6 May 2020
By Elaine Murphy
ECO-UNESCO have announced that 18 youth projects from Cork 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 Cork finalists include the Plastic Warriors from Kilcrohane National School, The Young Reducers from Davis College Mallow, The Circle of Life from Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh Bishopstown, and Dromleigh National School near Macroom who are investigating Microalgae as a potential environmental superhero.
The Plastic Warriors from Kilcrohane National School have made it to the finals of the Super Junior category for their Eco-bricks. In an effort to recycle light plastic waste, these bottle bricks will be used from material usually sent to landfill to design and construct garden furniture and will be showcased and demonstrated to the wider local community.
Elaine Nevin, Director of ECO-UNESCO 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. The aim of ECO Week to celebrate the achievements of young activists, to allow young people to explore career opportunities in environmentalism and to educate them on a range of environmental topics.
About the YEAs
The Young Environmentalist Awards will be hosted on Thursday, May 21st. The winners will be announced on Youtube Live and ECO-UNESCOs Social media pages. 152 finalists are in with a chance to win an award across 14 different categories. ECO-WEEK 2020 will be held from the 18th to 22nd May to celebrate those that have participated. A number of virtual events and activities will be held online for young people as Covid-19 restrictions continue. Young people will get the opportunity to explore career opportunities and learn more about environmentalism. The theme of ECO Week 2020 is Food, Fitness, Fashion and your Future.
ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s Environmental Education and Youth Organisation that works to conserve the environment and empower young people. Their aims are: to raise environmental awareness, understanding and knowledge of the environment among young people, to promote the protection and conservation of the environment, to promote the personal development of young people through practical environmental projects and activities, and to promote the ideals of UNESCO