Seventy EIL Intercultural Learning (EIL) network members, staff and Alan Hurley from Mad About Cork joined forces to take to St Patrick’s Street on Saturday 30th November during the Christmas shopping over the Black Friday sales to engage the public in their “street action”. Close to 300 people stopped in their tracks outside the historic Moderne (now a Superdry store) in the middle of St Patrick’s Street to engage with the different elements of the street action.

The street action was developed by the EIL Global Education Committee, a dedicated and passionate group of volunteers who deliver and facilitate Development Education workshop activities to develop people’s knowledge of global justice issues – invoking critical thinking and inspiring active global citizenship. The group took to the streets after a day of learning activities tackling the topical theme of Climate Action, which is in correlation with One World Week, run by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI). The theme of Climate Action was explored in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially goals 12, 13, 14 and 15.

“Basic actions can have a major impact on climate action. We all can and must play our part to counter our carbon footprint!”– Jorge Ruiz Villasante, Chairperson of EIL Global Education Committee. 30th November, 2019

As part of the climate street action, the public were engaged by asking them to place a plastic bottle cap on a mosaic that illustrates the sea – the irony being that the sea is polluted every year with over 8 million metric tons of plastics that enter our oceans (Ocean Conservancy). A conversation starter that led to people asking “What can we do?”. EIL’s street action also asked the public to commit to one or all of the EIL Challenges that were set for people to undertake from now until the end of the year.

The idea behind the actual challenge itself was to engage the public in conversation around real life actions that they could take to counter their own carbon footprint without having to go to extreme measures. Conscious and critical thinking of how our actions have a consequence is the first step to taking practical steps to reduce our carbon footprints and there was plenty of food for thought. “Basic actions can have a major impact on climate action. We all can and must play our part to counter our carbon footprint!” (Jorge Ruiz Villasante, Chairperson of EIL Global Education Committee)

The 5 Challenges:

  1. Meatless Mondays
    Can you eat just veg? Reduce intake of meat by having a meat free Monday.
  2. Turn Off & Unplug Appliances
    Is it already charged? Reduce energy waste by plugging out unused appliances.
  3. Recycle Fashion
    Do you need that new dress or shirt? Could we get it more ethically sourced?
  4. Carpool / Bus / Cycle / Walk
    Do you need to take the car to where you’re going?
  5. All Taste, No Waste
    Can you finish what’s on your plate?

Let us know you are taking part by tagging us on social media @eilireland and/or #EILChallenge

Furthermore, it was announced this week that EIL Intercultural Learning (EIL), a Cork based international educational charity, will become one of the first Irish charities to respond to the climate crisis by introducing a carbon-offsetting scheme for over 600,000km of its travel.

“Traveling by air is a key part of delivering our international programmes” according to Kevin Hickey, CEO at EIL Intercultural Learning  “but the time has come for organisations like EIL to face up to our responsibilities and to engage in action if we’re going to continue to use flights as a means of travel.”

EIL is a Cork based charity that provides intercultural learning opportunities through cultural immersion activities for over 2,500 people each year, both in Ireland and abroad, whilst promoting personal development and global citizenship.  The charity is best known for its flagship ‘Explore’ scholarship programme, which provides fully funded overseas learning opportunities each year for Irish people to spend their summers volunteering in Latin America, Asia and Africa or for younger participants who spend a school term or a school year study abroad.