New non-formal learning approach: Enviro-activity!

Yesterday, 29th March, EVS volunteers developed an innovative activity in Youth Café Drumshanbo. The main purpose was to remember and learn about fossil fuels, renewable energy and recycling while the kids were playing a competitive game.

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The game

We decided to create something different, a game they could enjoy and which could encourage them to learn more about environment.  At the same time we all know kids love competition, therefore based on these ideas, we created our game.

Using recycling materials, cardboard in this case, we designed a board with different squares from number 1 to number 20. There are three different kinds of squares on the game: numbers which have associated an specific task (sing a song, introduce yourself in a different language…), toxicity squares (with a skull on them) which mean a missing turn and the third type  wind energy, solar power, fossil fuels and recycling squares which have associated an environmental question related to those topics .

We divided the group of kids into two teams. A player for each team started the game, they had to throw the die, go to the related square and complete the associated task. If they did it correctly they could continue playing. When the player reached the last square, number 20, a new player started. The purpose of the game was that every player reached the end square as soon as possible. The team in which all players did it before, was the winner.

The outcome

It was a complete success! Children were engaged and they experienced a real competition. They tried to do their best for the team. We concluded that our board game was an original idea to encourage them to learn more about environment

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Minister of State Seán Kyne announces launch of €5.2m community climate action project.

CHERISH (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands) is an exciting new European funded cross-border project with Geological Survey Ireland as the Irish partner.   

CHERISH

 

Using the latest geoscience technology and expertise, CHERISH partners will perform collaborative research in marine mapping, landscape modelling, excavation and environmental studies. They will work with coastal communities in Ireland and Wales to develop mutual understanding of climate risk to local heritage assets and reduce the impact of climate change on local economies.

 

This project has an important social and economic mission, as well as a scientific one. The initiative encourages knowledge sharing between scientists and local communities to protect coastal tourism and heritage sites from climate change,” said Sean Kyne, Minister of State for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. “It is my aim that this project will serve as a stimulus for climate awareness, wellbeing and prosperity in the local communities it serves, as well as throughout coastal Ireland.”

 

The Irish component of the project will focus on five coastal communities around Ireland: Glascarrig Motte, Co. Wexford; Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry; Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford; Skerries Islands, Co. Dublin and Dalkey Island, Co. Dublin.

Minister Kyne officially launched the CHERISH project on 23rd March 2017.

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Musical chairs recycling game

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Yesterday, 22th March, EVS volunteers organised a recycling game in Youth Café Drumshanbo. It was based on musical chairs but the aim was learning more about good recycling habits.

We had developed this game before with an energy quiz and it was a complete success that’s why we decided to do it again. The main idea was dancing around while the music was playing and try to find a chair when it stopped. The kid who was standing because he/she wasn’t able to find an available chair, had to answer a recycling question. A correct answer meant the kid could continue playing, however an incorrect answer meant he/she was out of the game. It was great! They took their time to think and they chose their answers carefully. At the end we concluded that our previous recycling workshops were effective because they have pretty clear what a good recycling habit is. We will see them next week!

Steal the glove environmental game

STEAL THE GLOVE-2Wednesday 8th March, International Women’s Day, EVS volunteers Kate & Andrea developed a dynamic game in Youth Café Drumshanbo. The purpose was to have fun and at the same time see what the kids remembered about our previous activities.

Steal the glove

We divided the group of kids into two smaller groups. The teams lined up on opposite sides of the room. Andrea, the referee, was in the middle. Each team member had a number- one, two, three and so on. The referee started the game by calling out one number, for instance: Three! Number three of each team had to pay attention to Kate, who was standing out of the game area. She read some statements related to the various environmental topics they have learned about since we started to collaborate with the Youth Café. At the moment they heard a FALSE statement they had to run, steal the glove and come back to their team without being tagged by the other player. If they were tagged while stealing, the other team received the point. At the end of the game the team which had more points was the winner.

The result

Both teams were competitive until the last minute. They wanted to win and they were concentrated on the statements. They discussed between the team members if they were true or false. It was interesting to hear their reasoning. After the game we were happy to conclude they remembered what we explained them in previous workshops. It was a great session! We will see them next week.

 

 

 

The problem with Biomass – it can emit more carbon per unit of energy than most fossil fuels!

 

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Is wood a carbon-neutral energy source?

In February 2017, Chatham House published Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate, by Duncan Brack.  The report argues that policies promoting wood for renewable energy production are based on the flawed assumption that wood is a carbon-neutral energy source.  In fact, as reported, emissions from wood burning may be higher than the fossil fuels replaced.

Biomass in general emits more carbon per unit of energy than most fossil fuels. EU policies do not account for the emissions from bioenergy in the energy sector, because it is assumed that these emissions are accounted for at the point of harvest in the land use sector. However, whether these emissions can be recuperated by future growth of biomass is not only uncertain, but often unlikely.  The report finds that part of the emissions may never be accounted for, such as when EU countries use biomass imported from the United States.

Policies must distinguish between different types of feedstock

The report, in line with earlier recommendations by environmental groups, proposes that policies clearly distinguish between different types of feedstock and provide support only to those which reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short term, taking into account changes in forest carbon stocks. With regard to wood harvesting, only residues that would otherwise have been burnt as waste or would have been left in the forest and decayed rapidly can be considered to be carbon-neutral over the short to medium term.

In principle, sustainability criteria can ensure that only biomass with the lowest impact on the climate are used; the current criteria in use in some EU member states and under development in the EU do not achieve this.

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