Lily Hemus, Kate Murphy, Sarah Doyle, Shauna Monaghan, Ellen Deneher with Micheál Carrigy Photo by Shelley Corcoran
Young people are always bursting with ideas and that is certainly the case in Granard where students from Cnoc Mhuire have been funnelling their ideas into the SEAI One Good Idea Competition.
Every year, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) challenges students to put their energy-saving ideas to good use by entering the One Good Idea competition, allowing them to share their thoughts on a national scale.
‘The Power of One Good Idea’ for schools was established in 2008 on the back of a national campaign to get people thinking about ways in which we can reduce our energy use. It started with 20 schools and, in the space of ten years, it has grown to over 200 applications.
In Cnoc Mhuire Granard, a large emphasis is put on the importance of caring for the environment. The school has been receiving green flags since 2004 so the group involved in the competition was full of ideas when the competition came up.
Daily carbon footprints and shopping local are the topics of discussion in the project, which was worked on by Sarah Doyle, Shauna Monaghan, Kate Murphy, Lily Hemus and Ellen Deneher.
“We aim to determine people’s everyday carbon footprints, taking into account their clothes, cosmetic products, food, drinks, shoes, jewellery, books, cleaning products, household appliances and stationary,” the girls told the Longford Leader recently.
“We are going to compare the carbon footprints of a young, middle-aged and elderly person and give recommendations on how to reduce their daily negative impact on the environment.”
The idea came to fruition when the girls were in their Environmental Studies class and discovered that many of the activities they carry out on a daily basis are detrimental to the wellbeing of the earth.
“As humans, we are all creatures of habit and this causes us to carry out activities automatically without giving thought to the consequences. We want to invoke thought in people with the hope that this will affect their choices in what products they use,” they explained.
This year, the competition has opened itself up to the digital era. Students are now required to make a one-minute video about their project to create larger awareness about their idea.
This enables students to be more creative with their projects while helping others to understand their vision more clearly.
“We are going to take a video of a child, an adult and an elderly person. We will video a day in their life and analyse the effects of everything they use on the environment. We are then going to give examples of alternatives that can be sourced closer to home.
“Our slogan for the project is ‘getting vocal about shopping local’ as we feel that everyone needs to start getting more vocal about their choices in order to keep our planet safe for the generations to come,” the girls concluded.
The video for Granard’s One Good Idea project is now available to view on the Cnoc Mhuire Granard Facebook page. For more information on the competition, see www.seai.ie.