3 Acorns Eco-audits

Inspiration Information

Implementation

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Donnachadh McCarthy FRSA

3 Acorns Eco-Audits was founded in 2005 by award winning environmentalist Donnachadh McCarthy.



It has since gone from strength to strength, helping businesses, charities, schools and homes across Britain to improve their environmental performance, as well as winning a string of national envirnmental awards.



As well as managing 3 Acorns Eco-Audits Donnachadh is much in demand as an eco-journalist, inspirational speaker on climate change, eco-author and TV and radio commentator on a whole range of environmental topics.

  


 Picture by Robert Taylor

He was the on-screen eco-auditor for the hit BBC2 TV series “It is not Easy Being Green” with Dick and Bridget Strawbridge, Sky Television’s Green Britain Week and for ITV’s “How Green Is Your House” with Linda Robson.

     

He wrote  the weekly “Home Ecologist” column for The Independent and his freelance writing on environmental issues has been published in a range of publications including The Guardian, Time Out, The Times, The Independent, The Evening Standard and Permaculture Magazine.


His first book “Saving the Planet Without Costing The Earth – 500 hundred simple steps to a greener lifestyle"– Vision Paperbacks, was a critical success.  It was on Amazon’s Top Ten Environmental Books for over a year.


His second book “Easy Eco-auditing – How to make your home and workplace planet friendly"- Hamlyn Gaia Books, was published in February 2008.  Donnachadh’s ambition is that it will help create a gentle eco-revolution whereby home-owners, students, workers, employers and activists across the country will use the book to carry out their own home and workplace eco-audits, thus helping to slash their carbon and environmental footprints.


His frequent television and radio appearances include BBC Breakfast TV, Sky News, The World at One, The Jeremy Vine Show, London Tonight, Location Location, Costing the Earth, CNN , The Interview (BBC World Service) , House Wrecks (C4) etc.


Donnachadh passionately believes that those journalists, politicians and environmentalists advocating radical action to tackle the climate crisis should lead by example. He therefore has sought to reduce the environmental footprint of his own home.


His Victorian Terrace home in Camberwell was the first to sell solar PV electricity to London Energy/ EDF Energy, was the first to gain planning permission for a building attached wind-turbine, has a rain-harvester, wood burner and solar hot water system.


In 2007, he finally achieved his dream of not only making his home carbon-neutral but exceeded his target by becoming carbon-negative by a small amount.


He sold more green electricity to the national grid than he imported fossil fuels in the form of gas.


His eco-consultancy “3 Acorns Eco-audits” was awarded the top prize in the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2007/8 in the Construction & Renovation Section, with the National Trust coming second and the Brighton Earthship project coming third.


The 3 Acorns Eco-audits project for the City Bridge Trust “Greening the Third Sector,” which eco-audited a wide range of London’s charities including Centrepoint, RNID, The East London Mosque and NCVO, won the top award in the 2007/8 Green Apple Awards in the Charity section, presented at the Houses of Parliament.


Donnachadh was born in Ireland in 1959 and was brought up in Cork where he studied Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology at the National University of Ireland.


He subsequently trained with the Irish National Ballet and danced professionally with the Dublin City Ballet, Vienna Theatre Ballet and the Royal Opera Ballet Covent Garden in London, where he has lived since 1986.


In 1992 he spent time with the Yanomami Indians in the Amazon Rainforest. This led him to becoming a passionate environmentalist upon his return to London.  His involvement in local environmental campaigns in Peckham led him to becoming involved with mainstream politics.


As a Southwark Councillor for a Peckham ward 1994-98, and as a Southwark resident, Donnachadh participated in Unitary Development Plan development and implementation in Southwark for over 12 years. He successfully led many campaigns to save local open spaces and as a member of the council's planning committee was instrumental in getting the council to be the first to impose planning conditions requiring composting facilities and rainwater storage in 1995.


He instigated a Pesticide Free policy in 1995, which won numerous Green Apple awards, as it was one of the first councils to pursue such a policy.  His motion for a tram for South London in 1994 led to the council seeking the implementation of the Cross River Tram.


He was elected to the Liberal Democrats Federal Executive for two terms, 1996-2004, and was Deputy Chair of the party from 2002-4. He was instrumental in introducing environmental auditing in 1997, greening the party's headquarter practices, and served on many national level policy development committees where he successfully proposed the official adoption of several progressive environmental policies.


He stepped down from the Executive in 2004 and resigned from the party in 2005 to pursue his expanding environmental media and consulting work free from political affiliation.


Donnachadh is now a member of no political party, wanting to work with those of all parties and none to tackle the urgent crisis that is climate change.