The Young Reducers from Davis College, Mallow 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.
Calling for change
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.
On winning the senior category, student Aleksandra Proszkowiec from The Young Reducers said: “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 included 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 RTÉ Radio Presenter, Tara Stewart announced the winning projects.