At IMAGE, we're passionate about sustainability. We want to slow down climate change, reduce our carbon footprints and make the planet a greener place to live. That in mind, IMAGE.ie's homepage editor Grace McGettigan tried out the Cool Planet Experience at Powerscourt, Co Wicklow. Here she learned how serious a problem climate change has become – and what we can do to change this.
If we don't change our way of living in the next 12 years, the world will become a drastically different place by 2050. We're talking about species dying out; coastal cities being eradicated; depletion of some food sources and intense weather events.
Just 12 years.
After that, it doesn't matter what changes we make.
Time is running out. Our planet needs us – each and every one of us – to take immediate action now.
Cool Planet Experience
"We have not inherited the earth from our ancestors; we are borrowing it from our children." This is one of the opening statements at Cool Planet Experience, an interactive learning attraction suitable for people of all ages.
Now one year in business, Cool Planet Experience uses technology and games to explain what climate change is; how urgent an issue it has become; as well as practical tips to reduce our carbon footprints.
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Set in the picturesque Powerscourt Estate, Co Wicklow, you are reminded of just how precious nature is – and how vulnerable it has become at the hands of humankind.
The experience is engaging, eye-opening and empowering all at once. In the 12 months since it opened, visitors have pledged to reduce their carbon footprints by 25%; the equivalent of saving over 1.4 million trees. Imagine the improvements we could make if everyone else did the same...
Small changes add up
Without giving too much away (it really is worth experiencing for yourself), visitors can calculate their individual carbon footprints. To do this, everything from your mode of transport, to how much food you leave on your plate, is factored in.
Then, with a unique, electronic tag, you're invited to become an Agent of Change. By using your tag and engaging with games on-site, you learn how simple it can be to reduce your carbon footprint.
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Simple things we've pledged to do include walking to work (where possible) instead of driving; switching the lights off when we leave a room; switching the TV off rather than leaving it on standby, and reducing the amount of red meat we eat weekly (did you know 40,000 cows are slaughtered for meat every week in Ireland alone? That's a lot of carbon being released back into the atmosphere).
We're also committed to buying loose fruit and vegetables, rather than those packaged in plastic. What's more, we'll only buy food we're actually going to eat (you'll be shocked by the impact of food waste on the environment...).
If everyone made a small effort to reduce their carbon emissions, the combined result would be huge. Will you join us in becoming an Agent of Change?
Time is running out
The increased buzz around climate change is not just scaremongering. It's really happening – and it's happening fast.
This high-tech, truly immersive experience at Powerscourt will change how you think (and feel) about it. It will inspire you to live a greener, cleaner life, and return the earth (as it should be) to our children.
Don't believe us? Try it for yourself.
To learn more about Cool Planet Experience at Powerscourt, visit coolplanetexperience.org.
Photo: Cool Planet Experience
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