Ireland South plants trees to highlight climate change
A series of tree-planting ceremonies took place at the maternity hospitals in Tralee, Clonmel, Waterford and Cork on Tuesday 30 March 2021. Staff in the Ireland South Women & Infants Directorate, which includes the maternity units of University Hospital Kerry, South Tipperary General Hospital, University Hospital Waterford and Cork University Maternity Hospital gathered to plant a Downy Birch tree in the grounds of each hospital.
A native Irish Downy Birch tree was planted to highlight the importance of sustainable healthcare in each maternity hospital, as well as marking the recent establishment of the Ireland South Green Group. The group comprises staff within the maternity network who have a strong interest in reducing the carbon footprint of their workplaces. This group was formed on the belief that maternity hospitals should provide strong leadership and a good example in making the world a better place for the babies born here to grow up in.
Ireland South Green Group comprises 20 committee members and currently has over 30 Green Advocates, with this number expected to increase in the coming year.
“Climate change and global warming are some of the most important issues of our time, and the healthcare sector contributes significantly” says Dr Cathy Burke, chairperson of Ireland South Green Group.
“Our maternity hospitals are the birthplaces of our future generations. We want to help create a better world for babies born in our maternities to grow up in. We aim to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing the amount of waste we produce, by recycling, and by reducing water and energy use in the workplace while maintaining our usual safe and high standards of car. We have chosen the Downy Birch, a native Irish tree, to plant at our maternity hospitals. In Celtic mythology this tree was a symbol of birth and renewal, so it connects very well with our specialty of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. We hope that by the time these trees reach maturity, our hospitals will have been transformed into carbon-neutral workplaces."
A video of the synchronized tree planting ceremonies was also created and shared on social channels.