23 May 2020
By Elaine Murphy
The Young Reducers from Davis College, Mallow, Co Cork have won the overall senior category at the national Young Environmentalist Awards which were announced on Thursday 21st May. 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 Young Reducers from Davis College won the overall senior category alongside the senior waste category for their efforts to reduce single-use plastics in their school. They created a clever video with a call for environmental action featuring star of the ‘Young Offenders’, Demi Oviawe alongside a range of young people to showcase the new generation that wants change. They have lobbied for new legislation in the school to ban single-use plastics and created an induction for all incoming first years.
Aleksandra Proszkowiec from The Young Reducers commented “We wanted to show that climate change, waste production and pollution will affect the future generation and it is young people like us that are willing to make a difference. We have been working to create awareness and reduce ‘Young Offenders’ in our school that have been using single-use plastics. We are delighted to have won a young environmentalist award.”
Other Cork Winners include Youth Climate Activists from Schull Community College who won the Junior Climate Change Category for their environmental efforts and Timoleague National School who won a gold award in the Super Junior Category.
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.”
Full List of Winners 2020
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OVERALL SENIOR AWARD – ‘The Young Reducers’ Davis College, Mallow, Cork
OVERALL JUNIOR AWARD – Are you ready to tumble? Protecting oceans from the microplastics in laundry, Sandy mount Park Educate Together Secondary School, Dublin
OVERALL SUPER JUNIOR – Evan, Alex and Dylan’s Tralee Canal Clean Up Brothers Evan, Alex and Dylan Nealon, Kerry
FURTHER GROWTH AWARD – Moate Sensory Garden, Moate Community School, Westmeath
LOCAL TO GLOBAL SDG AWARD – Climate Change in the Midlands, Tullamore College, Offaly
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD –
MENTOR OF THE YEAR AWARD –
BIODIVERSITY – JUNIOR – Bee Be Gone If We Don’t Act Now, Mount Carmel Secondary School , Dublin
BIODIVERSITY – SENIOR – Biodiversity Back in the Park, Newpark Comprehensive, Dublin
CLIMATE CHANGE – JUNIOR – Youth Climate Activists in SCC, Schull Community College, Cork
CLIMATE CHANGE – SENIOR – Self-Sustainable Sem, St. Brendan’s College, Kerry
ECO-INNOVATION – JUNIOR – Are you ready to tumble? Protecting oceans from the microplastics in laundry, Sandy mount Park Educate Together Secondary School, Dublin
ECO-INNOVATION – SENIOR – Using chitosan to create a biodegradable, antimicrobial plastic alternative to aid in the reduction of plastic waste in hospitals, Loreto secondary school Balbriggan, Dublin
ECO-HEALTH & WELL-BEING – JUNIOR – Ballinascreen Intergenerational Project, St. Colm’s High School, Derry
ECO-HEALTH & WELL-BEING -SENIOR – Me-Bags, Crumlin Youthreach, Dublin
ECO-COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – JUNIOR – H4H – Help for Homeless Cloghans Hill Teen Turn , Mt St Michael, Mayo
ECO-COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – SENIOR – THE CLI-MATES, Scoil Mhuire Buncrana, Donegal
ECO – ART & DESIGN – SENIOR – UCCL, Coláiste Cois Life, Dublin
ENERGY – Senior – Data Centres: Actions to raise awareness and pre-empt the growing strain on energy infrastructure and related emissions, Blackrock College, Dublin
WASTE – JUNIOR – Ban the Bottle, St Michael’s Holy Faith Secondary School, Dublin
WASTE – SENIOR – ‘The Young Reducers’ , Davis College Mallow, Cork
WATER – JUNIOR – The grey area within greywater, Mary Immaculate Secondary School Lisdoonvarna, Clare
WATER – SENIOR – River Clean Up, Carlow Regional Youth Service, Carlow
SUPER JUNIOR AWARDS
OVERALL – Evan, Alex and Dylan’s Tralee Canal Clean Up, Brothers Evan, Alex and Dylan Nealon, Kerry
GOLD – What is the Best Organic Fertilizer to Grow Grass? Timoleague National School, Cork
SILVER – Stools for Schools, St. Thomas’ Senior National School, Dublin
BRONZE – St Brendan’s Recycling Station, St Brendan’s BNS, Dublin