Food waste, reuse and other musings

As I’ve come to the end of my very interesting and enjoyable stint in Community Reuse Network (CRNI), providing maternity leave cover for the National Coordinator, it’s a good time to reflect on what’s been happening in the green economy in the last few months.

There have been some very positive developments, both in Ireland and abroad.

The Forum on Food Waste was hosted by the Stop Food Waste team in the EPA, which highlighted the great work being done by Foodcloud, CrossCare and other food banks, to ensure that food, which might otherwise be wasted, gets used and by those people who most need it.

I particularly welcome the Conscious Cup Campaign, tackling one of my bugbears, disposable coffee-cups. My own reusable cup got plenty of (re)use as I trotted down North Great George’s Street three times a week to get my morning caffeine hit. It’s worrying though that in the nine months I did that, there wasn’t another single customer in the café with a similar cup.

Charity shop jacket costing €40

For myself, I’ve discovered the joys of charity shop shopping. Not being a shopper at all, I dreaded the thoughts of going into any shop and having to look through racks of clothes. But actually, they’re generally well laid out with specific types of clothes / sizes / colours grouped together which makes it easy and quick to look through the available items. Can’t do much better than a Versace jacket for €40!

Consultations kept me busy too, and I made submissions on microbeads, the Dept of Transport National Adaptation Plan and the RHI. While these take some time and effort to put together, I take the view that they are always worthwhile; it’s difficult to complain about something after the event, if you haven’t voiced your opinion when asked!

And let’s not forget the ambitious renewable energy and recycled materials announcements made by several corporate behemoths since the start of the year.

As always though, there is more work to be done; it’ll be interesting to see whether the decision, to withdraw the US from the Paris Accord, will have a positive or negative effect. To date, this unilateral action appears to have galvanised swathes of countries, cities and even US states to plough on ahead with initiatives to tackle climate change.

As for me, I’m looking forward to undertaking more research projects – as usual, a lot done but a lot more to do to keep working towards a low-carbon, green economy.