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“Be Planet Positive!” Tree Council of Ireland urges Irish Primary Schools

The Tree Council of Ireland, supported by Tetra Pak, is calling on primary schools across the country to get involved in Tetra Pak Tree Day and plant a tree on Thursday, 3rd October 2019. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Be Planet Positive!”, with a focus on the things that primary school children can easily do in their everyday lives to help nature and our environment.

Tetra Pak Tree Day is an important date in the school calendar that gives children, teachers and parents the opportunity to put down the school books, get outdoors and learn to become more environmentally aware. From September, the campaign’s mascot Sammy Squirrel will feature on Avonmore school milk cartons and share seven simple messages on how to make better choices and be planet positive.

As part of Tetra Pak Tree Day, up to 1,000 native tree saplings will be made available through the campaign website for primary schools to plant on their grounds, or in a pot in the classroom. More details about the campaign including guided woodland walks, class lessons, fun tree facts, activities and more can be found on

Planting trees is considered to be one of the best ways to tackle climate change.

Joseph McConville, Tree Council of Ireland

Joseph McConville, President of the Tree Council of Ireland, commented: “Planting trees is considered to be one of the best ways to tackle climate change. For this year’s Tetra Pak Tree Day, we have up to 1,000 Spindle tree saplings to give away to primary schools. We are encouraging primary school teachers around the country to get outside with their students and plant a tree, which is also one of the requirements to achieve the Green-School’s Green Flag for Biodiversity.”

Deborah Ryan, Marketing, Tetra Pak Ireland said: “This year’s ‘Be Planet Positive’ theme is designed to focus on the little things we can do as individuals to help the environment rather than the things we have less control over.  Through this campaign, we want to teach simple messages to children on how we can all minimise our impact on the environment and live more sustainably. These messages are very close to our heart at Tetra Pak.”

Focus on Spindle (Euonymus europaeus)

Each year Tetra Pak Tree Day places a focus on a different native tree. This year the spotlight is on the Spindle tree or An Feoras, which can be found most commonly on the edges of forests and in hedgerows.  The scientific name for the Spindle tree is Euonymus europaeusEuonymus is taken from the Greek ‘eu’, meaning ‘good’, and ‘onama’, meaning ‘name’, so it is known as a lucky tree. Its timber is hard and tough and was used historically for making pegs, looms and spindles for weaving – hence its name in English. The Spindle tree grows up to six metres high and bears pink and gold berries in the Autumn, which can be enjoyed by the birds.

Did you know?

Trees “talk” to each other through a fungal network found in and around their roots. The fungi and trees have a symbiotic relationship – the fungi provide the trees with nutrients, and in return receive sugars. Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that these fungi are also part of a broader network that links trees in close proximity to one another, allowing them to communicate. For example, older trees will share their sugars with younger saplings to ensure these weaker trees have a stronger chance of survival and trees that are dying will ‘dump’ their nutrients into the network to be spread among the other trees.

Sammy Squirrel’s 7 Step Planet Positive Plan

1. Power off at home

Unplug games consoles, mobile phone chargers, tablets and computers. It’s good for you and the environment.

2. Never litter

It harms people, animals and the environment. Dispose of your rubbish in a public bin or bring it home to be recycled.

3. Be water wise

Turn it off while brushing your teeth and take shorter showers. Water plants using recycled water from cooking pasta and vegetables.

4. Try greener travel

Walk, cycle, skate, scoot or take a bus to school. It’s healthy and fun and it saves you sitting in traffic. Remember, stay safe!

5. Recycle

Recycle and do it properly. Like when this carton is empty, pop the straw inside, flatten it and put it in the recycling bin.

6. Plant a tree

Trees help reduce the risk of climate change. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

They also provide shelter and food for birds, animals and insects.

7. Sustainable choices

When shopping, choose products and packaging that are recyclable and come from renewable resources like trees.

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