Circular Economy Hotspot to highlight how to save money while living sustainably

Junior minister Ossian Smyth and Lord Mayor for Dublin Caroline Conroy at the opening of the Circular Economy Hotspot in Croke Park. Pic: Sasko Lazarov

Amy Donohoe

Practical ideas on how to save money through the circular economy will be shared at an international event in Dublin next week.

The Circular Economy Hotspot, taking place from May 29 to June 1, will also highlight how you can avoid the “very dangerous” climate change path.

The international event travels to a different city each year and this year it will be hosted across various venues in Dublin, from the Mansion House to Croke Park.

The event will explore, showcase and celebrate ground-breaking Irish and international circular economic initiatives, inspired by the very best in sustainability.

Dr Sarah Miller, CEO of the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun, explained how living in a circular economy can help you save money and create a more sustainable place to live.

“It’s a very dangerous path we’re on, we simply can’t go down it. We already know we’re at a tipping point,” she said.

“To continue to do what we’re doing is no longer an option, we have no alternatives. We would need over three planet Earths to provide us for all the resources we use.

“We have to live within the means of planetary boundaries. The circular economy gives us the opportunity.

“The way we live our lives at the moment in terms of the use of materials, most of the products and services operate in a linear economy.

“That means taking materials, making something from them, using them and then disposing of them. There’s a huge amount of waste generated from that.

“The circular economy is an economic model that keeps items in use for as long as possible. From that, it extracts maximum value from them and uses renewable energy resources.

“With a circular economy, you’re saving money. From an environmental perspective, you’re preventing pollution. You’re saving products which protect our planet and save resources.

“In Ireland, there are huge social benefits from circular economies. We’re seeing this creative social entrepreneurship where businesses are springing up with ideas as to how we can make materials and products last longer, how can we reuse, how can we repair, how can we share.

“It’s really supporting creative thinking on how we can live our lives more sustainably,” she added.

Dr Sarah Miller, Ossian Smyth, Caroline Conroy and Dr Geraldine Brennan launch the Circular Economy Hotspot at Croke Park

Over the four days, the event will highlight some ground-breaking circular economic initiatives in Dublin.

Attendees will learn about practical steps to mobilise action within their respective countries, network with international stakeholders and engage in talks, tours and workshops.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy, said: “Circular Economy Hotspot Dublin 2023 is a fantastic opportunity for Dubliners to learn more about what the circular economy actually is, and why it has taken root so successfully in Dublin.

“The next few days will see a range of top-level experts sharing their expertise for the betterment of society, but also grassroots organisations sharing why their initiatives have worked so well.

“The circular economy is absolutely crucial for creating a sustainable future, so I’m thrilled to see Dublin host such an event.”

The event will revolve around three key themes: Policy in Practice, Citizen Engagement, and Innovation & Collaboration.

These themes will be explored across four innovative focus areas: Social Enterprise, Design and Manufacturing, Food Systems and the Bioeconomy and Built Environment.

Minister Ossian Smyth added: “Ireland has made significant strides in embracing circularity, and this event will further accelerate our progress as well as create a lasting legacy.

“Circular Economy Hotspot Dublin 2023 will showcase inspiring success stories and practical solutions that can be implemented across our nation.

“The aim is to make waste a thing of the past,” he added.