(Back Row L-R: Conor Buckley, Paul Drinan, Brian Clifford, Eamonn O’Sullivan
Front Row L-R: Luke Moore, Jack Twomey, Thomas Foley)
The project ‘Ditch Your Carbon Cup Print’ was announced by Young Social Innovators as the 2017 Winner of Make our world Greener Challenge. As the winner of one of the eleven YSI Challenges, the project is also in the running for the overall Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards and is invited to present to a panel of judges at this year’s ceremony on May 11th in the Convention Centre Dublin.
The project has also qualified for the national Final of the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalists Awards.
The ECO-UNESCO Young environmentalist Awards is Ireland’s biggest all-island celebration of youth ECO-Action. Since 1999, the ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards has recognised and rewarded the environmental actions of thousands of young people 12 and 18 who are working to protect, conserve and enhance our environment through local environmental action projects, making a difference to their lives and the lives of others locally and globally
Three students from the project team recently travelled to the semi-final stage of the competition at the Munster ECO-Den. They impressed a panel of expert judges by pitching their eco-action project to secure a place in the Final, which takes place on May 23rd at the Mansion House in Dublin. There was great excitement at Charleville C.B.S when the project was shortlisted for the Eco Unesco Final, where they will join over 80 other groups from around Ireland.
‘Ditch Your Carbon Cup Print’ is an environmental project. The main aim of the project is to reduce Carbon Emissions (C02) locally and nationally by encouraging people to bring their own reusable cup and ditch the disposable paper cup when getting a take out beverage in garages and coffee outlets throughout the country. To kick-start the idea, the students have organised a ‘Ditch Your Carbon Cup Print’ (DYCCP) week in Charleville, May 15th -19th. It is hoped that, during this designated week, people will get a discount on a beverage when they bring their own reusable cup when buying a take out beverage from shops and garages in the town. To ensure the success of the designated DYCCP week the students sought the help, support and advise of the Charleville Chamber of Commerce. Mr. P.J. McCarthy and Mr. Sean Fitzgibbon from the Chamber offered invaluable advice and encouragement to the students. The Chamber will mentor the students in this Endeavour and lend its support to the project. The students described their meeting with the Chamber as; ‘educational, insightful, a good learning curve and reported that their confidence in the work of the project had grown.
The students intend to collect relevant data for their project by conducting a survey in the town, before and during the designated ‘DYCCP’ week. The survey will address people’s attitude to: the environment, CO2 emissions, the use of the disposable paper cup versus the use of a reusable cup and the environmental cost to the planet.
In the course of their research, the students have formed links with like-minded people involved in similar projects in countries such as USA, Denmark and Sweden. One of the perceived problems with bringing your own reusable cup for a take out beverage is the inconvenience of the standard available reusable cups. During the ‘DYYCP’ week, it is hoped that a compact, collapsible, totally sealed, reusable cup, which is extremely convenient when on- the –go, will be available to purchase in Charleville. The school will approach local businesses for sponsorship, which under the C.S.R. (Corporate Social Responsibility) scheme might consider donating funds to ensure the success of the ‘DYCCP’ week. Business can benefit from such sponsorship in a number of ways:
- Recognition and Public Relations exercise.
- They are contributing to the Education of the students in Charleville (experientaial model of learning) and educational initiatives such as Homework Club, CodeBro’s Coding Club, Social and Scientific Project work.
- They can include their contribution in their C.S.R. scheme.
The work is ongoing and the students are relying on the support of the local people in ensuring that their project is a success. People can help the students in this initiative in a number of ways by:
- participating in the surveys conducted before and during the designated ‘Ditch Your Carbon Cup Print’ week.
- taking a reusable cup for their daily take-out beverage to their favourite coffee/beverage outlet during the designated week.
- buying the new compact, collapsible, totally sealed, reusable cup.The proceeds of which will go to the school for educational initiatives, such as: homework club, CodeBro’s club, social and scientific project (B.T. Young Scientist, Young Social Innovators, Eco Unesco Young Environmentalist Awards etc)
- Providing sponsorship under the C.S.R.scheme.
Pending the success of this week the students will build on the project and advance it further. The ‘Ditch Your Carbon Cup Print’ week will provide a model, which will be presented to the Department of the Environment and the EPA for consideration to be rolled out nationally. Such a campaign would be established as an annual designated week/fortnight held throughout the towns and villages of Ireland. We envisage that once established, nationally, the initiative will be lead by local TY students. Charleville C.B.S. will provide schools interested in participating with a ‘DYCCP’ Education Pack, which will enable them to organise, host and evaluate their local ‘Ditch Your Carbon Cup Print’ week.
The group are calling on the support of the public to vote for their project for the ‘People’s Choice Award 2017’, an award decided by online public poll. Voting is open from 2nd until 15th of May on www.ecounesco.ie and the winner will be announced at the Final.