Errigal College's All Ireland winning Bottle It team and SEAI's Ms Majella Kelleher
‘One Good Idea’ is the name of the national competition run by the Dept of the Environment that was won this week by the students of Errigal College, Letterkenny.
Mr Denis Naughten TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment was delighted to see the passion that Errigal College students have shown “in raising awareness of the issue of sustainable energy and climate change”.
“Young people learn by example, so thank you for the great example you are setting our younger generations,” he added.
Hundreds of schools entered the competition and the top 20 were selected to make a presentation of their one good idea to the SEAI judges in Dublin Castle.
The competition began in 2008 with the mentality that it just takes one good idea to make a difference. The aim is to inspire lifestyle changes to save energy and help tackle climate change.
This year, over 200 campaigns were developed by young people all over Ireland. Students from every corner of the country came together for the National final that took place in Printworks, Dublin Castle.
The overall winning campaign Bottle It was devised by the students of Errigal College to tackle plastic pollution and reduce energy use.
The Errigal students took to the stage for their colourful presentation, some dressed up as plastic bottles, others dressed as fish and described how plastic ends up in the oceans and the disastrous effects it has on sea life.
Knowing that more than three million tonnes of plastic go into landfill sites across the world each year, the students were inspired to make a change.
They aim to reduce their waste and make Errigal College completely plastic free by encouraging other students to use BPA free reusable bottles and to refill water bottles instead of buying more.
The students and their teacher, Ms Catriona Hasson, were presented with a trophy on stage and congratulated for the fantastic campaign.
Ms Hasson said: “The students put in an incredible amount of work to raise awareness of the drastic impact plastic is having on our environment.
“They organised an information day in our local shopping centre, reached out to local businesses and organisations for support, and spoke about the issue on local radio.
“One Good Idea is a great opportunity for us to get our message out to the wider community, learn a lot and make a difference in Letterkenny.”
Jim Gannon, Chief Executive of the SEAI praised “the determination” of Errigal College’s students and their willingness “to contribute to a better more sustainable future!”