GEAI and Ballinagleragh Community Hall get ‘greener’

As part of our commitment to a sustainable future GEAI has changed our electricity supplier to Templederry Renewable Energy Supply Ltd. T/A CRES (Community Renewable Energy Supply). This is the first ‘community’ owned and operated electricity supply company in Ireland that sources energy entirely from renewable sources/technologies.

Solar Panel on Hall

Part of GEAI’s work is to promote the development of sustainable energy projects which could involve local communities working together to establish their own community owned/controlled electricity generating facilities.

Also, in furtherance of this objective GEAI has submitted an application to the Leader Programme for funding to install a 6Kw array of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of our operational base – Ballinagleragh Community Hall. It is intended that this will generate enough electricity to drastically reduce our reliance on the ‘national grid’ – even though we are currently using electricity from CRES.

We hope to have a decision within the next couple of months on this application. So… watch our newsletter and website for further updates.

 

 

 

Climate Action Days 2.0 for Lough Allen College

After the success of our Climate Action Days initiative in Mohill Community College, GEAI organized several more sessions for Lough Allen College in Drumkeeran.  We are working with Transition Year students, learning more about climate change in a non-formal way. This activity is facilitated by our European Solidarity Corps volunteers.

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Having reviewed the results we achieved with Mohill students, we adapted the program for the second school: made our presentations more interactive, ice-breakers and energisers – more fun, and we also added in the basics of Sustainable development.

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Aedin McLoughlin, CEO and Youth Project Coordinator

Working with teenagers, we use a lot of games. Our first session was 2 hours long, because it included theoretical part and introduction of the climate projects, or actions, that the kids will do. So the games help to break it up a bit. And who doesn’t like games? We certainly do!

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During our second session we got familiar with Sustainable Development Goals: 17 goals founded by the UN in 2015 to tackle the major problems of humankind (hunger, poverty, climate change and more). The aim of sustainable development is to develop the possibility to grow economically without compromising the wellbeing of future generations.

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The students have chosen the topics for their group projects and are working on them. In two weeks we are going to meet again in the Organic Centre in Rossinver to discuss the results of their work.

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Mohill students in the Organic Centre

GEAI (Good Energies Alliance Ireland) recently organised Climate Action days for Transition Year students of Mohill Community College. The Organic Centre in Rossinver was the final venue of our Climate Action Days in 2018.

DSC_0121Tom O’Rourke, manager of the Organic Centre, showed us around. They have a history of more than 20 years of organic gardening here in North Leitrim. From Community Garden to composting areas, we were able to see different sections from start to finish of the organic agriculture process.

DSC_0107We saw a few greenhouses, or polytunnels, each of them with different groups of plants: tomatoes, lettuce varieties, aromatic plants, flowers and many more. By the principle of organic planting, not every plant can be grown in winter, so some zones were empty, covered with compost and waiting for spring.

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DSC_00917Tom is passionate about his work and he shared his knowledge with us. It was great to hear that the Centre is thriving and commercially viable as well as being an example of good practice in organic farming. Together with staff, many volunteers take active part in the life of the Centre and locals can also grow their plants in the Centre.

DSC_0095The students were really interested and found the session inspiring, although the cold drove us all indoors before we could see everything. No time was wasted, however, as the students prepared for the final Climate Action presentations.

Climate Action Day 2 in Mohill

GEAI (Good Energies Alliance Ireland) is currently running Climate Action days for Transition Year students in Mohill Community College.  This activity is lead by our team of EVS volunteers.

IMG_1515On November 20th we met again for the second Climate Action day. The aim of this session was to take a closer look at the actual problems the world (and Ireland in particular) is facing, and come up with the ideas for our personal actions, something easy to do and at the same time interesting for the students.

IMG_1516.JPGThe issues about the challenges students came up with were brilliant:

  • Apathetic governments;
  • World leaders not believing climate change is an issue;
  • People aren’t open to change;
  • Organic products too expensive;
  • Deforestation for extraction of palm oil;

And many more.

We were all impressed by this piece of work, and in the second part of the session we came up with action plans for the nearest 3 weeks.

IMG_1527IMG_1529We had 5 groups working on the following topics:

  • Nature and biodiversity;
  • Green energy and transport;
  • Waste, plastics and recycling;
  • Food and composting;
  • and an extra one which took the political route and decided to interview local politicians.

IMG_1543IMG_1545Next time we’re going to meet in the Organic Centre in Rossinver. The students will present the results of their work. We look forward to it!

IMG_1505For more pictures follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/geaireland/

Alexandra Peralaika

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.

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