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22nd Apr 2022

“The clock is ticking” – Young activist Flossie Donnelly on how you can save Earth

Katy Brennan

“Climate change will affect everyone including the people who are ignoring us and the problem.”

Dublin teenager Flossie Donnelly has been leading the way for the younger generation here in Ireland with her efforts to highlight the effects of climate change.

When it comes to saving the planet, we all have a part to play, but figuring out what to do can be overwhelming.

For Flossie, one way she felt she could protect the environment was by was setting up Flossie and the Beach Cleaners – a group that aims to rid our oceans and shores of as much rubbish as possible.

“I was worried about what all the pollution on the beaches and in the sea was doing to marine life,” she tells Her. “We have so much beautiful marine life surrounding the coast of Ireland that I wanted to protect.”

The group, which is ran by Flossie and her mum Harriet Donnelly, get together for clean-ups every week and clear of huge amounts of discarded plastic off of Dublin beaches.

This Earth Day, the teenager has some tips for those who don’t know where to start when it comes to saving the planet.

“There is so much pressure and climate stress around the the subject that young people get overwhelmed, but as long as you are actively doing something to help with climate change it’s not as scary because you know you’re doing something to help.

“It’s important not to try to tackle every problem related to climate change because there’s just so many. You can really get burnt out from trying to do everything, which is why it’s important to find what your passionate about and try to link it to climate change.

“For example I love the sea so I beach clean, or if you love nature you can make bee hotels and plant bee bombs, or if you really care about fish you can help try to get more than 1% of the marine life protected around Ireland…

“And if you just don’t know what to start with – a simple climate strike outside your local government buildings.

“This is our future and our planet! We’ve been ignored by the government since the first student picked up a sign. The clock is ticking and soon enough we will run out of time if we don’t take action. Climate change will affect everyone including the people who are ignoring us and the problem.

“The scientists have proven we still have time to solve this so we must take action now to protect the future.”

As we head into summer, and crowds gather on Irish beaches to enjoy the sun, it inevitably means huge amounts of rubbish get left behind – a real concern for the group.

“The marine life and the health of the sea is really important and it is being constantly strangled by human pollution,” Flossie’s mum Harriet tells Her.

“If you’re going down to the beach, have a great time and bin your rubbish. If the bins are full you can put it beside the bin… We know taking your rubbish home is something that just rarely happens no matter how much it is advertised, but you can at least drag it to a local overflowing bin.”

You can sign up to join the group’s clean-ups via social media or their website.