GALLERY: Donegal’s going green

St Francis NS pupils concerned about palm oil overuse

The environmentally aware Fifth Class students of a Donegal National School have complied a report into the global overuse of palm oil.

Speaking to Donegal Live, the students on the Green Committee of St Francis NS in Clonmany in Inishowen said they were concerned about the harmful effect the overuse of palm oil was having on the world.

They said: “Palm oil destroys our environment. Our Green Committee has been researching about palm oil in our products.

“The pupils of Fifth Class have been working on a project about Global Goals. We have done lots of research about the overuse of palm oil.

“We have watched videos and done research online. We attended a workshop about global goals in Moville run by Irish Aid.  We had different people coming to our school to tell us about palm oil. We continue to work alongside the students from Moville Community College to find out more,” said the Green Committee.

The young students have also written to companies who use palm oil in most of their products, throughout the year.

They said: “We have also contacted companies who are palm oil free. The palm oil free soap company sent us a sample of their soap in February this year.

“On Grandparents’ Day, we did a presentation for Grandparents about palm oil in our food and toiletries. This was to highlight the damage it is doing to our world.

“Here are some of the discoveries that we have made. The equivalent of 60 soccer pitches of rain forest is being cut down every hour to produce palm oil. Almost 50% of products we use contain palm oil. People are losing their homes in the rainforest so we can have palm oil. Animals are also becoming extinct because the forests are being cleared away.

“There are hundreds of different names for palm oil so it can be hard to tell if it is in some products. However, the good news is, people are beginning to realize that the overuse of palm oil is damaging to our world and sustainable palm oil is now in many products. (This means that palm oil is got from trees that does not cause destruction of the rainforest.),” said the St Francis Green Committee.

The students were also pleased to discover lots of shops now sell goods which are not using only palm oil.

Their teacher, Gemma Doherty said: “We discovered companies are beginning to change. Everyone can make a difference by making a small change.

“We are now making a story book as part of our project. We hope to sell our book and to use our profits to plant some trees after our isolation.”

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