North Donegal community gardener Joanne Butler launches her new series on DW with eco-friendly tips and stories of positive environmental action in Donegal.

Joanne Butler, founder of OURganic Gardens, inspires us to reconsider our plastic practices this Christmas, and it’s not too late to begin:

Joanne Butler

This year more than ever we know the pressure is on, not to buy more but to buy less.

In our changing climate where the plastic issue has been massively highlighted in 2018 and where we can now see biodiversity loss ever more present, why not make a pledge to bring 2019 in with a bang and use less, reduce consumption and care more for the environment.

By now, most of you will have purchased the presents, wrapped them up and added an extra bow or two for good effect, but how consumer-driven were your purchases this Christmas?

Did you buy local? Did you have a go at any home-made gifts? When wrapping gifts did you look out for the tinsel and foil and not go overboard on the shiny bows?

Remember plastic doesn’t go away, and if not correctly recycled (that’s if it can be recycled) then it can take between 500 and 1000 years to break down.

When we look at the bigger picture we need to think what can we do as a society?, how can we make a change for the better and help with this massive world wide problem that is our plastic pollution.

Despite the world wide outcry, plastic is still ever present.

In 2018 nearly 300 million tons of plastic was produced, half of which is for single use. And more frightening a figure is that more than 8 million tons of it was dumped into our oceans.

  • So can you kick off the new year with your pledge?
  • Can you start up a local zero waste group promoting positive local action?
  • Can you get a few friends on board to help you make or bake as gifts in the future instead?
  • Can you live with less plastic in your life?

These actions won’t cost the earth, but they will help look after it.

Imagine a world if we all took the time out for friends and family at Christmas, put the presents down and made the presence felt. The gift of the future for our children and grandchildren is a cleaner less plastic polluted world, with us taking the pledge to protect it now.

Check back soon for more eco-action advice from Joanne.