Bringing Activism to the Green Schools Expo

It was great fun demonstrating to young people attending the Green Schools expo that activism can be creative, fun and have an impact. I went along with An Taisce Climate Committee who hosted a stand to help attendees calculate their carbon footprint. Then they considered ideas to reduce it. The next step we wanted was to empower them to change the world! We took on a recent initiative from Lisdoonvarna to provide decent drinking water in every school to show them how to effect change. This was my job 🙂

I had home made posters from old campaigns showing that a lick of paint on a cereal box can lead a march for change. I attracted lots of attention for the chalk in my hair – major benefit to white hair. Early on I was referred to as a Unicorn so I took that title on and sold myself as a unicorn to every one in order to get their attention and discuss the #waterinschools campaign. I explained how easy it is to be an activist – all you have to do is get some attention and spread the word.

From talking to students I deduced that about half of the schools in the country do not have adequate facilities for students to fill up their own cup or bottle. This is a shocking situation given that most students are concerned about the impact of plastic. I met two girls who wanted to have a filtered water tap installed at their school but didn’t know where to start.

There are a lot of schools with filters and taps. Some are provided as part of their lunch contract, some are there with the existing building and some were installed by the school management. There seem to be a lot of water fonts but they are not adequate to fill a bottle from and the water would not compare with bottled water.

So we must now campaign to get filtered drinking water taps in all schools so that schools can go #plasticfree. Here is the flier we distributed plastic never goes away flier pdf

It looks like this:

Let’s see where this takes us.

Theresa O’Donohoe

March 3rd 2018

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