ECO-UNESCO have announced that four youth projects from Mayo 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-19 interruptions. ECO-UNESCO will be announcing the winner’s, virtually, on Thursday, May 21 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.
The Mayo finalists include: Beekeepers what's buzzing, from Mount Saint Michaels, Claremorris and H4H (Help for Homeless ) from Cloghans Hill Teen Turn with Mount St Michaels, St Josephs Primary School Ogham Tree Team and Games for Good from Foroige Hub Juniors, Castlebar.
Help for Homeless have reached the final of the Waste category, after looking at household wastage and fast fashion and creating an app where homeless people can seek donations, food, and services. The app also addresses the environmental aspect of reducing, reusing and recycling food, clothing and household items, that would otherwise end up in landfill.
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 May 18 to 22 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 is 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.