An ECO UNESCO Green Teen training initiative took place in Kilkenny before the October mid term.
Five local schools participated with an aim to develop secondary students’ knowledge of litter and waste issues, and to explore the social issues and personal values associated with waste and litter in a community.
The day was organised to provide support to schools who are actively participating in the Green School Programme. The aim of the workshop was to develop and enhance the students’ leadership skills to enable them to promote environmental issues within their school.
The workshop kicked off with students looking at the life cycle of different natural resources and investigated the potential environmental damage that littering can cause. Many students were amazed to learn the length of time it takes for items to decay when discarded in the open; for example a shoe can take over 200 years to decompose.
During the second half of the day school groups worked together to develop a specific environmental project with the ECO-UNESCO leader offering assistance to tease out finer project details to enable such a project to get off the ground successfully.
Kilkenny local authorities organised the workshop and it was funded through the Anti-Litter and Anti-Graffiti Awareness Grant Scheme. Environmental awareness officer Bernadette Moloney said that it was inspiring to see the environmental concern that the secondary school students expressed throughout the day.
“The level of participation was inspiring and it illustrates that the future is bright as these students are keen to put their best foot forward to contribute to protecting their local environment,” she said.
In recent years, the Green School Programme has experienced an explosion of activity in the secondary schools and Kilkenny local authorities are keen to nurture this interest and support the schools in their quest to receive the prestigious Green Flag Award. Schools who participated in this workshop were St Kieran’s College, Castlecomer Community College, Grennan College, Thomastown, Kilkenny City Vocational College and Abbey Community College, Ferrybank.