Donal Hickey

Waste can be a hazard in the home

IT’S probably fair to say that most of us have more hazardous waste in our homes than we realise. A cursory peep into the medicines cabinet in the average home will most likely reveal bottles, capsules and packets of tablets with an expired use-by date. <

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A new life for uisce beatha

THAT jovial, time-honoured phrase, "one for the road", could be given an entirely new meaning if scientists working on by-products from whiskey-making have their way.

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Rhodo, a pretty big problem

SCARCELY a week passes without news of yet another invasive species, plant or animal, reaching our shores.

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Probing the mysteries of life

"Looking through a porthole at the sea, we are surrounded on all sides by vast horizons. No one would believe the wonders and beauty that lie below in the colossal Whittard Canyon.’’

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Wild Atlantic Way rules

RECENTLY, for the umpteenth time, RTÉ again screened the David Lean epic, Ryan’s Daughter, filmed in the Dingle Peninsula, in 1969/’70.

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Accidents up as deer figures rise

THERE are regular warnings from wild deer organisations that Ireland’s deer population is declining. However, we also hear the opposite story from farmers, road users and other observers — that deer are becoming quite numerous and are now seen in areas where they have never previously been.

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Enjoying the Irish landscape

MANY of us will take the opportunity this bank holiday weekend to get out and enjoy Ireland in bloom, for we are now in probably the premium time of year for viewing the wonders of nature.

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Landscape shaped by the potato

PEOPLE who grow potatoes are proudly taking note these days as strong stalks signal a healthy crop of "earlies’’.

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Food waste converted into fuel

THIRTY per cent of food purchased by households in Ireland is wasted, so we need new methods of its disposal.

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Wind farm strategy all at sea?

EXPERTS tell us Ireland has the best ocean wind and wave power in Europe, so why then are developers pressing ahead with controversial wind farms on land? A mindset objecting to turbines and overland pylons — similar to the public mood opposing dumps in the past — is growing, with communities up in arms around the country.

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Towns go with the flow

A RIVER flowing through a town should, you might expect, be seen as an advantage — not only for its beauty and environmental value, but also for very practical reasons.

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Bloomin’ invasive plants

IT’S the time of year when the rhododendron blooms, standing out from most other plants in all its deep red, purple and cerise splendour. The rhodo looks magnificent and little wonder that it get a mention in romantic songs. However, the wild rhodo is in a category of plants with a bad name: “invasive species’’ that were brought into the country.

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Biomass is a slow burner here

THE whine of the chainsaw can still be heard in the countryside as people continue to cut up trees laid low by Storm Darwin more than two months ago. You might say the ferocious storm had a sort of silver lining in that the fallen trees will result in more use of renewable fuel.

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Minding our wildflowers

That estimable survivor of the showband era, Big Tom McBride from Co Monaghan, once had a hit about an old-fashioned Irish mother “in the fields where the wildflowers grow’’.

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Clean up of Dodder rubbish

YOU might, quite understandably, think the litter situation is bad here. But, just consider how much worse it would be only for the genuine efforts of the large and widely dispersed army of volunteers that picks up other people’s rubbish.

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Finding balance in nature

It might be said that fish and water-attracted birds are about the only wildlife that relish flood conditions.

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New EPA app keeps it local

PEOPLE can often be better informed about global environmental issues than what is happening on their doorsteps.

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The facts about shamrock

FOR all the ballyhoo surrounding St Patrick’s Day, the tradition of sporting a sprig of shamrock has faded in recent years, despite the fact that it can be bought packaged in many shops. Even the use of a little lapel sachet that keeps the plant fresh throughout the day is making little difference to the wearing of it.

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Hop to it and help out frogs

It’s the time of year when large numbers of frogs can be seen on the roads at night with predictable results — death under the wheels of cars and other traffic.

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