ECO

“ECO @Home” is a new initiative by ECO-UNESCO to encourage young people to continue their environmental action projects from the comfort of their homes and to encourage youth groups to keep in touch over the online channels.  

During isolation ECO-UNESCO would like young people to invest their spare time into taking Eco-Action, that’s why ”ECO @Home” was created for. By working on projects and taking the time out of their day to go out and be among nature, it can be great for the environment but also the mental health of young people. 

Many of ECO-UNESCO’s current programmes will be available for young people at home through this virtual initiative; we want to highlight these programmes to encourage those already engaged to engage further and those not engaged to get involved in some way in eco-action and in our programmes. 

Events coming soon:

  • Irish Marine Life with FoodSmart – 11th March
  • Global Recycling Day with Sick of plastic – 18th March 
  • Seal Hospital Virtual Tour – 22nd March

ECO@Home Online Programme

March 2021

Youth for Sustainable Development Programme

Do you want a future which is more environmental & socially just? 🌍
Are you between 15-17 years old?

Why not join our 6-week Youth for Sustainable Development (YSD) programme?
👍Explore topics around the environment and sustainable development
👍Gain key skills, debating, critical analysis, teamwork
👍Develop long-lasting friendships
👍Guest speakers, case studies & lots of activities
👍Sign off on your GAISCE community award

No matter where you live you can join us for an hour & half session once a week.

Young Environmentalist Awards

This year we have decided to launch a new initiative called ‘Young Environmentalist Actions’ as part of our annual Young Environmentalist Awards programme to give young people around Ireland who have been doing actions and challenges on environmental issues on their own or in groups a chance to tell us about what they have been doing and to get recognised and rewarded for their actions.
The launch of this new opportunity is an acknowledgement that 2020 and 2021 continue to be challenging and we want to support, encourage, and recognise as many young people as possible for the fantastic work they are doing protecting our natural environment.

What do I need to do?

1. JOIN US! Register clicking the button below

2. LET’S TAKE ACTION
Carry out a challenge or an environmental action. Looking for inspiration? Check some of the challenges, topics, and ideas that we have for you! See below

3. DOCUMENT YOUR JOURNEY
Tell us more about your action or challenge!
• Make a short video (up to 60 secs) showing what you have done. You can start your video by saying ‘’I’m a Young Environmentalist because…” and explaining your action.
• Write up a short paragraph or story about the action you are taking and what you want to achieve.
• Tell others and us about your action using social media #YoungEnvironmentalistActions and mention us @ecounesco on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter!

4. YOU ARE READY TO SUBMIT!
Submit to us by the deadline of 26th March.

ECO-Choices

Are you interested in learning about environmental issues and the importance of ECO health and well-being?

Join our online 8-week programme.

For more information or registration contact Doireann at doireann.dunbar@ecounesco.ie

Environmental Workshops

We deliver fun, informative, and interactive environmental workshops for participants ages 10-18.

These are some of our workshops:
Climate Action
Fashion Focus
Waste Warriors
The Battle for Biodiversity
Get Drastic about Plastic
Exploring Ecology
Student Council Training
6 Steps to Success
6 Weeks TY Sustainable Development

For bookings - bookings@ecounesco.ie

Environmental Youth Summit - The Heat is on!

The Environmental Youth Summit is a one-year project to bring together young people from Spain, Scotland, and Ireland to learn from each other and experts and influence environmental policy. Participants will take part in workshops, structured dialogue with policymakers, nature excursions, and cultural exchange.
We have partnered with Resilience Earth in Spain, Wester Ross Biosphere in Scotland, and Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere in Scotland.

When?
Youth Summit will take place online in 3 sessions:
1st session: January 25th, 26th, February 3rd and 4th
2nd session: 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd March
3rd session: May/June

Who can take part?
Young people aged 13 – 18 living in Ireland

March

International Days we’re Celebrating this March

World Wildlife Day 3rd March

World Wildlife Day 2021 celebrates the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.

Between 200 and 350 million people live within or adjacent to forested areas around the world, relying on the various ecosystem services provided by forest and forest species for their livelihoods and to cover their most basic needs, including food, shelter, energy and medicines.

This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments to alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life on land.

To learn more, visit https://www.wildlifeday.org/

International Women’s Day 8th March

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

International Women’s Day is one of the most important days of the year to:

  • Celebrate women’s achievements
  • Raise awareness about women’s equality
  • Lobby for accelerated gender parity
  • Fundraise for female-focused charities

 

If you want to learn more about International Women’s Day, go to https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

#WomenWhoInspire

The #WomenWhoInspire campaign highlights women environmentalists who are making a change in how we view sustainability and climate action. These women fight for climate justice and inspire us to take action in our own communities and fight for equality and equity in all justice movements. Tell us who inspires you to be a changemaker and tag us @ecounesco with the hashtag #WomenWhoInspire.  

Global Recycling Day 18th March

This month we’re partnering with Sick of Plastic to celebrate Global Recycling Day. This day is dedicated to recognising the importance of recycling as a resource and we’ll be focusing on how we can make changes in our shopping habits and in our local stores.

Sick of Plastic will be chatting with us about why we should reduce our plastic consumption, what we can do to lobby governments and businesses for change, and some tips on how to reuse and recycle in Ireland! 

The date for this event will be announced soon!

World Water Day 22nd March

World Water Day, 22 March 2021, is about what water means to people, its true value and how we can better protect this vital resource.

#Water2Me Campaign

We want to know what water means to you! Share your views on social media and tag your post with #WorldWaterDay #Water2me #EcoAtHome and tag @ecounesco !

Your voice will help shape the World Water Day 2021 campaign and will inform a document about what water means to people around the world.

See https://www.worldwaterday.org/ to learn more!

Seal Hospital Virtual Tour

Come meet Puppis, Atria, Titania, and Gemma Ray. Hear their stories on how they ended up in the centretheir day-to-day life there and when they be returning home!  

During this 25 min virtual tour we will be getting up and close with the seals & the volunteers, it’s the second-best thing to being there!

Registrations will be available soon!

This March we’re talking about Water!

All things H2O!

Some Facts about Water

Water covers about 70%
of the Earth’s surface!

97% of all water on Earth
is in the oceans

2% is frozen in glaciers. That leaves just 1% for us to use for things like drinking, agriculture and manufacturing.

The average person in Ireland uses about 80-100 gallons of water a day.
That’s about two and a half bathtubs!

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

- 2.2 Billion people lack safe drinking water
- 3 billion people lack basic handwashing facilities at home
- Water scarcity could displace 700 million people by 2030

SDG14: Life Below Water

- More than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods
- 30% of the world’s fish stocks are overexploited
- On average, 13,000 pieces of plastic litter can be found on every square kilometre of ocean

Water: From Cloud to Glass

Did you know it takes 3 days and 7 stages to make raw water drinkable?

water.ie have created this interactive story about how water makes it from the clouds to being safe drinking water in your glass! https://www.water.ie/water-supply/cloud-to-glass/

March Challenges!

This March, try some of these challenges to be more sustainable in the ways we use water!

1. Be Food Smart!

Did you know that Ireland has 10 acres of land under the sea for every 1 acre of land? We have one of the richest seas in Europe.

The main seafood consumed by our society are top predators like tuna, salmon and cod – the tigers and lions of the sea. This is unsustainable and we have to change our eating habits towards seafood from lower down the food web.

Food Smart Dublin encourages us to eat more sustainable seafood from lower down the food chain by tapping into local marine resources and rediscovering forgotten Irish seafood recipes. The Food Smart Dublin team have unearthed historical seafood recipes and work closely with chef Niall Sabongi to make these historical recipes sustainable, seasonal and enjoyable for modern tastebuds!

Food Smart Dublin needs your input! They are looking for volunteers to cook these forgotten seafood recipes published monthly on their website, and complete a short survey to tell them what you think. You must be over 18 to complete the survey. If you are under 18, please ask your parent/guardian to fill it out for you, because we would love to hear what you think!

Tag @ecounesco @foodsmartdublin #EcoAtHome #irishseafood

Food Smart Dublin needs your input!

Food Smart Dublin needs your input! They are looking for volunteers to cook these forgotten seafood recipes published monthly on their website, and complete a short survey to tell them what you think. You must be over 18 to complete the survey. If you are under 18, please ask your parent/guardian to fill it out for you, because we would love to hear what you think!

Tag @ecounesco @foodsmartdublin #EcoAtHome #irishseafood

Try out these recipes:

Pickled Cockles and Mussels:

Recipe: https://bit.ly/305vxWM

Survey link: https://bit.ly/3uQtrrV

Dublin Bay Prawns & sourdough toast:

Recipe: https://bit.ly/2Pwe5sz

Survey link: https://bit.ly/3rfUgDH

Gurnard/Fish Curry:

Recipe: https://bit.ly/382w688

Survey link: https://bit.ly/3rhb5Ow

Join us for an interactive workshop

Join us on 11th March  for an interactive workshop about Irish marine life and coasts, and sustainable eating habits!

To get involved and learn more about Food Smart Dublin, check out their website! https://www.tcd.ie/tceh/projects/foodsmartdublin/about/

Registrations for this event will be available soon!

2. Take a shorter shower

A 10-minute shower can use about 100 litres of water!  Time yourself and see if you can take a shorter shower and save water.

3. Save your cooking water

After cooking, let the water cool and then use it to water your plants. That water is full of nutrients leached from your veggies!

 

Here are some more ways you can conserve water at home this March! https://www.water.ie/conserve/#content

Water and Biodiversity

Dive in!

Coral reefs are often called the “Rainforests of the Ocean” because of the incredible biodiversity of these ecosystems. Follow this link to Google Earth Street View where you can learn more about corals and DIVE IN to see the Great Barrier Reef!

Dive in here> http://bitly.ws/bYVt

Wetlands

A wetland is an area of land that is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally.

Ireland’s wetland habitats range from the very small (like a freshwater spring) to habitats which dominate the Irish landscape such as lakes, rivers and bogs. Even within a single wetland, the plant species can vary greatly across the site, resulting in a mosaic of habitats.

Wetlands are home to a large diversity of plant and animal species, especially many species on migration.

The value of the biodiversity of Irish wetlands is estimated at €385 million per year to the Irish economy! 

Wetlands also contribute to the €330 million nature and eco-tourism value of Irish habitats.

To learn more about our amazing wetlands and their importance, check out http://irishwetlands.ie/

A Bog is a type of wetland. Watch this video to learn about the wonder of Irish bogs and why we should conserve them!

Chapter 1 – What is a Bog and Why Should We Conserve it?

Water: A Women’s Crisis

The Challenges:

In many countries, the presence or absence of a safe and sufficient water supply and improved sanitation facilities has a disproportionate effect on the lives of women and girls for three main reasons:

  1. Women and girls usually bear the responsibility of collecting water, which is often very time-consuming and arduous.
  2. Women and girls are more vulnerable to abuse and attack while walking to and using a toilet or open defecation site.
  3. Women have specific hygiene needs during menstruation, pregnancy and child-rearing.

 

The Facts:

  1. Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 8 out of 10 households with water off premises, so reducing the population with limited drinking water will have a strong gender impact (WHO).
  2. Reducing the time it takes to fetch water from 30 to 15 minutes increased girls’ school attendance by 12% according to a study in Tanzania (UNICEF).
  3. Women around the world will spend a collective 200 million hours collecting water (water.org).

 

The Solutions:

At the local level, gender-sensitive approaches are helping to improve the suitability, sustainability and reach of water and sanitation services by both focusing on and involving women in the facilities’ design, implementation and management.

Embedding gender equity into policy at all levels will be crucial to achieving water and sanitation for all, which in turn will help advance many other parts of the SDG agenda, particularly education and work.

Source for these images: https://water.org/our-impact/water-crisis/womens-crisis/ and https://www.unwater.org/water-facts/gender/

Innovations in Water - Hydroponics

Hydroponics means “working water” in Latin. This is a way of growing plants such as vegetables using just water and nutrients, no soil required!

  • Pro: Plants can grow faster and have a larger yield, while using minimal floor space.

 

  • Con: It is tricky and expensive, as water, nutrients, light – everything needed by the plant – has to be provided, for the system to work.

Cooking @Home

February

World Pulses Day 10th Feb

Challenge: Cook a meal with pulses and share it on social media!

Here are some ideas:

 

 

  • Follow this link to find out more about the nutritional value and environmental benefits of pulses: https://bit.ly/2Z1v07A

 

  • 10 reasons why you should include pulses in your diet! 

http://www.fao.org/fao-stories/article/en/c/1176990/ 

  • Fancy having a go at growing your own pulse vegetables? Check out this video on how to grow peas at home! You can grow them in a vegetable garden or even in a container if you have limited space or if you’re new to gardening. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2rjrDOBhbE 

 

Pancake Tuesday 16th Feb

This Pancake Tuesday make Fairtrade Pancakes!

You can use Fairtrade ingredients in your pancakes like sugar, bananas, and chocolate chips, or simply add delicious Fairtrade toppings like chocolate spread, nuts, or even ice-cream!

 

Fairtrade Week Feb 22nd - 7th March

Buying Fairtrade is another way of shopping responsibly! Fairtrade gives farmers a better deal by agreeing on a fair minimum price and by paying a premium that goes into community funds. By buying Fairtrade, you can protect the people and the land which produces your food.

Fairtrade products that you can buy include tea, coffee, chocolate, bananas, even ice-cream!

Follow this link to learn more about Fairtrade: https://www.fairtrade.ie/what-is-fairtrade/

Fairtrade products

With loads of items to choose from, the Fairtrade products list is huge! Whether you’re in the market for coffee, cocoa, or cotton, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark when you’re out shopping. Here a full list: https://www.fairtrade.ie/fairtrade-products/

What is Fairtrade and why is it important? 

Mohammad talks about Fairtrade, and why it’s important to buy Fairtrade products when you can > Read his article HERE

 

Easy recipes

 

Try some of these recipes to reduce food waste in your home!

Sustainable baking

Read Sarah’s blog post!

With all this extra time we’re spending at home, you may have taken an interest in baking! Or maybe you’re like me, and you’ve always enjoyed baking, but now you have more time to do it. Either way, it’s important to try to be sustainable in the ways we bake!

Check these tips on how to be a more Sustainable Baker!

Composting

Composting is a great way of disposing of kitchen scraps. By making compost, carbon is stored, whereas in landfills, carbon is released as greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide. This can be done at home or by using your brown bin!

Here’s a handy article on how to make your own compost!

https://www.mywaste.ie/what-to-do-with-my-home-composting/

Food waste facts

1.3 billion tonnes
of food is wasted
every year

Food waste causes 3.3 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions
every year

Almost 870 million people in the world go hungry every day

In Ireland, we create at least 1 million tonnes of food waste each year

When we waste food, it is not only the food that is wasted, but the water, labour and energy that goes into growing, transporting and storing the food too.

If you want to learn more about food waste, follow the links below!

Stop Food Waste website: https://stopfoodwaste.ie/ for tips on buying, storing, cooking, and composting food to reduce food waste at home!

What to do with my food waste: https://www.mywaste.ie/what-to-do-with-my-food-waste/

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals encourage us to protect our planet, end poverty, and improve the lives of everyone on our planet.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

821 million people in the world are hungry

The number of people who are hungry is increasing, and at the current rate there will be more than 840 million people affected by hunger by 2030.

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Each year, 1/3 of all food produced is wasted.

About 1.3 billion tons of food worth around $1 trillion ends up rotting our bins at home, or during transportation and harvest.

It is important to support sustainable food initiatives by supporting local producers, buying sustainably produced food, and by buying less to reduce food waste. This will help in the fight against hunger as our population increases by forcing businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

Here you can find some local brands working to produce food sustainably with the Origin Green programme: https://www.origingreen.ie/who-is-involved/manufacturers/

Follow this link to learn more about Fairtrade: https://www.fairtrade.ie/what-is-fairtrade/

More resources

Publications, activities, readings, announcements and more

Learn about the different classes of birds we have in Ireland
Click here

Robin, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Wren, Chaffinch, Bluetit, Feral Pigeon, Goldcrest, House Sparrow, Starling, Rook, Mallard, Dunnock, Jackdaw, Magpie, Mute Swan, Herring Gull and Black Headed Gull.

Dichotomous Key for some Common Irish Tree Species
See more here

Yew Tree, Horse Chestnut, Field Maple, Sycamore, Rowan, Ash Tree, Scots Pine , Birch, Hawthorn, Wych Elm , Irish Oak, Birch, Beech, Lime, Hazel and Alder.

I'm a Young Environmentalist by Lauren Abraham
Read the full article here

I am a young environmentalist because I want to make a positive difference to the earth. I worry about what lies ahead for our planet. Future generations will have to deal with the consequences of the choices that we are making today. Although I don't consider myself a tree hugger, I do love to hug trees every so often!

DIY Terrarium at home🌱

Create a mini eco system at home.

Materials: 

-Drainage clay pebbles, moss, charcoal, any plant that you like and sand or rocks to decorate

Upcycle a piece of an old t-shirt

DIY fabric necklace. 

Upcycle your stained and old t-shirts into a necklace.


Consider the Rabbit

We are learning from observing! 

Dunchadh, one of our facilitators sent us this video today from county Wicklow. He wants to invite you to connect with the natural world.

Planting at home

We are planting tomatoes and green beans at home with a newspaper pot.

Here the link for the newspaper pot https://youtu.be/7dlGQP81yfo

Make a retro 80's sweatshirt

Upcycle an old or stained sweatshirt into a retro version

You can follow ECO@Home activities on our social media channels

Use the hashtag #ECOAtHome