Young Bray Environmentalists Win at the 2021 Young Environmentalists Awards

Young environmentalists from Bray have been named winners at this year’s Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) which took place on Wednesday 26th of May. Winners were announced virtually for the second year running. 

In its 22nd year, the Young Environmentalist Awards programme recognises and rewards young people aged 10-18 who have taken environmental action to benefit their community, created awareness of climate change and come up with creative solutions to solve environmental issues. 

Out of the 200 projects that applied to this year’s Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA). Young people from Loreto Secondary School in Bray have been named the Overall Senior Category Winners for their project Seedling Swap. Katrina Smyth, Erica Brierton, and Aoife Blount were recognised for setting up a ‘seed library’ in their school community with the aim of promoting biodiversity. Initially they collected seeds to start off the library and provide information on how to grow them. Young people were then encouraged to bring their own seeds into school to swap with the ones in the library. To reduce the risk of spread of Covid-19, Seeds were deposited for three days in an inbox before being ready for collection in an outbox. Alos from Loreto Secondary School were The Rainswater Rescuers who won the Senior Water Category.  

Elaine Nevin, Director of ECO-UNESCO said “We are delighted to be able to host such a programme that encourages and supports young people’s passion for positive environmental change. These young people are our future generation of leaders and it’s truly inspiring to see them so active in their schools and communities and so dedicated to tackling climate issues. ”

“In a recent survey by ECO-UNESCO, over 58% of young people in Ireland said they’d like more local opportunities to get involved in climate action so these projects are a great way for young people to be collaborative in their communities while leading the way towards a more sustainable future. We would like to congratulate all of our winners this year and all of those who participated.”

To celebrate, ECO-UNESCO hosted ECO Week from 24th to 28th May, including a range of environmental workshops, well-being activities, talks, and challenges for young people alongside the YEA Winner announcements. The aim of ECO Week is to celebrate the achievements of young activists, to allow young people to explore career opportunities in environmentalism and to educate them on a range of environmental topics. 

For more information on the Young Environmentalist Awards and all the awardees, please go to 

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