The Grey Area Within Greywater from Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Lisdoonvarna have won the Junior Water Category at the national Young Environmentalist Awards.
A record-breaking 500 applications were received this year.
Now in their 21st year, the Young Environmentalist Awards hosted by ECO-UNESCO recognises the efforts made by young people aged 10 to 18 years old across Ireland who have worked towards improving the environment. ECO-UNESCO, Ireland’s Environmental Education and Youth Organisation has seen over 50,000 young people involved in the Young Environmentalist Awards since 1999.
The Grey Area Within Greywater youth group from Mary Immaculate Secondary School looked at the effects of using greywater on the chemistry and the earthworm population in soil. Having found that it had a negative effect on the population of earthworms, this youth group created an awareness campaign to highlight the damaging effects of greywater on biodiversity in the soil.
Another Clare youth group, CompGoesGreen from St Patrick’s Comprehensive School were highly commended at the awards for their extensive efforts to reduce single-use plastics in their school.
Due to Covid-19, the announcements were made online in place of an event which is usually hosted in Dublin each year. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland made an address while RTE Radio Presenter, Tara Stewart announced the winning projects. To celebrate the occasion while young people are at home, ECO-UNESCO organised a week-long set of events including workshops and webinars from key experts. The theme of ECO Week is Food, Fitness, Fashion and your Future.
Elaine Nevin, National Director of ECO-UNESCO commented “We have received more applications than ever this year and despite Covid-19 interruptions, young people have continued to work on their projects at home. Climate Change and biodiversity loss are becoming real threats and young people this year have shown through their YEA action projects how they are tackling some of these issues. We are blown away by the passion and motivation of this year’s entries and their attitude towards making a positive environmental change.”
For more information on the Young Environmentalist Awards please got to www.YEA.ie.