National Green Week: What Can I Do?

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Campuses around Ireland are coming together this week to promote the first National Green Week. Colleges will be addressing the challenges facing the world and exploring how we can impact positively on the planet and people. There’s a wide range of events, activities and opportunities happening over the week so be sure to get involved on your campus and participate in Green Week 2022. Whatever it is you are involved in, it’s also important to remember that it’s easy for us all to believe in a greener world but this must be backed up by the actions we take in our everyday life. So here at we thought we’d ask the question “National Green Week: What Can I Do?” and take a look at a few simple things we should be doing that will make the world a better place.

National Green Week: What Can I Do?

Bottle up

20,000+ single-use plastic bottles are made every second, none of which will ever fully decompose. We’re looking at a planet that in 2050 will have more plastic in its oceans than fish. So, if you’re still buying water in plastic bottles stop. Ireland’s drinking water is significantly pure and also you can use your own reusable water bottle at the water fountains in college – and if there are none, ask why!

Similarly, are you drinking from disposable coffee / tea cup everyday? Stop! Buy yourself a reusable mug prevent unnecessary landfill – your landfill!.

Pack that bag

As for that shopping bag – get in the habit of carrying a reusable bag. People are still buying plastic bags when they do their shopping. And many have a large growing beast of a bag full of bags at home. Just keep one with you and get in the habit of using it! 

Similarly, if you’re eating meals from takeaways think about the plastic cutlery you’re consuming. Why not carry a spare knife, fork and spoon with you in your day-to-day life.

Eat less meat

Go for a veggie meal. Meat [and dairy production] is responsible for 60% of agriculture’s global greenhouse gas emissions. Farmed animals are one of the main causes of deforestation and forests are being destroyed to grow animal feed.

If you do eat meat, eat local, free range, organic meat and best to limit it to white meat, like chicken, rather than beef.

Stop printing

We’ve all stood behind those people at the photocopier or printer who seem to be printing out batches and batches of sheets of paper. Most of which may never see the light of day and never be studied. Some students are convinced that if they print it they will learn it through some sort of miraculous osmosis. 

So ask yourself, do I need to print this whole book / chapter / thesis? Read it first and take from it what you need – and if you have to print it out be sure to use both sides of the paper and avoid using colour. And please, if you do print it, use it! There are folders all across Ireland stuffed with unread printed material.

Turn it off 

Turn off computers, laptops, monitors, projectors and electronic equipment when you are not using them. Screensavers do not save energy! So switch it off. All electronic equipment in standby mode consumes energy. So wherever you can, switch it off. And don’t leave your phone continuously plugged in. Unplug it once it is charged.

Ditch the car

Cut down on driving. Take public transport. Cycle. Walk. Be conscious of your options and select the greenest one. This is a great way to cur back on fossil fuel use, reduce air pollution, boost biodiversity, reduce noise pollution and encourage more green spaces. If you do use a car, can you car share? Is there someone else doing a similar journey to yours with who you could split the use of two cars into one?

What are you wearing?

The fashion industry is guilty of being one of the largest polluters. It is the second-largest polluter in the world after the oil industry. It has a huge impact on climate change, waste accumulation, pollution of the air, land, and our lakes, rivers, seas and oceans. Take some time to look behind the label and consider a more socially responsible approach to fashion. Be aware of the overproduction and overconsumption of cheap and disposable clothing. Be aware of sustainable brands. Shop in second hand shops. Donate your clothes to charity. Buy less. Buy better quality. Buy ethically from Irish brands. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level, CAO and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses and colleges.


Steven Galvin

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