EVS ECO-activity Manual is ready!

After one year organising environmental workshops and games in Youth Café Drumshanbo, EVS volunteers Kate & Andrea, have compiled all the activities they have done in an useful manual. And here it is, ready to be used by educators and youth workers. The activity plan developed in the manual is intended to enable learning and fun at the same time. It is directed towards young people after school who therefore need some dynamism and excitement. We are really proud of our manual and all the effort we have put into it. It is an excellent result after one year of work! This project was a great opportunity to get young local people involved in environmental issues using a non formal education approach.  Special thanks to everyone who helped and contributed to make this possible!

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Reduce your bill – join local sustainable community.

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Our Survey of Four Communities in Leitrim is done

Volunteers from GEAI finished surveys last week on how households get and use energy . Four towns were surveyed: Drumshanbo, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ballinamore and Carrigallen. 10% of houses in Drumshanbo (60), Carrick-on-Shannon (150), Ballinamore (50) were surveyed and 20% of houses in Carrigallen (25).

This energy survey is part of the Northwest Energy Communities Start-up project (NECS). The project is a part of the national plan for transition of communities all over Ireland to a low carbon economy, moving away from fossil fuels and using renewable energy resources.

The partners in this project are Good Energies Alliance Ireland and I.T. Sligo. The project is funded by SEAI – the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Basically the NECS project is researching how people, in selected towns, use energy and how much it costs them. GEAI and IT Sligo prepared questionnaires for each town.  The questions were about type of houses, heating systems, heating control systems and most importantly, questions about energy bills.

After all the information is analyzed, GEAI and IT Sligo will organize an Exhibition Day in each surveyed town to give the results of the surveys and plan how residents could have warmer, more comfortable homes while costing them less on fuel and heating.

After the project, each town can be registered as a  (SEC) with the SEAI.  The SEC programme gives grants to make homes more energy efficient and warmer through more insulation, better windows, solar panels and upgrading boilers, for example.

Form volunteers perspective.

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For the GEAI volunteers it was a unique experience.

“We were knocking on doors and asking questions. This experience helped to train our communication skills, flexibility, teamwork and many other skills.”

The volunteers worked 2 days per week in the evening from about 5 pm till 8:30 pm. They were supported by local volunteers in each town, so that people were happy to answer questions.

“We came across different situations, different people’s reactions. The vast majority of people were nice to us and they were glad to help us.  They were also interested in reducing their energy bills!”

Weekend in Donegal

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Ireland is subdivided into 4 provinces and 32 traditional counties, each one with a different attractiveness. This weekend was the turn of Donegal County. The idea was to spend the weekend visiting a friend in Letterkenny and between the journey and the short time I had, I was conscious that I couldn’t visit a lot of places.

Leterkenny’s surroundings have a lot of activities and places of interest, but one of the most important attractions is Glenveagh National Park.  It’s one of the six national parks in Ireland, and one of the most peaceful, beautiful and charming.  In Glenveagh National Park you can see mountains, lakes, glens and woods.  I did a walk to Glenveagh Castle, a castellated mansion house built in 1870 by Captain John George Adair, a member of the minor gentry. After that, I sat above the lake and looked at the landscape that extends as far as the eye can see. Without doubt, one of the charms of the National Park.

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In the night we went out in Letterkenny, the largest town in County Donegal with an abundance of nightlife and a great atmosphere. First we had dinner with people from a great number of nationalities: United States, Turkey, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Ireland (of course). Then, we went to the club “Voodoo Venue” to finish the night.

The next day we had to come back on a long bus journey to Drumshanbo, in Leitrim.  I was tired but very happy with my weekend in Donegal!

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The day that Fracking died in Ireland!

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6th July 2017 was a historic day in the Republic of Ireland, the Bill to ban onshore fracking was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins.

The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill brought by Sligo-Leitrim TD Tony McLoughlin received generalized support from across the political parties.

Deputy McLoughlin expressed his delight that the Bill will be made into law to “protect hundreds of thousands of people from the harmful and damaging effects of hydraulic fracking”.

“The passing of the Bill has been a great victory for local campaigners and a boost for the global climate movement,” said Niall Sargent, representing the Environmental Pillar, a coalition of 26 Irish environmental organisations.

According to the Pillar, its members Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) Ireland campaigned “relentlessly” with grassroots movements, such as Love Leitrim across the country to get the prospect of a ban put on the political agenda.

Aedín McLoughlin, the Director of GEAI, also heaped praise on the campaigners who “never gave up the struggle to make this issue a national one”.

“The long road is travelled and we have come successfully to its end,” she said. “For six years we have looked forward to this day when the Irish government would ban fracking and protect our rural environment and communities from this industry that poisons drinking water and air”.

It wasn’t easy but fracking is now officially banned in Ireland. Congratulations to all!

http://greennews.ie/president-signs-fracking-ban-bill-into-law/

Three years left to save our climate!

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The climate situation is even more urgent now – the year 2020 is crucially important. When it comes to climate, timing is everything. Should emissions continue to rise beyond 2020, or even remain level, climatologists calculate that the temperature goals set in Paris become almost unattainable. MISSION 2020 is a collaborative campaign to raise ambition and action across key sectors to bend the greenhouse-gas emissions curve downwards. Christiana Figueres and other high-level colleagues set out a six-point plan for turning the tide of world’s carbon dioxide by 2020.

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