What do you normally achieve after four months of growing delicious, fresh home-grown food? Probably feeling healthier and certainly saving money, but what about winning an electric car for your efforts?
The overall winner of the challenge was Mona Wise from Galway, but Renault decided to gift the other three pioneers a Fluence ZE to continue on their successful eco-challenge.
Mayoman Keith McGreal says that Operation GIY Nation has pushed him to be more self-sustainable and changed the way he looks at food. A total convert to the silence, convenience and environmental benefits of driving an electric car, he says ‘the whole experience has been great’.
In July 2014 Renault Ireland came on board with Grow It Yourself (GIY ) to ‘electrify’ their annual food-growing challenge, Operation GIY Nation. GIY selected four enthusiastic pioneers to take part in a unique four month eco adventure involving monthly food growing and electric vehicles challenges. The lucky pioneers got to test drive an electric Renault Fluence Z.E. for the four months and each month tracked their CO2 and financial savings to try and achieve the longest range.
At the same time, they grew their own food with monthly food growing challenges like growing strawberries, French beans, rocket and micro-greens. Like all good pioneers they encouraged the rest of the Grow It Yourself Nation, sharing their experiences on social media and uploading motivational photos and videos!
In addition to Keith and Mona, the other two pioneers were: Gary Guilfoyle from Westmeath, and Rachel Coffey from Dublin.
GIY’s vision is for a healthier, more connected and more sustainable world where people grow their own food. We bring people together in community groups and online to inspire and empower them to grow vegetables. There are over 800 GIY community groups and projects, and approximately 50,000 people involved in the movement around Ireland. GIY is registered charity – CHY 18920. www.giyireland.com Patrick Magee, country operations manager, Renault Ireland, said that Renault Operation GIY Nation was a good fit for Renault’s electric vehicle offering.
“The Fluence Z.E. is one of our range of 100% electric vehicles and its clean, silent engine and automatic transmission gives drivers the maximum torque from the off, with smooth and responsive acceleration, and with savings to the environment and to the wallet. Not only has the winning eco-pioneer walked away from the project armed with a new life-skill and lots of healthy, home-grown produce – they also get to keep their Renault Fluence Z.E. to continue their enhanced lifestyle. In fact, we were so impressed with all four pioneers that we have decided to reward each with a car, as we know they have really enjoyed the experience and have fitted the car into their lifestyles. We wish them all happy and safe electric driving.” Renault has also donated a fifth car to GIY Ireland to help them to continue to promote Operation GIY Nation and to encourage more people to get involved.
Michael Kelly, founder of GIY, said: “It’s been such a buzz for us to see the Renault GIY Nation cars travelling the highroads and byroads of Ireland, powered only by electricity and GIYers! We are thrilled that Renault has decided to give the cars to all four pioneers and we will drive ours with pride as we continue to encourage Irish people to live greener lives.”