Centre Manager of the Aqua Dome Mags O’Sullivan was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award 2019 from the Director of the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, Dr. Michael John O’Mahony and a Certificate of Recognition at An Taisce Climate Ambassador Awards 2019 in Dublin last week. Representing the Aqua Dome Mags said she was delighted to participate in the An Taisce Climate Ambassador programme throughout 2019 and together with management and staff worked tirelessly to make positive environmental changes to help reduce the Aqua Domes carbon footprint and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Mags said that ‘businesses have an important role to play in climate change and it’s a role that the team at Tralee’s Aqua Dome takes very seriously’.
Following on from the National Dialogue on Climate Action in The Rose Hotel last year Mags signed up to be a Climate Ambassador. The next step saw Mags along with her Aqua Dome team set about analysing all areas of operations that had potential to be greener and together they set about making positive environmental changes. These positive changes have been showcased in their environmental videos and blogs posts and shared across all their social media channels. The Aqua Domes environmental journey is evolving and as newer environmental improvements become available staff in the Aqua Dome will keep striving to be greener.
Here is a brief outline of the environmental improvements made to date in the Aqua Dome:
- All the old conventional lights were replaced with energy efficient LED lights
- Converted from oil to gas
- Variable speed drives were installed on all the circulation pumps to make them more efficient
- A glass partition was erected between the pool and the café / gym to keep the heat in the pool and minimise heat loss from the main pool area and reduce energy consumption
- External doors were insulated to keep heat in and reduce energy wastage
- Push button taps were installed on the sinks and showers to reduce water consumption and minimise water wastage
- Compostable bin bags were placed in all the bins instead of using the old non-biodegradable black refuse sacks
- Eco-friendly biodegradable foam soap was placed into all the soap dispensers
- Compostable toilet paper replaced the conventional white bleached toilet paper
- Compostable paper hand towels replaced the old blue paper hand towels
- Daily litter picks are performed both inside and outside the building
- The Building Energy Management System (BeMS) which optimises the energy efficiency of the heating, feature controls and ventilation was upgraded to maximise performance, reduce energy required and reduce the carbon footprint
- Pesticides were banned in the Aqua Dome & Aqua Golf this year and all weeds were pulled by hand
- Butterfly, bee & pollinator friendly shrubs and trees were planted in the Aqua Golf to help protect them
- An external drinking water tap was erected at the main entrance to the Aqua Dome to encourage everyone to refill their water bottles instead of buying single use plastic bottles of water and adding to global plastic pollution
- All the plastic bottles were removed from the vending machines and were replaced with cans in an effort to reduce plastic waste
- The cleaning machine was upgraded to a newer eco model and it’s eco select function reduces energy consumption, water consumption and chemical consumption
- The Aqua Dome joined GLAN Tralee to help develop Tralee as a cleaner, greener more environmentally sustainable town
- The Aqua Dome joined Kerry CAN (Climate Action Network) to support positive environmental action & encourage local environmental improvements through this network
- The Aqua Dome joined Kingdom Bee Highway to help protect bees, butterflies and pollinator friendly insects
- The Aqua Dome registered with Refill.ie in an effort to lead the way to make Ireland a tap water refilling country once again
As one of Kerrys Top Visitor Attractions, the Aqua Dome hopes to encourage and inspire other individuals & businesses to take an active role in becoming greener and do whatever it takes to reduce the national carbon footprint, minimise plastic pollution and reduce water wastage.
The Aqua Dome is committed to sharing their environmental progress with the general public and are leading by example by sharing all their positive changes on their environmental blog and social media platforms – https://aquadome.ie/category/news/environmental/ . This pro-active attitude towards the environment is just one of the ways in which the Aqua Dome is making a difference locally.
Currently further environmental improvements are being made in the cafeteria, waste management and cleaning materials areas so watch this space!
Staff at the Aqua Dome also work closely with Tralee Chamber Alliance, Kerry County Council, North Kerry Family Fun, Top Kerry Attractions, other tourism providers, accommodation providers and a variety of other businesses supporting green initiatives, sustainability and positive environmental change wherever possible.
Other local groups who work tirelessly to protect the environment and wildlife in Tralee are GLAN Tralee, Team Bramble, Evan Alex and Dylan’s Tralee Canal Clean-Up, Tralee Tidy Towns, Transition Kerry, Tralee Bee Highway Kerry CAN, Tralee PPN & Kerry Sustainable Energy Co Op. As a town Tralee is striving to be greener and more sustainable! Every little step made for the environment is one giant leap for the planet! By working together we are making a difference!
Gary Tyrrell, Climate Action Officer with An Taisce Environmental Unit wrote the following :
Ten awards were presented to individuals and groups from across Ireland at the Climate Ambassador Awards on Wednesday 27th November 2019 for their work in communicating and taking action on climate change. Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment; Richard Bruton, T.D. attended the awards and acknowledged the commitment of all Climate Ambassadors and their valuable work in communities all over Ireland. Over the course of the year, Climate Ambassadors engaged over 200,000 people; carrying out 500 climate-based actions, and 800 climate communications!
130 citizens from a wide range of backgrounds including secondary school students and teachers, university students, academics, healthcare workers and business people were selected to be Climate Ambassadors in 2019. The programme, now in its second year, has gone from strength-to-strength with Climate Ambassadors gaining key skills and confidence to take action, and inspiring others to join them on their journey.
Selected Ambassadors are provided with training on climate science and communications and become part of a powerful network of committed individuals sharing their knowledge, learning from each other and building relationships. Throughout the year they are asked to undertake four key actions during the year – two climate communications and two climate actions.
The awards are a celebration of the hard work that has taken place over the last year and the enormous effort and dedication that the Climate Ambassadors have shown throughout the process. To mark this, each Climate Ambassador received a certificate of recognition for their achievements.
In addition, ten Outstanding Achievement Awards were presented to fourteen Climate Ambassadors based on the work they have carried out during the year.
One of the Climate Ambassador Outstanding Achievement award goes to Mags O’Sullivan, the Centre Manager in the Aqua Dome, Tralee and works tirelessly in her personal and professional life taking action and spreading the message in as many ways as she can.
Mags has an infectious enthusiasm and commitment. In her professional capacity she has done a huge amount to make her workplace more environmentally friendly- she has made 10 videos about the work they are doing in the Aqua Dome on topics such as reducing plastics and building energy management. She also had the staff out cleaning up the local canal. She’s involved in other local groups such as GLAN Tralee, Refill Ireland and Protect the Bees. Mags has also made regular appearance in many articles in local & regional papers & websites and is very active on social media raising awareness about climate and biodiversity issues.
Mags is pictured receiving her award from Director of the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, Dr. Michael John O’Mahony.
Photo released by Naoise Culhane Photographyfirstname.lastname@example.org
“The Climate Ambassador Programme” is sponsored by the department of ‘Communications, Climate Action and Environment’ and is a vital programme to help raise awareness about climate change and how individuals, communities and business can help.
The programme trains and supports individuals to become climate leaders in their community. The programme has trained over 230 Climate Ambassadors since 2018.
The Environmental Education Unit operates all FEE programmes in Ireland – (Green-Schools, Green-Campus, Blue Flag, LEAF, YRE) along with national education and awareness raising programmes such National Spring Clean, Clean Coasts, IBAL, Climate Ambassador, GLOBE and Neat Streets.
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