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Turkey is still on the table, but climate minister Richard Bruton is planning a more sustainable Christmas

Richard Bruton says that he has become more environmentally conscious since becoming minister.

Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton is planning a more sustainable Christmas.
Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton is planning a more sustainable Christmas.
Image: Sam Boal/

CLIMATE MINISTER Richard Bruton won’t be cutting down on meat this Christmas but he says he has become “much more conscious” of living sustainably. 

This is Bruton’s second Christmas as Minister for Climate Action. He told that since taking up this job “I have become much more conscious of the bad habits that needlessly damage our environment”.

The minister, who attended the UN Climate Summit in New York in September, said he’d be trying to cut down on food waste during the festive season. 

The government has drawn repeated criticism for not doing enough to combat climate change. Earlier this year, Varadkar admitted that Ireland was a “laggard” on the issue, while in October the government faced scrutiny over plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal in Kerry. 

Last January, Varadkar found himself criticised by farmers and questioned by rural TDs when he told his party that he was eating less meat because of climate change concerns. 

Bruton, who has previously spoken of changing some of his behaviour since becoming minister, has suggested he will be making small changes to his Christmas plans in the name of sustainability.  

He also offered some tips for other people too. 

“Don’t cook for an army or heap up plates in an effort to be generous. Make a shopping list before going to the supermarket and don’t overstock on basics,” Bruton said. 

He said that he’d be shopping local this year. “Buy local and in season. I get most of my fish from Wrights in Howth, near where I live,” he said. 

Bruton, a cooking fan who regularly posts recipes on Instagram, said that he planned to do plenty of cooking this Christmas. 

“Christmas is a time for cooking,” he said. “Stock made from turkey bones is to die for – boil rice in it instead of water or use it in sauces.”

For environmentally conscious shoppers, Bruton suggested buying Seville oranges, which are “in season and you can keep them in store”. 

He also recommended baking at home instead of buying from shops. 

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“It’s a hundred times better than store bought and can be froze,” he said. 

Bruton said that he’s now thinking more carefully about what he buys as presents at Christmas. 

“This year I think I’ll lean more towards ‘experiences’ rather than objects that have a risk of being discarded,” he said. 

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