MCC Eco-Warrior Pupils Conor Canning in the polytunnel Inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old who launched Fridays for Future, a new generation of eco-warriors are taking action in their schools to benefit the environment of their school community and further afield. Moville Community College Principal Anthony Doogan explains how the UN's 17 sustainable development goals filter down to the school community. He gives the example of the school's polytunnel, which students use to grow vegetables, as a great way to teach about sustainability, healthy eating, well-being and responsible consumption.Produce from the polytunnel is used in local restaurants and even as ingredients for healthy school lunches provided by one local restaurant, showing students how the food they grow comes full circle.Horticulture teacher Mary McLaughlin is helping the Leaving Cert Applied (LCA) class tend to the spring vegetables. While it's early days, kale plants are blooming and, before long, beetroot, lettuce and other vegetables and herbs will be sprouting.McLaughlin says she has seen students become more interested in the environment."They're tolerating less and they are thinking more for themselves, as well as challenging the way past generations have done things. There's an awareness that we could ruin all this," she says. LCA students Jack McLaughlin (16) and Kyle McLaughlin (15) are busy watering the plants in the polytunnel. While Jack is new to gardening, Kyle has tended his grandfather's garden, growing lettuce and beetroot. Kyle believes there is too much reliance on plastic, but thinks there should be more incentives for people to go green.Conor Canning (17) says while there's a lot of talk about the environment, politicians are not really doing much at all. He says he feels inspired by activists like Greta.Over the next three years, the school will add on a new building, in excess of 5,000 sq metres. Ensuring that it is as energy efficient as possible is key to its development, according to the principal."You're creating that awareness among the student body that minimising your energy consumption is a significant contribution to sustaining the planet," says Mr Doogan.In the last few years, he says the level of awareness of environmental issues among students is higher than ever.All over the country, hundreds of schools are engaged with the Green Schools movement, taking part in initiatives that support their learning about environmental issues. 47

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