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?

 

 

 

 

 

“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!

 

 

Happy summer days

Beach

It’s with this incredible summer that us, GEAI volunteers, can enjoy Ireland!

During the heatwave in June and July, we could enjoy the beach and try to swim in the (cold) North Atlantic Ocean, what an experience!

Dublin, Donegal, Athlone, Galway, Cork, Cliffs of Moher, ring of Kerry and Dingle, Northern Ireland… We visited more things in Ireland in 3 months than in 1 year in our own countries. But this country is so fascinating! All parts of Ireland are unique, and the landscapes are so different under the sun.

Mohill castleThanks to this very nice weather, we could enjoy the beauties of Eire and all their charm in the best way.

At the end of July, Drumshanbo for one week became the place to be in County Leitrim with the Joe Mooney Summer School. This festival attracts hundreds of people from all around the world (United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, USA…). The programme included set dancing lessons and musical instruments tuition (fiddle, harp, guitar, flute, accordion, etc.)  concerts, céilís and recitals.

All the pubs hosted music sessions every day. There were also concerts every evening in the Lough Allen Hotel, Mayflower Hall or in other places in the town. What an amazing week! The quiet Drumshanbo was full of people, two, sometimes three or more music sessions in each pub, people everywhere! And such good musicians! We even saw people playing music in the streets.

Alas, the weather has changed and the rain has returned, for now anyway.  The farmers are pleased but we hope that the summer is not over for us!

A two-day trip to the Wild Atlantic Coast

EVS is a fantastic opportunity to travel. As new volunteers we cannot wait to leave and visit Ireland. This is a country that offers a heterogeneous variety of fantastic places to discover. So we dedicate a weekend to the Wild Atlantic Coast in order to reach some of the highest areas of Ireland. For the occasion, we met two friends of Francesca, EVS volunteers in Kilkenny. So in five we ventured along the winding Irish roads.

We left Drumshanbo on Saturday and reached Donegal via Sligo. Donegal is a small tourist town on the Atlantic Ocean. There we visited the castle and took a short walk to the main street via the main square, until we reached the cemetery with an ocean view. We could not stop too much because still at the beginning of the journey – moreover the city center is not very big – that’s why we decided to leave.

Got back to the road we took the N15 towards Letterkenny. It was a very long journey and our breaks were very short because the place to be reached was still far away. After Letterkenny we had to reach Buncrana, Clonmany and then Leenan. There we rented a typical Irish cottage for the night.

We arrived just for dinner… what a pity though because we did not have much time to go around. And the weather was not the best! After a quick Fish & Chips we took advantage of the evening light to reach the Atlantic Ocean on Pollan Bay. The beach in the evening is very charming, and the atmosphere is peaceful and magical at the same time.

 

Tired but really happy we went to bed… that night a really strong wind blew! The following morning we left to reach Fanad Head. It is not the most northerly point of Ireland, but it is close. We traveled along the road around Lake Drongaw Lough and the entire cove, passing through a Viking landscape. In front of our eyes, desolate lands and cliffs overlooking the sea formed a breathtaking view.

The lighthouse on the cliff is really charming. We had a sack lunch sitting on the cliff, and for us it is not so every day! The trip was not over yet because we wanted to visit the Glenveagh National Park. Unfortunately, arrived at the park it started to rain but we decided to make a short stop the same. A minibus took us from the park entrance to the castle along the Lough Beagh lake. It seemed to be in a movie: a journey into another journey. Arriving at the castle we decided to visit the garden and look at the castle from the outside. We did not have time to enter. Once we reach the car, we leave again: this time we know that there will be no other stops. We had to reach Sligo in time because Francesca’s friends had to go back to Kilkenny by train.

It was a fantastic experience and in two days we got to know part of Ireland. The trip was a bit tiring because we spent a lot of time in the car. We were ready for the next adventure and a new day of work at GEAI!

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