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Mismanagement of the earth's resources

Students at Presentation Secondary School Thurles decided to look at how we mis-manage the earth’s resources. There is a lot of waste in every aspect of our lives. We needed to do something about it. We decided to challenge ourselves to change.

Students in Class Naomh Eanna decided to look at recycling old Christmas cards and created a variety of cards made from old cards donated to the students. They sold these creations in school with the aim of making everyone more aware of how we can become responsible producers and consumers. They raised 122 euro for Suir Haven here in Thurles.

Students in Classes Naomh Pol and Naomh Peadar looked at the role fast fashion plays in our society today. They collected clothes from the girls in school and worked on them to give them a new and vibrant look.

Class Naomh Pol decided that information is key to tackling the excess buying of fast fashion clothing. They spoke to classes in the school and created a PowerPoint presentation to teach the girls to mind their clothes and ensure they at least get thirty wears out of any item they might buy. A survey was also carried out to discover the extent of spending on clothes among teenagers. The environmental damage being done is quite frightening and hopefully this information will help students think before they buy. We also gathered scraps of wool from the students and put these together to knit blankets for our nearby nursing home.

Class Naomh Peadar agreed that fast fashion was the most important issue to tackle. This is because it is an issue that we felt we could make the most impact in, especially considering that we are the demographic for most fast fashion companies. We discovered that 92 million tonnes of clothes are related waste each year. We felt that this was a shocking figure and we wanted to explore ways of reducing it.

The Jeans Before ... and After ...

The Finished Look

What we decided to do:

  • As a class we discussed how we ourselves purchase clothes and the volumes of clothes we have, e.g. how many leggings per person or how many t-shirts each person owns

  • We then discussed how we could tackle the issue.

  • We knitted a blanket which we then donated to a Ukrainian appeal held in our school.

  • We looked up foundations and organisations linked with reducing fast fashion in order to gain inspiration for our project. (The Wardrobe Change Campaign, Sustainable Fashion and You.)

  • We researched ideas, watched videos, and garnered ideas for how we could put what we were learning into practice.

  • As a class we decided that we wanted to get creative! We agreed to ask for donations of old or unwanted clothes and we were going to test ourselves and attempt to upcycle our donated items.

  • In order to do this, we organised groups from the class to speak with our First, Second and Third Year students and inform them of the project. We designed posters and got donations boxes ready and we collected old and unwanted items of clothing from these year groups.

  • We also needed a supply of sewing items so we purchased what we were unable to source from our homes, e.g. elastic, needles, sequins, ribbons, buttons, etc.

  • In groups we all chose items from the donation boxes and we got to work upcycling our clothes.

  • Once the items were upcycled, we then returned to the First, Second and Third Year students and showed them our creations.

  • The completed items and the items that were not used were then donated to our Home Economics, Art and Drama departments for future use.

Top with gems added to the original version

Students in Naomh Ailbhe decided to look at food waste in school and in our homes. In school, we decided to raise awareness among First and Fifth Year students who have lunch in our assembly hall every day. In week one, we weighed the food waste bin each day at the end of lunch-time. We visited each class to explain that we were going to monitor the food waste bin to raise awareness about the amount of food we waste each day. We made posters to hang on the wall over these bins which showed how some people in our world live in food poverty. In week two, we continued to weigh the bins and graph the results to see if there was a difference in the weight of the food waste bin. We looked at our results to help produce solutions to this issue. We made a Tik-Tok to get the message across to our school community. This would be the most effective way to get our message across.

We talked about food waste in our homes. We discovered that we throw food out at the end of our main meal of the day especially. We decided that we would take a pro-active approach and produce a book of recipes for leftovers. We could share this with home and get permission to send it to parents online.

We should remember:In Ireland, over one million tonnes of food are wasted annually.

  • This amounts to €2 billion in losses and costs for Irish businesses.

  • The food industry accounts for approximately 30% of global energy consumption and 22% of total Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

  • If the world population continues to grow at the same pace, by 2050, three planets will be needed to provide natural resources.

  • A 12th of greenhouse gases is created by food that is never eaten.

  • Goal 12 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals aims for responsible consumption and production globally.

(Facts And Figures About Food Waste in Ireland) from

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