Change.ie, the national climate change campaign in association with GAA/ESB Cúl Green initiative launched a competition for GAA clubs across Ireland on the day of the All-Ireland final.
Mr John Gormley TD Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has invited GAA members in Mayo to set up a Group for Change in their club’s name at change.ie and encourages as many people as possible to join their club’s group and be in with a chance to win prizes. From there, they will be directed to cúlgreen.ie and encouraged to make a pledge to reduce their personal carbon number and thus their carbon emissions.
The club group with the most members at the end of the competition will be the overall winner and the best performing team in each county will also be rewarded.
The prize fund of €28,000 includes a first prize of €10,000 for the national winner and €5,000 for second place. Twenty six county champions will each receive €500 worth of sports gear/equipment for their club before going on to represent their county in the final week of the competition with a chance to become €10,000 All Ireland champions.
“Everybody is a winner if they tackle their carbon number because they can make significant savings in their household and transport costs,” said Minister Gormley. “Croke Park is making great progress in reducing its carbon number through Cúl Green and we are encouraging the members to now find their own individual carbon number on change.ie, reduce it and be in with the chance to win great prizes for their club.”
The biggest contributor to climate change is carbon dioxide, which mostly comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gas, and peat. Much of what we do involves the use of energy generated through burning these fuels and so the way we live, work, and travel has a huge bearing on climate change. The total impact of all of our activities – how we heat our homes and workplaces, how we travel, what we consume – is called our carbon number. Reducing our overall carbon number is the challenge we face in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and in turn reduce the impact of climate change. The change campaign is encouraging people to find their number and take cost-saving changes such as walking or cycling on short journeys where possible, using energy efficient light bulbs, and ensuring all new appliances are energy efficient.
Cúl Green is a joint initiative between the GAA and ESB launched in 2008 which set ambitious targets to help Croke Park reduce its carbon footprint. In May 2009 Croke Park announced it has become one of the first net-carbon neutral stadiums in the world and has since achieved ISO14001 certification.