Naas students lead climate change action

Wildlife Watch with Nuala Madigan

Nuala Madigan of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council


Nuala Madigan of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council


Naas students lead climate change action

The boys of Plugs Limited, Naas Community College — Aidan Walsh, Jakub Smorag, Louis Granger, Igor Sulkowski and Neil Sheridan. Picture: Elaine Dunne

For the next two weeks, Wildlife Watch will not explore a specific species but instead focus on what every species requires — a clean, healthy environment to survive.

But why? Last week, I visited Naas Community College and met two groups of students who are not only aware of how climate change will affect our community and its species but are taking action.

Their work has been recognised as these two groups of students from Naas Community College have proceeded to round two of the SEAI ONE Good Idea Competition.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) was established to move Ireland towards greener more sustainable methods of generating electricial energy and raise awareness on climate change.

I think it is fair to say Climate Change is something we have all heard about. But what is climate change?

The Environmental Protection Agency ( describe the climate as the average weather over a period of time and describes climate change as a significant change in the measures of climate, such as temperature, rainfall, or wind, lasting for an extended period — decades or longer. Understanding that our weather has changed many times in our history, what is different about today’s climate change is how human activities are contributing to our natural climate change through our emissions of greenhouse gases.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and this is emitted when we drive cars and how we generate electricity from fossil fuels.

The challenge to the students of Naas Community College was to come up with an idea that would reduce energy use and they did just that! One group of students is now known as Plugs Limited and their message to us all is “give the earth a hug and buy a timed plug”. The group explained their idea. “It is our responsibility to reduce energy and save our planet. Time plugs are a simple way to save energy. Time plugs have a switch that turns off appliances at a designated time when plugged into the socket, therefore saving energy when the appliances are not in use.

“Time plugs cost as little as €5 and you can save up to 40% on your electricity bill. An average household can save up to €400 annually while reducing their energy use and saving energy and the environment.”

In February Plugs Limited will present their One Good Idea to a panel of judges and hopefully proceed to the final in April.

I think you will all join me in congratulating these students, wishing them the best of luck with their One Good Idea and thanking them for sharing their idea and encouraging each of us to save energy at home and help our climate.

Next week the second group from Naas Community College will share their One Good Idea, entitled Walk A Mile and the World Will Smile with us.

If you would like to suggest a species to focus on for ‘Wildlife Watch’ contact the Bog of Allen Nature Centre on 045 860133 or email