Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22. Established in 1970, the objective of this global campaign is to highlight environmental issues around the world, and how local communities are getting involved to provide solutions. So what does Earth Day mean to the Burren?
The Burren Ecotourism Network has joined forces with other community groups in the region to tackle head-on the crisis of litter management.
“We have taken inspiration from Earth Day to launch an awareness campaign to better manage and ultimately prevent litter in the Burren,” states Jarlath O’Dwyer, CEO of the Burren Ecotourism Network. “We are looking at a variety of approaches including organised clean-ups, pro-active social media campaigns as well as working with Clare County Council and established networks such as Clean Coasts and Leave No Trace.”
The members of the Burren Ecotourism Network have been focused on keeping their local patches litter free over the years through the Adopt a Hedge Row and this year’s Earth Day campaign is about action, through litter picking, clear outs of local fly tipping blackspots as well as creating awareness of how everyone can play a part in keeping the Burren clean, and free of non-biodegradable waste.
This April several clean-ups took place in the Burren with an army of volunteers from each town and village. “We are extremely fortunate to have several committed community groups in the Burren area who have been doing trojan work for decades to try and keep our beautiful area clean and protected. Groups like BurrenBeo and the Tidy Towns for Doolin, Lisdoonvarna, Kilfenora and Ballyvaughan,” Jarlath said. “It is incredible the amount of rubbish collected, and a poor reflection on a small number of people that regularly litter, and unfortunately the pandemic and lockdown seem to have made things worse, especially on quieter roads.”
The network has launched a social media campaign with photos showing a household bin on one side labelled ‘A Bin’ and well-known beautiful Burren landscapes on the other side labelled ‘Not a Bin’. “Most people are very careful with refuse, and wouldn’t dream of littering, so we are actively encouraging the small minority of people to dispose of their rubbish more responsibly, it would make a huge difference” Jarlath added.