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Clare teens reach National Environmental Awards

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EIGHT youth projects from Clare have reached the final of this year’s Young Environmentalist Awards.

Almost 500 applications were received, which is a record breaking number despite the covid interruptions. ECO-UNESCO will be announcing the winner’s virtually on the 21st of May through YouTube live and social media platforms. 

The Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) recognises and rewards young people aged 10-18 who have taken environmental action and created projects that will help solve environmental issues.

The event sees more than 4,000 participants each year. Although schools are closed during this time, young people are still continuing their environmental projects at home. 

Some of the Clare finalists include CompGoesGreen from St.Patrick’s Comprehensive School, The Plastic Police from Kilkee Community College and St. John Bosco Community College who are continuing their project ‘Sowing for the Soul’. 

St. Patrick’s Comprehensive School has implemented a ban on single use plastics and have saved over 12,000 bottles going to landfill since their CompGoesGreen Project began. They have also introduced water refill stations in their school and started selling stainless steel water bottles.

Director of ECO-UNESCO Elaine Nevin said “We are delighted at the quality of applications this year and we cannot wait to announce this year’s winners.

“Young people are still taking eco action and continuing their projects at home, despite the pandemic.  In light of this we are holding an ECO Week to celebrate the young people who are enthusiastic about making an environmental difference.”

An event that usually brings schools and community groups together from all over Ireland to showcase their projects will now be a week-long celebration while Covid-19 restrictions are in place.

ECO Week 2020 will be held from 18th to 22nd May and will include a range of environmental workshops, well-being activities, talks, and challenges for young people alongside the YEA Winner announcements. The theme of ECO Week 2020 is Food, Fitness, Fashion and your Future.

For more information on the Young Environmentalist Awards and ECO Week 2020, go to www.yea.ie 

Elaine has been a member of staff with The Clare Echo since its foundation in October 2017. The paper's first Chief Reporter, the Kilrush woman is now working as a sub-editor in our busy newsroom. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Limerick with a Masters in Journalism. Elaine briefly worked with the RTE Investigations Unit on the Standards in Public Office investigation before returning to Clare to continue her career as a reporter with the Clare People where she spent nine months as the West Clare correspondent and also covered the 2016 General Election and 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

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