Resource Use and Sustainable Food

In 2019, July 29th marked Earth Overshoot Day - the date where humanity's demand for ecological resources (such as land, animal products, food and forests) each year exceeds what our planet can regenerate in that year.

cup and apple iconEvery item we purchase and every service we utilize, uses up our planet's natural resources. Our current consumption and production patterns use up the equivalent of 1.75 Earths each year.

Our Objectives

Trinity has adopted four objectives to reduce our consumption of resources and migrate to more sustainable food choices:

  1. Reduce paper use by 20%
  2. Increase sustainable food use by 50%
  3. Reduce large (5 gallon) bottled water use by 50%
  4. Reduce disposable materials use

Our Sustainability Report details the progress that has been made in their implementation.

What Can I Do? Data & Results Green Map

Green Tips

Here are our top 3 green tips for reducing your consumption of natural resources:

1) Use a reusable coffee cup and refillable water bottle

An estimated 200 million disposable drinks containers are thrown out daily in Ireland - the Conscious Cup Campaign has a map of cafes and restaurants that offer discount for using your own reusable coffee mug. By refilling your bottle from the water fountains on campus you are helping to reduce waste from the production and disposal of plastic water bottles.

2) Shop secondhand

There are a slew of secondhand shops close to Trinity, which sell everything from books to clothing to kitchenware and more.  George’s Street (off Dame Street) has 4 charity shops close by, and the clothes shop Siopaella has four locations between Temple Bar area and Wicklow Street. Shopping secondhand eliminates your carbon footprint as that is owned by the first person who bought the item.

3) Shop locally

Food sourced locally has a myriad of benefits: it's fresher, it uses less resources because it travels fewer miles to get to you and it contributes to stable employment in Ireland. To find local foods/ Farmers Markets you can click on the purple icons on our 'Green Map' or check into, a Trinity startup that helps to connect people to healthier food sources.

Resource Consumption icons

UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 12
is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 14
is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 15
is to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Did You Know?
A range of reusable cups are available to buy in outlets around Trinity (SU shop, Library shop, Buttery, etc.).

Trinity has reduced its purchased paper use by over 50% since the 2011 baseline. Reduction in paper use is being promoted through the increased use of electronic documents for meetings and in teaching and learning.

A student-led petition in February 2018 (by the TCD Plastic Solutions group) resulted in the development of a Disposable Plastics Plan which aims to remove disposable plastics from campus catering facilities by 2020.

Between 5 million and 13 million tonnes of plastic makes its way into the world’s oceans each year and is ingested by sea birds, fish and other organisms.