Cycling for Zero Waste: Meet our Newest Climate Ambassador

Our newest climate ambassador, Niall Quinn, has decided to take the matter of zero waste into his own hands, or rather, pedals. Having began his journey in his hometown of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, he has given himself the challenge of spreading the zero waste message while travelling through 5 counties in Ireland on a bike. Now that’s dedication! His first destination was Derry (Ireland’s first zero waste city) and he has since moved across to Donegal (where he is currently). He then plans to travel down to Sligo, Galway and Clare.

What’s his mission?

Niall has decided to approach as many zero waste shops and organisations within these counties as he can, hoping to learn more about what they do. Our plan is to promote and celebrate these dedicated organisations, as well as create some new connections. After all, collaboration is key! We hope to create a directory for these organisations on our website, where the public can easily connect with them and become informed.

How to keep track of his journey

We will be following Niall’s journey closely and aim to update you all on what he learned through this blog on our website, but also through our social media platforms including our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Where has he been so far?

While in Derry, Niall wrote:

I’ve been in Doire/Derry the past few days and had the pleasure of seeing what wonderful things Zero Waste North West are doing! At 84 Spencer Road you’ll find The Zero Waste Hub – the home of 4 Circular Economy projects and is supporting the development of several more. These include:

  1. The Cloth Nappy Library lends cloth nappy kits and supports parents in using these alternative to disposable nappies.
  2. Foyle Fair Trade gives customers the choice to buy a range of products in solidarity with workers’ rights throughout the world.
  3. The Use Less Shop sells chemical-free and plastic-free household products and gives advice on making lifestyle changes which cost little or nothing.
  4. Life Cycles rescues bikes from landfill, offers training in repairing them plus training in cycling skills.

There is a weekly craft group using materials which would otherwise be wasted and a weekly peer support “ZW Parenting Group”. The ZW Hub will soon be launching a Toy Library and all of these projects are run by ZWNW volunteers.

All the projects mentioned are founded on the three principles of the Circular Economy:

  • Design out waste and pollution
  • Keep materials and resources in use as long as possible
  • Regenerate natural systems

Reflecting on his time in Derry, Niall wrote:

“I have been awoken to what’s going down in Doire/Derry, and as I sit with a quiet pint, I reflect on the wonderful people creating positive change in the Walled City. Have a look for yourself and consider your small changes. Whatever you can manage will do something.”

To find out more about what Zero Waste North West are doing, check out their website:

Niall kicked off his journey with a great start and we can’t wait to hear more about the wonderful organisations and zero waste shops he has yet to visit!