Have Yourself a Sustainable Little Christmas with the help of our Sustainability Passport

Have yourself a sustainable little Christmas in Donegal by following the guidance in our Sustainability Passport. We know people get overwhelmed by sustainability sometimes so we did the research for you and created five simple guides ranging in theme from Water & Energy to Responsible Consumption. Find out more here.

As we approach the season of over-consumption, did you know?

  • Fast Fashion results in the creation of large amounts of clothing-related waste each year. Workers in factories, particularly
    women and children, producing garments for some high street labels face appalling work and
    pay conditions and health and safety harms (UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion).
  • Ireland produces the highest volume of plastic waste per person in the EU, while having the fourth worst recycling rate
    for the material (Eurostat).
  • It takes up to 500 years for plastic to decompose (Statista).
  • Almost 70% of plastic in Ireland is burned instead of recycled (EPA).
  • 91% of Ireland’s ‘internationally important’ habitats (bogs, grasslands) have ‘bad’ or ‘inadequate’ status. Failure to protect our most endangered natural habitats and species will result in substantial EU fines for Ireland (Biodiversity Impact Plan).

Speaking of that feeling of powerlessness and the ethics of supporting some brand over others, local Palestinian Solidarity campaign groups in Donegal and Derry are advocating for the BDS movement and you can learn more about that here. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law. Household brands such as Puma, Mc Donald’s and HP are named in the campaign.

Ends 

Here’s how to have a pre-loved Christmas

In December, ChangeMakers Donegal invited Arran Murphy, Programme Manager with Rediscover Fashion, at the Rediscovery Centre to present two community get togethers called Green your Wardrobe. The first event took place in Letterkenny in partnership with Letterkenny Tidy Towns at the Regional Cultural Centre and the second event took place at Spraoi agus Sport in Carndonagh, affording us the opportunity to visit the impressive Siorai Home and Accessories after the event.

Arran brought along bags of inspirational upcycled items and a Pop Up Swap Rail and over the course of the two days we saw almost 60 people learn more about the problem with fast fashion and reflect on how they could change their ways especially at Christmas time.

“Change needs to happen at every level, it’s not just up to the individual to change,” Arran Murphy, Rediscovery Centre, speaking in Donegal. 

PRE-LOVED CHRISTMAS, ANYONE?

Here are Arran’s top tips on how to be a more conscious consumer this Christmas.

  • Buy less – reduce what we have
  • Buy locally to lessen carbon footprint
  • Buy natural fibres avoiding micro-plastics
  • Buy second hand
  • Take part in alternative ownership models
  • like Rent the Runway
  • Read your care labels to take care of your clothes properly
  • Wash your clothes less
  • Use your own clothes more – shop your wardrobe
  • Repair – a stitch in time saves nine
  • Sell/Swap/Donate
  • Learn more about our collaborators at the Rediscovery Centre

WHAT DO LOCAL PEOPLE THINK?

 

“Shopping in a charity shop, you can actually get really lovely stuff” Listen back to Ours to Protect on Highland Radio to hear what local Donegal people taught about both buying second hand and receiving second-hand goods. Donna Marie Doherty of Highland Radio leaves us with a tip to waste out for food waste and consider the local charity shop for Christmas cards.

WHAT’S NEXT?

We are all about providing education to spark change and we’d love to see more sustainability in action with local people reducing their fashion consumption for the good of the planet. Afterall, we have enough clothes on the earth now for six generations, do we really need more? Through our Seeds of Change programme, we are funding and mentoring a number of groups to carry out upcycling projects to plug the gap locally when it comes to skills development. If you would like us to connect you to Letterkenny Tidy Towns, Spraoi agus Sport, Pobail le Cheile or Rathmullan Tidy Towns, get in touch at changemakers@inishowen.ie.

Inspired to take action this Christmas? Visit our Responsible Consumption Sustainability Passport here and take three steps to be more sustainable.

THANK YOUS

So many people collaborated with us to make these two events happen. Firstly, thanks to Arran Murphy, Programme Manager, Rediscover Fashion and Claire Downey, Research and Policy Director at the Rediscovery Centre. Thank you to Fiona O’Reilly of On The Dot Design and Letterkenny Tidy Towns, Eilish Kennedy of ATU Fashion and Letterkenny Tidy Towns, Ann-Louise Mc Clintock of Letterkenny Chamber and Letterkenny Tidy Towns. Jeremy Howard, Director of the beautiful Regional Cultural Centre. At Carndonagh, thank you to Helen Nolan, Mary Mc Weeney, Kathleen Mc Daid at Spraoi agus Spórt and Spraoi Circular Economy Hub Lead, Lorraine Carey at Síoraí Sustainable Home Store. Thanks also to our colleagues at Inishowen Development Partnership who worked behind the scenes to organise and promote our events. Finally, thank you to everyone who came to take part. Happy Christmas.

How to Green Your Wardrobe Events in Letterkenny and Inishowen pre-Christmas

The Fashion Industry is having an increasingly negative impact environmentally, socially and economically. It is contributing hugely to global greenhouse emissions as well as polluting waterways and destroying biodiversity.

These two fun and informative community workshops with The Rediscovery Centre (Dublin) are open to everyone in Inishowen and will look at the actions we can take individually and as a community to change our relationship with the clothes we buy, the clothes we own and the clothes we no longer want.

From repairs and upcycling projects to hosting swap shop events, this workshop will inspire you to make small changes that can have lasting impacts for you, your community and our planet and help create a more sustainable fashion industry.

Letterkenny

As a follow up to our successful Sustainable Communities LK event, join us and our community partners, Letterkenny Tidy Towns, at the Regional Cultural Centre on Thursday 7 December 2023 at 7pm – 8:30pm. Inspiration guaranteed and a cup of tea promised!

Book tickets for the Letterkenny workshop at this link.

Carndonagh 

To celebrate the recent opening of Síoraí Clothing & Accessories (fashion) & Síoraí Home at Spraoi agus Spórt, the Carndonagh-based social enterprise, let’s gather all upcycling enthusiasts in Inishowen, to talk together about what’s possible in our area. Friday 8 December 2023 at 12 noon to 1:30pm, refreshments provided.

Booking link for Carndonagh event at this link.

Visit this video to get a feeling for what the event will be like. This video was recorded by Poca Productions for ChangeMakers Donegal and the Letterkenny Tidy Towns Committee earlier this year.

What can we do?

With so many groups getting together to sew, what else can be done in Donegal? Come see what’s possible in your own community with the support of the ChangeMakers Donegal Sustainability programme called the Sustainability Passport which is open to everyone interested in being more sustainable.

That’s why we have invited The Rediscovery Centre to Donegal. Arran Murphy Programme Manager of Rediscover Fashion Rediscovery Centre is the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland facilitating a wide range of sewing, design, repair and upcycling workshops for the general public, universities, secondary schools, community groups, and corporate organisations. She is also the head judge of the Relove Fashion Competition Arran has extensive industry experience as a Designer, Maker, and Educator working in Sustainable Fashion, Costume, Community Arts, and Community Education.

Join us for some inspiration and creativity pre-Christmas.

All I Want for Christmas is Climate Justice

 

This Christmas, forget ‘jingle all the way’….think ‘justice all the way’!

Across the world people are being pushed further into poverty due to the climate crisis. But we’ve a chance to change that. If we act by joining our project partner’s Trócaire Climate Justice campaign.

World leaders are gathering next week for crucial COP28 climate negotiations in Dubai. Minister Eamon Ryan will be travelling to represent Ireland at the leader’s summit that kicks off the negotiations. Let’s raise our voice to ensure these negotiations deliver an urgent plan to tackle the climate crisis, based on the needs of the world’s poorest people.

Those with the least are paying the highest price for climate inaction. From mass displacement to the threat of famine, the world’s poorest are picking up the tab on a crisis not of their making.

This is why we need to see wealthy countries, including Ireland, pay their fair share towards a ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ aimed at financially supporting countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

Wealthy countries caused this crisis and it’s our responsibility to assist the people worst affected.

For this to happen, public pressure on elected representatives around the world is essential. Right now, we need every TD across the country to hear our call. Help us put pressure on them to ensure that climate justice is at the heart of Ireland’s negotiation agenda for COP28.

If you have one wish this Christmas, make it Climate Justice!

Take action now by emailing your TDs.

The Wonderful World of Fungi

Join Changemakers Donegal to learn how to grow your own oyster mushrooms. Learn about how fungi shape our world. Address global issues with local action.

Saturday 2 December 2023 at 10am – 1pm

Tickets free but ticketed, 15 places available

Book tickets at Eventbrite.

Bundrowes House, Magheracar, Bundoran, F94 XK49

Films on Border life around the world to be shown at November Film Club

Disappear Here Film Club, which takes place monthly in Clonmany, Co. Donegal, is pleased to announce the lineup for its November Film Club on Saturday 25 November.

The Film Club is funded by Concern Worldwide in partnership with ChangeMakers Donegal at Inishowen Development Partnership and Disappear Here Film Festival to encourage local people to think globally inspired by documentary and feature films.

After the success of a community event earlier this month – where the Film Club hosted the Irish Film Institute to showcase archival footage of Donegal and local people saw themselves on screen – the Film Club is continuing with a similar approach this November. The Disappear Here Film Club will present six short documentary films made by non-professional filmmakers from Donegal, Derry, and North Africa. These films last under one hour in total and will be followed by a short panel discussion.

The films include:

  • Derry, the Oak Grove by Molly Phillips and Tom Hannigan; a lyrical essay film about Derry featuring current and archival footage.
  • Triang Times by Emer O’Shea, Manus Brennan, and Michael Mc Monagle focuses on the lives of two people; a Unionist and one Nationalist, who have spent a lifetime stepping outside their cultural boundaries to make Pettigo a better place to live.
  • Connecting Borders, directed by Derry-born, Gemma Gfeller, features interviews with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and religions, from Ireland, Palestine, Colombia, the United States, and Turkey, and examines what it means to live in a bordered world.
  • Crossing Lines, directed by Margaret Gordon, is about a group of young women who formed a football team in 1979. The team was both cross-border and cross-religion. Margaret is involved in Finn Harps Football Club today.

The films were made during a filmmaking programme facilitated in The Nerve Centre, Derry, in collaboration with The Reel Borders Project based in Vrije Universiteit Brussels.

Universality of Border Life

Alongside the Donegal/Derry-based films, we will also show two films from North Africa to highlight the universality of border life and the connection between the local and the global dimension, in keeping with the work of ChangeMakers Donegal and the Film Club funder, Concern Worldwide.

  • Frontera (Borderland) (7 minutes) is a short film narrated by Lakbira Ijamai. It tells the story of cross-border workers and what they will do when the border between Spain and Morocco is closed due to COVID-19.
  • Quiero/I Want (2.5 minutes) features a voiceover from an undocumented migrant worker in Ceuta, on the border with Morocco. It explores the young mother’s dream for the future.

These short films are the result of a three-month participatory filmmaking workshop by Reel Borders with Moroccan cross-border women who are living and working irregularly in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave bordering Morocco. The workshop was hosted by the local NGO Digmun, the Association for the Dignity of Women and Children of Ceuta, which offers language literacy and legal support.

Event details

REEL BORDERS SHORTS – Short Films from Ireland and North Africa

  • Saturday 25 November 2023 at 2 pm – 3:30 pm at Market House Clonmany above the Market House Café run by Clonmany Community Centre
  • The six short films will be followed by a brief post-show panel discussion featuring some of the filmmakers and producer, Diana Cheung
  • The event is free thanks to the REEL BORDERS Project

To be added to our Film Club mailing list, email changemakers@inishowen.ie with Film Club Mailing List in the Subject.

Our Disappear Here Film Club Launches a New Bursary for a local documentary maker

Disappear Here Film Club, taking place monthly in Clonmany, Co. Donegal is delighted to announce the launch of its inaugural DONEGAL SHORT DOCUMENTARY FILM BURSARY in partnership with ChangeMakers Donegal, Inishowen Development Partnership and Concern Worldwide.

Alongside support from Concern Worldwide, proceeds from the popular Film Club have been going towards this €3,000 Bursary for the last 18 months and the funding will be made available to produce a new documentary to be shot in the county in 2024.

Find out more in this video by Michael Mc Laughlin of Disappear Here Film Festival.

Festival & Film Club Founder Michael McLaughlin says it is important to hear local voices in the local independent film sector and he believes that this new bursary will help foster talent, creativity, and activity in filmmaking in County Donegal.

“This is a great opportunity for a filmmaker with a story to tell, to get their work made and up in front of a live audience on the big screen. There are so many unique characters with stories waiting to be told in the county, many with global resonance, we hope this bursary can help people come forward and have these stories captured forever with a new documentary film.”

Myra McAuliffe, Project Coordinator at ChangeMakers Donegal said: “We are grateful to Concern Worldwide for their support of our monthly Film Club collaboration with Disappear Here Film Festival. This new Bursary will fund a local artist to reflect on an important societal issue through the medium of film. We look forward to receiving applications and to showcasing the new documentary at next year’s Festival.”

The combination of arts and community development to raise awareness of social justice is core to the work of ChangeMakers and Inishowen Development Partnership and why they work closely with the Disappear Film Festival in this work.

Denise McCool, Team Lead with IDP explains “Concern Worldwide have worked with us over the years and saw this collaboration as a great opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of a variety of justice issues and their local and global connections through the medium of ‘film’ and facilitated discussion. The Bursary is a great new element to the work.”

GUIDELINES:

To apply, email bursary@disappearherefilmfest.com by Thursday 30 November 2023 for full details. 

The short documentary film must having a running time no longer than 15 mins.

  • Total Cash Value of €2,000, plus €1,000 in kind towards media, festival screening fees and 2 x mentorship sessions with festival team.
  • Film must be shot in the county, using local crew where possible, before May 1st
  • Disappear Here Film Festival will screen the world premiere of this new work at its annual event in September 2024
  • Disappear Here Media will offer support/consultation, and ensure maximum coverage on social media and via more traditional media outlets.
  • You will own the final film, DHFC will retain rights to use the film in our programming.

 

 

Sharing the Elder Tree Series about Sustainable Living at the Ageing Well Event

We had a great time attending the Ageing Well event organized by our colleagues from the Inishowen Development Partnership, in collaboration with the Donegal Older Person Council. The event was aimed at over 55s in Inishowen, and it was both fun and informative. The keynote speakers and performers included Moya Brennan, the Donegal Age Friendly Ambassador and First Lady of Celtic Music (picture 2), as well as Shunie Crampsey. The event was a sold-out success and there was a lot of energy in the room.

The Elder Tree Series

The ChangeMakers contribution to the event at the IDP Information Stall was to share our Elder Tree Series, which involves Patsy Toland from ChangeMakers Donegal hosting discussions about how life was lived more simply and sustainably in the past.

 

Each recording focuses on a different story related to the #Sustainable Development Goals. Patsy asks interviewees questions about how the world around them looked in the past and compares it to the world now. So far, Patsy has conducted nine interviews in our Elder Tree Series.

These interviews also include a conversation with Mary B. and Veronica, (picture 1) members of the Carndonagh Active Retired Group, and also John Michael Ngwaru from Soroti Uganda, who reflects on his life growing up; walking to school, food, cycling. It was great to meet Mary B and Veronica at the Elder Tree event in Ballyliffin today!

Does your group have a story to tell?

If you have a story to tell or you belong to a social or active retirement group in your community, please get in touch with ChangeMakers Donegal at changemakers@inishowen.ie or via IDP at (074) 936 2218 and ask for Myra Mc Auliffe, Project Coordinator, ChangeMakers Donegal.

We can visit you to host an informal workshop/group discussion and Patsy may then follow up with individuals or members to arrange an interview like the ones you can listen to on our YouTube Channel here and here.

Make Contact

ChangeMakers Contacts

  • For information about the Elder Tree Series, contact Myra at  (074) 936 2218.

IDP Contacts

  • For information on future events like this Ageing Well event, contact Aine Mc Laughlin of Inishowen Development Partnership at  (074) 936 2218.

Marking World Migratory Bird Day in Donegal by gathering at Inch Island

Donegal-based bird and nature enthusiasts had a great morning with Aengus Kennedy of Nature North West at a ChangeMakers Donegal, Inishowen Development Partnership organized an event to mark World Migratory Bird Day. World Migratory Bird Day activities take place in many different countries and places across the globe – united by a common campaign and theme. Poor management, pollution, and climate change are all taking a toll on water and on migratory birds. 

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