37 Communities Awarded for their Efforts in Greening their Homes

Date released: Jun 02 2010

An Taisce, in partnership with the EPA, today awarded 37 Green Home flags to communities who completed the Green Home programme. The awards ceremony took place in Croke Park to celebrate the participants’ success, and acknowledges the efforts of householders to improve environmental actions within the home.

The aim of the Green Home programme is to raise environmental awareness and support positive and sustainable environmental actions amongst householders and community groups.

Laura Burke, Director, EPA Office of Climate, Licensing and Resource Use said:

“Great strides have been made by An Taisce in developing and rolling out the Green Home programme. This provides every citizen in Ireland with the information they need to play their part in living in a more sustainable way. This in turn will provide a sound foundation for the development of a greener, smarter economy and destination for Ireland.”

The programme focuses on:
• waste reduction;
• energy efficiency in the home;
• water conservation and
• the promotion of sustainable travel. 
Householders receive information and advice through the programme to help them make informed decisions and take various actions that will help the environment, while also reducing costs in the home. 

The Green Home programme, which builds on the very successful Green Schools programme, commenced in November 2006.  To date, almost 10,000 families in 65 different communities throughout Ireland have been given the opportunity to participate.

Dorothy Stewart of the An Taisce Environmental Education Unit said:

“The Green Home programme aims to support and advise householders on ways to reduce their impact on the environment, while saving money on household bills. It was also piloted with a number of community groups in Roscommon in 2009 who found the programme helped unite the community who worked together towards a common purpose of being more environmentally responsible and built further on their strong sense of community. Continuous monitoring of the programme through the use of surveys has shown a positive shift in environmental behaviour amongst participating householders.”

Participants are surveyed at the beginning of the programme and again on completion of the programme. The purpose of the survey is to measure and analyse any change in their environmental behaviour and attitudes on completion of the programme.  The results are very encouraging:

Energy Efficiency: Householder energy use has been reduced from between 10-25%, just by simple measures such as turning the lights off when leaving the room or by un plugging appliances. This measure alone can save households up to 10% in their average electricity bill.
Waste reduction: Householders are preventing waste generation by adopting clever shopping habits such as  avoiding over packaged goods. The survey results indicate a 10% to 40% increase in home composting.
Water conservation: The Green Home ‘Water Wise’ challenge helped participants to find out ways to conserve and preserve water as a most precious resource.
Sustainable travel: The Green Home ‘Travel Green from home to school’ challenge helped to raise awareness about the social, economic and environmental benefits of more sustainable transport options. Participants took part in a number of initiatives including car pooling, using public transport and walking and cycling family activities.

The Green Home Programme continues to grow, evolve and most importantly empower individuals to be part of the solution in Ireland’s journey towards more sustainable living.

For further information or to join the Green Home programme visit the Green Home website or contact the Green Home Team on dstewart@eeu.antaisce.org or by calling 01 4002218.

Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)