Green-Schools is an international environmental education programme, offering a well-defined, controllable way for schools to take environmental issues from the curriculum and apply them to the day-to-day running of their school. The Green-Schools programme is run by FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education), and is known internationally as “Eco-Schools”. Green-Schools are now represented in over 53 countries from all over the world
Green-Schools is holistic. It aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and ethos of a school. Green-Schools endeavours to extend learning beyond the classroom and develop responsible attitudes and commitment, both at home and in the wider community.
Green-Schools is both a programme and an award scheme. The Green Flag award is now established as a well-respected and recognised eco-label.
There are many benefits to having the Green Schools programme in our school and these include:
- A way to build students confidence and sense of citizenship through participation
- To supply curriculum materials and ideas for projects and events
- To access a network of support agencies
- To link with other schools in Ireland and internationally
- To gain a prestigious award
- To provide local and national publicity
- For financial savings
- To reduce litter and waste
- To improve school environment
- To reduce energy consumption levels
- To involve the local community
Our Lady of Lourdes is committed to providing its students and staff with a clean and respected working and learning environment. The aim of the Green Schools programme and our committee is to make students, staff and the wider community aware of how their lifestyle choices affect the environment and to ensure that Our Lady of Lourdes continues as a green school into the future.
A team of enthusiastic, committed students make huge efforts to look at how our school can be more environmentally friendly and carry out green school initiatives. The school has obtained a Green Flag for litter and waste and is currently working on the theme of water.
Our work towards obtaining a Green Flag for water began with a review. We have taken measures to look at our current water usage including reading water meters, examining water charges to date and checking for leaks. This will inform our actions to reduce water usage.
Significant steps have been taken to increase awareness across the school community regarding water usage and global issues around water.
In March, the school community undertook a six kilometre walk to mark World Water Day. This is a global initiative to highlight water issues around the word. Some students carried a weight equivalent to six litres of water for the duration of the walk, in solidarity with millions of people (often women) for whom this is a daily necessity.
Images taken during the school’s ‘Walk for Water’.
During World Book Day, a Drop Everything and Read took place. Some students were supplied with reading material that contained stories from around the world highlighting issues such as water scarcity and pollution.
The Green School’s Committee operate an Instagram account (@ololgreenschools) where on Wednesdays (‘Water Wednesday’) an interesting fact on this theme is posted.
Entries were submitted to the poster, creative writing and video competitions organised nationally by Green Schools Ireland, which further enhanced water awareness.
Litter and Waste.
Work continues in the school to ensure we retain our Green Flag for litter and waste. The following measures have taken place to help with this:
Signage has been updated around the school to help encourage students to dispose of litter and waste appropriately.
Every opportunity to increase awareness and improve knowledge of environmental issues is taken on a cross curricular basis. For example, in second year, during CSPE, a project was completed on litter and waste which was subsequently presented to first years.
The school community recently engaged in a ‘Spring Green’ challenge to improve our recycling habits. This generated competition between classes with first and fifth years coming out on top. The winning classes were treated to a tea party for their efforts.
Green Schools committee members