cover a LOT in this episode so it's longer that usual but you won't notice the time going. We sure didn't!

Some of the highlights we talked about are:

  • How Cormac became involved in Environmentalism.
  • The Montreal Protocol: protecting the ozone.
  • Who Extinction Rebellion are, their demands and values.
  • Why they do disruptive actions.
  • What The Climate Emergency the Irish government declared means for us and the climate emergency measures bill.
  • A brief science of the climate crisis: previous extinctions, carbon absorption by the ocean, coral reefs, soil degradation.
  • The temperature rise, why and how it happens, what needs to be done to stop it.
  • Tree cover in Ireland and the problem with sitka spruce.
  • Our carbon budget.
  • What a just transition means.
  • Electric cars Vs public transport.
  • The top 3 causes of climate change.
  • Erica Chenoweth’s studies including the 3.5% rule.
  • Rebellion Week.
  • What you have to do to risk arrest.
  • Examples of affinity groups: Plant Bandits and The Bumble Bees.
  • Advice for battling eco-anxiety.

Educational Resources:

Cormac protesting in style against the invasive sitka spruce.
How to get involved:
  • Social Media Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  • Joining your local group (or setting one up if there isn't one!).
  • Via your College/University XR society. Again, you can set one up if there isn't one!
  • By attending local Heading for Extinction talks, NVDA workshops and monthly meetings, all events are listed on their Facebook page here.
  • Share XR's events and posts online and with your friends and family.
  • Donate to their GoFundMe by clicking here.
  • Join protests in person.
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Find and join your nearest strike on the 20th of September!

[Sign up to be a steward here.]

School-age students have self-organised marches around the country and they need you to attend.

  • Dublin: Gathering 12:00 at Customs House, marching at 12:30 to Merrion Sq., rallying 13:00 - 14:00 at Merrion Sq. in front of Govt. buildings
  • Cork City: Gathering on Grand Parade St. from 12:00, marching at 12:20.
  • Kerry (Tralee): Meet at County Buildings, Ratass, at 9am
  • Clare (Ennis): Meet at The Height, O’Connell Square at 9am
  • Drogheda: Demonstrating from 13:00 outside St. Peters's Church, West St.
  • Galway: Demonstrating from 13:00 - 16:00 in Eyre Square
  • Navan: Demonstrating from 13:00 - 15:00 at the Market Square
  • Limerick: Marching from Arthur's Quay Park at 13:00, finishing at City Hall.
  • Dundalk: Demonstrating from 12:30 - 15:00 in the Market Square
  • Kenmare: Demonstrating from 9:00 - 13:00 outside the Courthouse
  • Dingle: 12pm at the Town Park climateactiondingle@outlook.ie.

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Ep 10. Why we are Sick of Plastic! – Claudia Tormey, Friends of the Earth

Episode 10 is here already! This one specifically looks at plastic and I talk to Claudia Tormey about it. Claudia works for Friends of the Earth and runs their #SickOfPlastic campaign. Have a listen to learn about:

  • How and why Claudia came to work for FOE.
  • Who are Friends of the Earth & what do they do?
  • Why plastic is such a problem.
  • Fracking & drilling for oils in Ireland.
  • The LNG terminals (take action here!).
  • How to Shop and Drop.
  • What's been happening to our waste.
  • Advice on how keep it together as an environmental activist.
Photo: Sorcha McManigan

Other campaigns & causes mentioned:

 

Media Mentioned:

Take action by signing their Sick of Plastic campaign petition here!

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