Insider Tips

Six Sustainable Ways to Enjoy Dublin

By Visit Dublin

26th January 2020

Sustainability is the word on everyone’s lips in 2020, and far from being just a buzzword, it’s now more important than ever. If you’re looking to make an impact, or you’re keen to do something that will help save the planet, Dublin offers plenty of activities that will benefit the environment. We’ve picked out some of the best eco-conscious things to do in the capital this year.

Long stretch of beach with blue and clouded sky

1. Volunteer for a great cause  

If you’re enthusiastic about conservation or you can’t stand the scourge of plastic on our beautiful beaches, why not partake in some volunteering? The Clean Coasts initiative allows anyone to join a Clean Coasts group and carry out beach clean-ups on local stretches of coastline. Simply find a group and get involved! If you’re a fan of Dublin Bay and you want to look after the many native wildlife species it’s home to, the Dublin Bay Biosphere Partnership has created a useful list of volunteering options, ranging from helping local seals to cleaning the Dodder river.

2. Grow your own 

For those who are passionate about sustainable ways of producing food, Dublin offers many local ‘grow your own’ communities and meetups. Dublin Community Growers, for example, meet in city gardens and allotments to talk about all things green-fingered. Dublin City Council also coordinates Grow It Yourself groups in Walkinstown and Raheny libraries where gardeners can meet regularly to discuss produce, share stories and exchange tips.

The glass-panelled exterior of the Science Gallery Dublin on a cloudy day

3. Learn, make and do

Interested in learning the art of sustainable living? There’s a wealth of education on offer in the capital. The Science Gallery on Pearse Street often holds exhibitions on sustainable topics like plastic waste and is a fantastic resource if you want to further your knowledge on topics that straddle the science-sustainability divide. In Dublin 8, the fantastic Dublin Food Co-op is the place to go if you want to do workshops on zero waste cooking, or help support cooking classes for refugees. Elsewhere, The Design House offers one-to-one sewing classes for anyone who wants to combat throwaway fashion with more sustainable practices.

4. Eat, drink and be sustainable

Eating local produce is kinder to your carbon footprint and a great way to support local businesses. If you want to learn more about the topic, the beautiful Airfield Estate in Dundrum is a perfect place to visit. Featuring an organic food garden and a bee garden, the estate is home to the Overends Kitchen, an ideal venue to sample dishes that are made sustainably with a mindful attitude towards food waste.

If you’re a coffee connoisseur, then you’ll be delighted with the offering at 3fe on Grand Canal Street. The café has its own roastery and co-owner Steve travels to the best farms and co-ops across the world to ensure coffee is as delicious as it is sustainable.

Four people wearing bicycle helmets and pausing for break on bicycle tour

5. Two wheels instead of four

Want to lower your carbon footprint and get more exercise? Ditch the bus and explore the city from your saddle! Sign up to Dublin Bikes and enjoy a three-day ticket option from just €5. This is cheaper and infinitely more sustainable than four wheels, with over 100 biking stations around the city. If you want to take a tour you can forgo the crowded buses and opt for a Dublin City Bike Tour instead, with tickets starting from €27.

6. Ethical shopping

There are plenty of options in Dublin for buying ethical goods and making more conscious choices. If you want an alternative to fast fashion, you could try shopping at one of the city’s many charity shops where you can while away the hours digging out wonderful, thrifty garments and unique pieces. Try colourful Camden Street where charity treasure troves Age Action, Enable Ireland and Dublin Simon Community can all be found within a stone's throw of each other.

Elsewhere, if you’re looking to buy from local, independent businesses, you’ll adore Blackrock Market. In this captivating little market, you’ll find gems such as The Sustainable Store for artisan beauty products, Retro Workshop for vintage items and the excellent Veggie Vibe Café. For a specialist grocery store that blends a community vibe with a wide range of produce, Noms in Phibsboro offers organic coffee in compostable packaging; unpacked fruit, veg and dry goods; and household products for sustainable living. Happy shopping!

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