Cool Planet Experience

Calculating our carbon footprint

Sarah and Siri, GEAI volunteers, visited yesterday the Cool Planet Experience in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow! Together with our previous volunteer, Francesca, the Cool Planet Champion from Co. Leitrim, we wondered in this unique, interactive climate change experience. Our journey started with calculating our personal carbon footprint, which was much higher than expected!

Then we continued in the disaster room, where we saw the devastating effects of our actions on our planet, and the consequences we are going to face if we will not chanCool Planet Experience braceletsge. Flooding, famine, and complete dystopia. A scary scenario but real nevertheless! With this bad feeling about our planet we entered the globe room, where we were informed about the science behind the climate change and what we can do to tackle the problem. After that, we continued to the ‘Race to 2050’ room. In a series of funny video games, we managed to save a city from the brink of destruction. We built wind farms, insulated homes and put solar panels on the roofs, fixed water leakages and recycled tonnes of plastic and metal! Sarah was the absolute winner, as she managed to have the highest score in all the games! What a climate agent! She absolutely saved the city!Cool Planet Experience Enniskerry

But our success doesn’t stop there! In the quiz room we got the highest score of the week, answering right most of the questions. Did you know that 40 000 cows are slaughtered every week in Ireland? We did, but were as disturbed by the fact, as you are!

And off to the Forest of Hope where we could finally relax and have our hopes restored. If we all act now and stop self-destructive practices, we can save our future. In the room of Brighter Futures we pledged to reduce meat consumption, use our cars less and make our houses environmentally friendly.

As a result we will manage to reduce our carbon footprint significantly.Cool Planet Experience Small changes in our everyday life that can make a huge difference. A roller coaster of an experience! We started terrified but went out full of hope and promises to act now! Why don’t you too?

 

 

 

 

 

Reimagining our Rural Communities

Nino, our Italian EVS volunteer, took part in the “Reimagining our Rural Communities” event organized by Leitrim Development Company in Drumshanbo on September 26th. The meeting was attended by various associations and organizations representing the entire county of Leitrim. The aim was to stimulate debate and share ideas and opportunities for the future of the county.

Leitrim is a rural county, and this has both positive and negative aspects. Sometimes the decisions made by the central government do not fit well with the real needs of the territory and there are different problems. The aim of this first meeting is to activate a virtuous process that, starting from the requests of the community and therefore of individual citizens, tries to imagine and put into practice solutions.

During the meeting four round tables were set up and the one in which Nino participated was called “Dreams”. The question was: What do you dream for Leitrim? The answers were really varied and just to name a few: development of renewable energy and recycling, better public services and implementation of practices such as car sharing. – Leitrim could become a model in this field and be, for example, the first sustainable county in Ireland. – In addition, more services – for example the health service is really lacking – and consequently higher quality of life, greater opportunities for young people, and finally greater sense of community.

The issues addressed were many, some generic while others specific, and what is positive is that several people have come together to talk. Maybe Leitrim’s strength lies in the fact that it is a small county, and together it is possible to create a common vision on it. So see you at the next meeting.

“Good Energies 2020” – main focus of the coming year

Group young people Climate Change People Change projectSeptember brought a new start to “Good Energies 2020”, our Strategic EVS project funded by Erasmus+. This project will use the enthusiasm and skills of our EVS volunteers to contribute to our work in combating climate change, empowering young people to tackle climate change and to become climate leaders in their communities. This project will continue for two years and will be the main focus of our EVS volunteers until then.

As part of this project, we will be working with schools and communities, organising climate action projects and days, carrying out energy surveys in local towns, giving seminars and organising conferences. In our work with schools, we will be working with Eco-Unesco, who are engaged with the development of climate change modules for Transition Year students. Our work is ground-breaking and we will be very much focusing on non-formal learning in our methodologies.

Our first action is to organise a series of Climate Action days with Transition Year students in Mohill Community College. Our first day is on 23rd October and our EVS volunteers look forward to working with those young people.

 

 

Erasmus+ logo

A great summer and busy September!

What a really great and warm summer we had in Ireland! Yes, we enjoyed ourselves but
climate action is never-ending and we were still active during the summer.

Adoption of the fossil fuels Divestment Bill

Adoption of the fossil fuels Divestment Bill

In July, we sent two young EVS volunteers from Leitrim to Greece for the month to work in a
forest to try to keep it safe from forest fires. They succeeded – their area didn’t suffer from the
forest fires that devastated other forests in the region.

On 12th July, we were delighted to be present in Leinster House during the adoption of the fossil fuels Divestment Bill.

In August, we sent another two volunteers to Greece for the month; they all agreed that it was a very worthwhile thing to do and were extremely enthusiastic about their EVS experience. This encourages GEAI to continue to send young people abroad to volunteer in the future.

In September, comes a new start for GEAI – Siri, a new Greek volunteer arrived. Siri arrived on 25th, the day that Dublin celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals’ adoption. We all supported the celebration – an exciting start to Siri’s EVS year with us!

EVS Volunteers with GEAI

Pre-departure training for EVS project in Greece

September also brought a new start to “Good Energies 2020”, our Strategic EVS project funded by Erasmus+. This project will continue for two years and will be the main focus of our EVS volunteers until then. During this time, we aim to continue the work of empowering young people to tackle climate change and to become climate leaders in their communities. We will be working with schools and communities, organising climate action projects and days, carrying out energy surveys in local towns, giving seminars and organising conferences.

In our work with schools, we will be working with ECO-UNESCO, who are engaged with the development of climate change modules for Transition Year students. Our work is ground-breaking and we will be very much focusing on non-formal learning in our methodologies.

Sustainable Development Goals March - Powerful Communities banner

Celebrating the 3rd Anniversary of the SDGs

Nino, our Italian EVS volunteer, took part in the “Reimagining our Rural Communities” event organised by Leitrim Development Company on September 26th. The aim was to stimulate debate and share ideas and opportunities for the future of the county.

“I participated in a group discussion on our dreams for Leitrim,” said Nino. “Our group agreed that Leitrim could become the first sustainable county in Ireland!“

On 28th, five of us went to Rosses Point armed with thermometers, pH meters and nitrate tests to survey this magnificent beach as part of the European Coastwatch Survey. Blue Flag beaches, the Atlantic ocean, miles of sand with a few walkers, rock-pools, cliffs, dunes, you name it. The usual denizens of the rock-pools were alive and well – crabs, shrimps, sea anemones,

Coastwatch Survey Rosses Point

Coastwatch Survey – Rosses Point

sea-urchins and periwinkles. As well as masses of seaweeds, of course. We had a really lovely time and arrived home greatly encouraged in our aim to preserve this wonderful earth.

Finally, in September Good Energies Alliance Ireland achieved registered Charity status, which opens up doors in bringing in volunteers from non-EU countries as well as giving us more potential for fund-raising.

A good beginning to Autumn 2018!

 

 

Celebrating the 17 Global SDGs

Tuesday, 25th September, GEAI’s team and volunteers went to Dublin to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sustainable Development Goals March O'Connell Bridge

Credits: Niall Sargent – Green News.ie

The United Nations General Assembly set the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (or SDGs) in 2015. These 17 goals are a universal plan of action for the world to achieve by 2030. They aim to fight against poverty, climate change, inequalities, hunger, water pollution, etc.

This event in Dublin celebrated the adoption of the SDGs and promoted the promise of “Leave No One Behind”.

We met on O’Connell Bridge in front of a huge SDGs banner. Following some speeches, we marched from O’Connel Street to the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square. After several speeches about SDGs from environmental organisations (including Coalition 2030, Environmental Pillar, Friends of the Earth, Coastwatch), we heard from a Belgian Embassy official and finally heard a very powerful performance from two young girls who are asylum seekers and have been for years in Direct Provision.

Sustainable Development Goals March

Credits: Niall Sargent – Green News.ie

Tuesday was also the arrival day of our new volunteer Siri from Greece. What a beginning for her EVS in Ireland!

After the final photos, we also had the opportunity to promote our Powerful Communities campaign with our banner!

Sustainable Development Goals March - Powerful Communities banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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