• Emer Barry

The SEAI One Good Idea competition embraces students to share ideas on a national scale.

A little piece of history

‘The Power of One Good Idea’ for schools was established in 2008 on the back of a national campaign to get people thinking about ways in which we can reduce our energy use. The programme started with 20 schools and in the space of ten years, it has grown to over 300 applications.

One of the reasons for its popularity is because the programme is linked to the curriculum and can be completed throughout a school year. The competition can also create a positive and exciting atmosphere throughout the school and local community.

Teachers have told us that being involved in this kind of project helps students develop a number of skills that they would not normally acquire in an ordinary classroom setting. This includes research, marketing and presentation skills as well as group work, campaign management and confidence building.

What is new this year?

This year the competition has opened itself up to the digital era. The post primary students are now required to make a 1-minute video about their project to create larger awareness about their idea.

We are hoping that using video will enable students to be more creative with their projects. It can also help others understand their vision more clearly and can be used as a method to engage with a larger audience.

The application process for schools is easier too. We have made the application process fully online after the success of last year.

The One Good Idea Winners 2018

In 2018, twenty teams from around the country made the journey to ‘The Printworks’ in the historical grounds of Dublin Castle for the final of the SEAI One Good Idea competition. Students came with props, colourfully designed t-shirts, enthusiasm, nerves and ambitions to win the top prize.

In the Primary Schools Category, 'The Laundry Brigade' from Castlegar National School, Galway took home the overall prize.

 “Wash Wisely – Ditch the Dryer” was their moto.  They wanted people to think about how they wash and dry clothes to reduce energy and water use. They created an exciting awareness campaign using rap, posters, Facebook and promotion though local businesses.  

In the Post Primary Category, ideas included; a bed where your mobile phone is switched off, eating vegetarian food one day a week and getting new bike shelters in the school to encourage cycling.

The Overall winner was ‘Bottle It’ from Errigal College, County Donegal. They wanted everyone to ditch single use plastic bottles for a Bisphenol-A free one.  This reduces the energy needed to make, ship and recycle single use bottles thus reducing plastic waste in our seas.