Lean Green Cooking Machines Make it Through to the Finals of the SEAI Competition

April 10, 2012 0

In March we brought you the story of Emily, Eimear, Julie, Fourth Year Students from Loreto College, Balbriggan who made it through to the Semi-Finals of the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland) Competition – The girls have now progressed further in the competition and they are heading for the FINALS on 3rd May in Dublin Castle

Well done Girls!!!

Here is some further information on their project…

lean_green_cooking_machines_apr12_2‘The Lean Green Cooking Machines’, are a group of transition year students attending Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan . The team members are Emily Purtell, Julie Hamilton and Eimear Reilly, these students and their project have reached the national finals of ‘One Good Idea’, a yearly project focusing on energy efficiency/climate change run by SEAI.

The focus of ‘ The Lean Green Cooking Machines’ project is to raise awareness among their peers and the wider community on the impact of sourcing fresh food products from afar and raising the issue of food miles, and their contribution to the problem of climate change. The girls have been keen to raise the issue of energy efficient cooking methods in conjunction with food miles, as both issues go hand in hand. The team motto is ‘Cook the Food not the Climate’.

Their project has been one of action, the girls have produced a cooking booklet highlighting some great tips to ensure energy used in cooking is done so as efficiently as possible. The booklet incorporated sections on the use of seasonal and locally grown produce on a month by month basis.

The students are extremely keen to highlight the fact that there is an abundance of fabulously fresh produce grown on our doorsteps, providing essential employment to the local economy and reaching our shops and markets with a smaller carbon footprint than if it were flown across the globe.

lean_green_cooking_machines_apr12Your CARBON FOOTPRINT is the amount of carbon dioxide you emit through your consumption of energy, either directly when you use electricity, gas or oil or indirectly when you buy something and take into account all the carbon dioxide used in its production and shipping. Carbon Dioxide is a green house gas, greenhouse gases form an insulating blanket around the earth and help sustain a suitable temperature. However too much carbon dioxide causes this insulating layer to thicken and traps in too much heat, causing global warming, this then causes climate change. The activities of citizens in the most developed countries in the world produce the largest carbon footprints and it is the citizens of the most underdeveloped nations that are left to cope with the floods, desertification of their land and other weather extremes. By addressing the fundamentals of sourcing locally grown produce and cooking in an energy efficient way we can all do our bit to ‘ Cook the Food not the Climate’.


  • Irish Aubergines are 2 days fresher than those imported from Holland, so not only are we saving food miles and also supporting irish jobs, we are guaranteed fresher produce.
  • By buying Irish strawberries, consumers are saving 600,000 food miles because there would be 200 less trucks coming to Ireland from Spain and Holland.
  • Using the dishwasher once, will use the same amount of energy, as boiling 7.5 full kettles.
  • The tomato plant was first grown in England in the 1590’s and is very successfully grown in Ireland. despite this Irish consumers are used to getting their tomatoes from Saudi Arabia. Grown to look good and last for ages they are lacking in flavour. Food miles to Ireland: 3100
  • Spring onions, very easy to grow in Ireland and yet most are imported from Thailand. food miles to Ireland: 5,900
  • Potatoes, Ireland’s most famous veg, yet a considerable amount are imported from Israel. Food miles to Ireland: 2,200.
  • Sugarsnap peas, a crop which likes the cold and can survive the frost yet mostly imported from Guatemala. Food miles to Ireland 5,450
  • Strawberries, remember the days when we paid to pick our own? Mainly imported now from Spain. Food miles to Ireland: 780.
  • Carrots, in 2005 China was the largest producer of carrots and turnips, accounting for at least one third of world output! South Africa now accounts for our main imports of carrots. Food miles to Ireland: 6000.
  • Packaged Salad, spinach can lose 90% of its vitamin C content in the 24 hours post harvesting. A huge amount of salad is sourced from Spain. Food miles to Ireland: 780.
  • Too many cooks spoil the climate, Scientists say. Although cooking only accounts for 3% of your home energy use, it adds up. In fact, all of our electric hobs, ovens, kettles and microwaves use as much electricity in a year as British street lighting does in six years.

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