Ennis Tidy Towns have developed a new reusable trainer bag for Ennis Track members in an effort to make road races more sustainable.

The project, which first began two years ago, has seen sustainable transformations take place at community cups through the use of larger water canisters, composting material after the race and a reusable water bottle for each of the children entering the competition.

This time, the thirty-year-old committee that developed under the ethos that ‘everyone can contribute to their local environment’ found that runners after cross country races were being put into single use plastic bags.

“We came up with the idea that we would make a reusable bag, that could be put into the washing machine and be branded with nice colours that the children like,” Ennis Tidy Towns Chairman Cormac McCarthy told The Clare Echo.

Working with a graphic designer, the bag depicts an image of a boy and a girl out running cross country, along with The Ennis Tidy Towns logo. The material, Cormac informed, has great longevity. The purpose of the bag is robustness produced through environmentally friendly material. “The bag can be washed over and over again, and it will still be as good as the day it was bought,” he added.

Community collaborations are a key element of how Ennis Tidy Towns operates. This formularises in assistance to groups or teams that want to develop projects that “promote sustainability, biodiversity or heritage.” Working with young people lays the foundations of this community work, which includes a junior mentoring programme as well as work with primary and secondary schools.

“Environmental awareness is incredibly strong with young people. What we are doing is that we are tapping into that, we are harnessing that, and we are using that to “foster that sense of place so that they are connecting things with their locality. That is a major philosophy in Ennis Tidy Towns, that you are doing it for your local community. It is that cumulative impact that the Tidy Towns movement is having,” he stated.

With over 900 entrants two years ago, during the last official competition, Cormac admitted that the lockdown saw a number of young volunteers take to the streets for community clean-ups. Labelled as “the volunteers of the future” Cormac urges any other young people who are interested in working with Ennis Tidy Towns, to contact them via Facebook.

Meanwhile, the Annual Best Kept Garden competition is part of Ennis Tidy Towns Local Awards with this year’s deadline for entries coming up on Wednesday June 30, 2021.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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