New Zealand

Planting Initiative

O'Driscoll House undertook a planting initiative at the local Oakley Creek to attract wildlife to urban areas and to protect the health and cleanliness of the creek. The creek is home to plenty of native flora and fauna and including the threatened Longfin eel. They had an impressive result of 30 students planting 650 native species in one day! Initiatives like this help support native species and promote ecosystem biodiversity!


Environment Youth club’s clean-up campaign

Environment Conservation Youth Club (ECYC) conducted a clean-up campaign at Bhavani Beach, Mahuva near Bhavnagar in Gujarat, India. With about 30 volunteers, the group cleaned a one kilometer coastal stretch in just 3 hours. The group collected 15-20 kilograms of solid dry waste including single-use plastic bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, polythene bags, cement sacks, and other solid dry waste.

Later, this waste was sent for proper disposal and recycling. Bottle caps were collected separately and reused to make decorative pieces, while plastic is used to make bricks and benches.


“Waste reduction starts with me”

Panlong Primary School joined hands with the community of Yingxiang, Jinchen Street, Pan Long District, to carry out the event themed " Waste reduction starts with me —work together to build an international ecology school".

Participating in the paper waste reduction activities were families of various sizes, with little and large hands working together. Parents and children created their own record sheets to track the amount of garbage they produced each day, and then the entire community came together to weigh the total weight of paper garbage produced over the course of a two weeks, with each family striving to become more environmentally (and economically) conscious.

Aside from that, the parents and children launched a waste reduction campaign to raise awareness of the issue across the community, resulting in a positive attitude towards saving paper and resource conservation.


Sharing Knowledge about Sustainability

As a Community Action Day, 11 YRE schools from 11 different municipalities got together for an Environmental Seminar, sharing presentations and videos about their actions and community engagement during the Litter Less Campaign. It was a great way for students to share their knowledge about sustainability and the environment as well as to inspire others and meet new people!

To make this day even better, students also created a song and dance that they performed for the audience of guests, teachers and their fellow students.


Online YRE Workshops

Funding was used to develop and hold four separate workshops throughout the academic year including the Winner's Workshop which was premiered on YouTube on 10th June 2021 (attached here). 

The three skills-based webinars reached over 600 participants at the time of writing and included workshops on: 

  1. Videography with RTÉ (National Broadcaster) journalist

  2. Photo skills for future photojournalists 

  3. How to write an article with Irish Times journalist 


A simple act for a nice action!

Did you know: Fruits and vegetables peels can be source of nutrients for plants. The leftovers from fruits and vegetables can be mixed with water, so the nutrients are absorbed by the water. The mixture should then be filtered through a sieve before it is ready to be used as fertilized water for plants. 

Tip: Just replace regular water with this fertilized water and see how your plants bloom!

New Zealand

Operations Reduce Plastics

Aparima College began their YRE campaign, Operations Reduce Plastics, with a school-wide presentation that covered some of the most worrying statistics about plastics in the world and in their local environment.  The students introduced a plan to measure the number of plastic bottles used by staff and students and ran a survey of student and staff opinions on how much plastic waste they produced.  After keeping a weekly tally of different types of materials, they discovered that the Staffroom was the worst culprit, with an average of 20 milk bottles used every week!

The school installed six Recycling Stations which included recycling and compost buckets and made a commitment to reduce their use of plastic by banning plastic utensils in the Soup Kitchen, making beeswax wraps, and by keeping refrigerated food in crockery bowls covered by plates rather than using cling film or plastic containers.

Students concluded the campaign by holding recycling craft activities, with the students making Bee Hotels and Christmas decorations.

A change of behaviour was observed as a result of the campaign.  Students and staff put their plastics in the recycling bins and many now choose to bring metal reusable drink bottles to school and use the drinking fountains.


Creative Community Action Days

On Tuesday May 25, a big Community Action Day took place. It was a for 180 grade 4 students by Saint Stanislas’ school. There were workshops such as one for creating bulk bags or masks. YRE students were involved, worked on waste and in collaboration with the association called “Hirondelle”. At the same time, a waste collection was organized in the establishment by a 6th grade class. The day of action gave rise to an exhibition which lasted one week. Reports and the product of waste collection were including there.

Albert Schweitzer middle school also held a well-developed Community Action Day. Initially scheduled from April 5 to 16, the programme took place from June 14 to June 22. It was an opportunity to exhibit virtually and, in the documentation and information centre. The work of students was showcased such as posters, reports and podcast. The goal was also to offer various educational workshops related to the climate class project.

On this occasion, the Nature et Société association intervened in all 6th grade classes with different subjects such as deciphering the news, understanding global environmental issues through experimentation and observation or being a local player. The eco-delegates especially had to take part in a discovery trail of local biodiversity between the college and the house of nature with same stakeholders as already quoted. The sustainable development and vegetable garden clubs held activities and workshops to showcase their actions with primary school students.

Many other eco-responsible actions were planned such as a clean run. This programme reached between 300 and 700 people.


Home learning challenges

Carrying out YRE – LLC investigations during Covid-19 times is not that obvious, especially when schools are closed. Nevertheless, the motivation of Welsch students is not in lockdown ; many schools have taken part as a home learning challenge and that has been a real highlight!

Sian Sykes, a famous Welsh paddle boarder and environmental campaigner, produced some short motivation videos to inspire students to take part in online YRE - LLC activities. Viewed over 1500 times in the social media, this initiative was an inspiration for students, leading to promising actions.  

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Northern Ireland

“YRE and Much More!” webinar

Once YRE, Forever YRE!

It is no coincidence that this moto lays in the heart of every YRE member. Sharing experiences and enthusiasm from different YRE generations  is a key component for the upcoming Young Reporters.

An international collaboration between Eco – Schools Norther Ireland and ABAE Portugal aimed to gather the voices of YRE Ambassadors, teachers and active reporters during a webinar “YRE and Much More!”. The goal also was to allow both staff and students to further discover the different opportunities related to the programme, such as international collaborations, and the YRE process.

Margarida Gomes, Environmental Education and Education for Sustainability Project Manager at ABAE Portugal, lead this session and transmitted her passion to the attending students.


A creative and participatory solution to recover the school garden

Due to the future collapse of a building, the CEIP Virgen del Rosario school lost its school garden. Schoolers proposed to recover it and its activity by making a greenhouse in a glazed corridor of the school. They imagined flowerpots made with reused containers and with water use systems. The flowerpots have been made by families and the sowing has been done by teachers and students since January.
They also carried out a waste cleaning with the students on the roads, the
countryside and the village stream.


“My Mask – I care” campaign

Even though in partial lockdown, the spirit of YRE students from Malta was not restrained: they managed once again to bring positive environmental change and raise awareness in their community by individual campaigns.

It is worth mentioning the “My Mask – I care” campaign, conceived and promoted by the YRE – Litter Less Campaign students at Saint Nicholas College Secondary School Had – Dingli.

After investigations the effect of Covid- 19 on the environment, student’s attention was particularly drawn to the negative impact of disposable masks. They presented their thorough research findings to the school assembly and lead another presentation exposing the pros and cons of different types of masks.

The motivation of the students drove them to create a Facebook “Face mask” challenge: from the school to the community, all citizens were invited to post a photo of their reusable mask. The wisely chosen social media Facebook allowed an impressive dissemination, leading to the publication of the challenge on the pages of the surrounding local councils and the official education division website.

Their journalistic spirit cultivated through the YRE programme made the students realise that, if they wanted to achieve greater impact results and better promote reusable masks, they should explore the habits of masks use among the students of their school. Therefore, a survey with questions regarding the mask’s preferences, safety and use was conducted among year 9 and 10 students.

Based on their findings, all of which can be found online, a campaign video aiming to convince students to stop using their disposable masks was created.

Finally, a fund-raising event allowed students to sew reusable masks, according to the safe masks criteria of the WHO, for every year 9 and 10 student in the school.


Aired discussion with the minister of Environment

On World Environment Day student representatives succeeded meeting the Environment minister, Aaron Farrugia, and presented the findings of their YRE Litter Less Campaign investigations.  They also had the chance to present their questions which lead to a fruitful discussion with the minister. This exchange was aired on the minister's Facebook page and on the relevant school media. 


During the Community Action Day, students sorted garbage, helped the community buy trash cans, participated in the community garbage sorting, helping the community buy trash cans, and taught residents how to sort their trash correctly.

At Zhenxing Road Primary School, all teachers and students of the school were encouraged to participate. All teachers and students broadcasted TV programs related to waste reduction for residents to watch in the community. Community workers also actively provided various help, which made the residents' environmental awareness increase! 

New Zealand

In 2020, Havelock North Intermediate School participated in a beeswax wrap making workshop!

A local business volunteered their time and expertise to show the students how to make beeswax wraps so that students could start their own beeswax wrap production As part of the activity, students gave presentations to demonstrate how and why the students should make a beeswax wrap to use instead of clingfilm!

Another highlight of the campaign was learning about the experience of two YRE students, Diantae and Jenny from Orautoha School who investigated the issue of plastic litter in the Ruatiti Valley.

They contacted the local Ruapehu District Council to ask if a recycling station could be installed in the valley to help combat the amount of plastic litter entering the waterways. The Council took their concerns seriously and agreed that having a recycling station would make a “big difference” to the area and is currently working towards making this a reality. They were thrilled that the council has taken notice of their concerns and the girls created a video entry for the YRE competition named 'Small Steps, Big Change'. Jenny said “I'm still surprised that Council have taken notice of a kid at school”.

We believe that this type of story is what YRE is all about! Often our young people believe that adults won’t listen to their concerns about environmental issues. The confidence that students gain when they realise that their actions have made a real difference is one of the most positive experiences YRE students can have, and it is wonderful to see our students empowered in this way.

Watch their video entry here:


In Wales, Lewis School sent out its Year Seven pupils to litter pick a local park and woodland and to investigate the amount of plastic litter! They were shocked by what they found, but are using it as inspiration for their YRE work. 

The Innovate Project in Caerphilly caters for pupils excluded from mainstream education. For their YRE work, all the learners looked at

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reducing plastic waste, with a particular focus on raising awareness about the amount of plastic waste at Christmas. As part of their work, they decided to run a Christmas Eco Action Day where all learners showcased what they had done to raise awareness about the issue of Christmas plastic waste! Although not open to anyone outside of the school (due to COVID-19) they involved everyone at the school and shared what they had been doing via Twitter.

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During this year, St Edward's College in Northern Ireland conducted two Community Action Weeks. The first one was the launch of their Litter Less Campaign - reducing food waste and using paper waste to make compost at school. The second one was reducing Christmas waste and litter - informing the community on what they could do to have a sustainable Christmas. They regularly post on their Facebook page and share with the whole community of parents, students and surrounding schools!

“This week's Compost It Update!- Every day our Eko-Skola students are collecting the organic waste from the Nursery, Kg 1 and Kg 2 classes- The food waste is weighed and listed in an Excel Sheet for later data study. However we were encountering some issues which we hope to solve in the next few weeks:- We were putting too much organic material which will create Nitrogen- We needed to balance it out with more Carbon rich waste..To help our Compost Bin out we:= added more dry material in the form of shredded paper. = Adding some dry leaves when available (as not it started to rain frequently!)= we also added some worms to our Compost Bin. We mainly found grubs but they should also help out.. Thanks to this project we are learning loads of new things! We are also 'experimenting' and doing research. Any experts who are willing to help us out are welcome to message us!”

San Gwann Primary School is currently doing a campaign on the use of single use plastics. As part of their community action day, they shared the release of the turtles they had adopted, and reminded everyone of the importance of keeping our seas clean!

“The 28th December was a great day for two turtles, Ashley and Mayo. They were released back to the sea and they will spend the New Year at home. After spending more than 2 years in the rehabilitation centre, Mayo finally went back home. Mayo is a 28-year-old male turtle. He had ingested 2 hooks and metres of fishing lines and had an infection. Ashley was found in July with an infection and couldn’t dive. Now they are strong enough to be set free once again. Ashley and Mayo were lucky that they were saved but it would have been better if we hadn’t dirtied the sea in the first place. So think twice before you leave your litter lying around (especially plastic) because it always ends up in the sea and it’s creatures like Ashley and Mayo get hurt.”

As part of the Christmas campaign they also released a video in the community - emphasising that we can enjoy Christmas without damaging the environment: 


This year's winners workshop was run remotely. We invited Mr Alvin Stone, Media and Communications Manager at ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, University of New South Wales. He gave the students tips on reporting skills, how to write to politicians, and explained their role in solving some of today's environmental issues.

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The students could ask questions and it was great to see the students interact with Mr Stone, they had very interesting questions for him and they were fascinated by his wealth of knowledge! Given Mr Stone's experience not only as an editor for Fairfax News but also as a media communicator for WWF-Australia, and currently at ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, he was the perfect speaker for the Young Reporters for the Environment workshop!

Ryde Secondary College organised a Litter, Recycling and Compost Awareness Day. YRE students gave a presentation on the importance of reducing litter and improving recycling and composting to their peers. That was then followed by a litter audit and the results were shared with the other students.

These are some highlights from the campaign mentioned by some of the participating schools: 

  • Recycle week - making artwork from bottle tops (hummingbird)

  • Highlighting litter and school environment preservation

  • The collective effort frame a range of students to make and decorate the recycled Christmas tree which was entered into the competition in the Smith street mall

  • We gathered a number of students from the school community and educated them about the composting bins that we plan on introducing. Around 150 students showed up and were excited to get involved. Because of this engagement, we will be able to move forward with our plans for composing at the school and we hope to contribute to the betterment of our local environment through future community engagement.

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Litter Less Campaign schools in Ireland focused on the topic of sustainable fashion and conducted awareness-raising activities about the environmental consequences of the fast fashion industry.

St Aloysius Secondary School in Cork organized a Christmas clothes swap-shop in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion. Every student was invited to bring three items of clothing to school and exchange them for three items donated by other students, instead of buying new clothes in the run-up to Christmas. Click here to read the full story.

Coláiste Nano Nagle in Limerick created a mixed media entry which involved social media and a school newsletter to raise awareness of the issue of fast fashion to the school population and the local community.  Report and photos can be seen here: 

Maha Shahzadi from Coláiste Nano Nagle Limrerick produced this excellent video about the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion:


A highlight of the Litter Less Campaign was the event organized on the premises of France TV with the College Paul Verlaine at the end of January 2020.

Students from the European section of Paul Verlaine College created the Smart Community project as part of their participation at the Litter Less Campaign. The Smart Community is a community which, together, wishes to start a movement for the preservation of the environment, particularly regarding litter. The city of Béthune joined the initiative along with young people from the school to communicate about their actions in order to reach more people.

You can adopt some of the following environmental actions to be part of the Smart Community project:

No plastic bottle, adopt the bottle!
Spend some time helping volunteers working for the environment
Encourage the purchase or resale of used clothing
Sort in your mailbox and delete unnecessary emails

By January 2020, over 7,000 people had signed up for the Smart Community project.

The France Television group is committed to using its role as public service television to protect the environment in two ways: alerting the public to the threats facing our planet, and supporting positive behaviour change by offering solutions.

The students from the European section of the College Paul Verlaine who launched the Smart Community project were invited by Lumni, the education service of France Television, to present their project. Hundreds of other high school students came to the event, and the Young Reporters also had the privilege to present their project to Minister of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Élisabeth Borne. They also met Caroline Mouille and Cyril Cassagnaud, two founding students of the European movement for ecological awakening.