Second Green Flag: Energy

The aim of The Green Schools Committee 2006/2007 was to improve the energy efficiency within the school and to heighten the students’ awareness of the need for energy efficiency while continuing with the recycling program. Many campaigns and presentations make the students aware of the importance of the energy theme.

Committee 2006/2007

The chairperson of our Green-Schools committee for 2006-2007 was Ellen O’ Donnell (6th Yr), and secretary Aimee Ryan (5th Yr). The coordinating teachers were Ms. O’ Flynn and Ms. Frend. There were a number of sub-committees including: draughts, ventilation and heating systems, hot water and lighting, and transport.

Goals of the Green Schools Committee for this Green Flag were:

♦ To heighten the student’s awareness of how and when water is being wasted and to ensure that these issues are eliminated, where possible.

♦ To create a policy for turning off lights when they are not required.

♦ Reduce the amount of heating and energy we use throughout the school while maintaining adequate temperatures.

♦ Eliminate wasting energy by leaving windows and doors open

♦ To create an awareness of the importance of reducing the use of transport due to CO2 emissions.

♦ To encourage students to walk or cycle to school where possible.

Green Day

A day of energy awareness, greenness and fun was held on November 17th. Our assembly area was decorated with streamers, balloons and posters. The walls were awash with information relating to Transport, Lighting and Heating systems.

With kind permission from our former principal Sr. Berchmans, students were allowed to deviate from our normal blue uniform with green accessories.

Competitions were held throughout the day which included ‘Design a light bulb’, ‘Guess the green song?’, ‘How energy observant are you?’, ‘Energy Pie’ and lots more. The day was also our ‘Low Energy Day’. Students made a special effort to avoid turning on the lights wherever possible. Overall, it was a fantastic day and one that will be remembered as one of the highlights of the school year 2006/2007.

Green Code

We held a competition that was open to 1st to 4th year students.

The code could be formulated by an individual, a small group or class-based. A first year student submitted the winning code. Our Green-Code is ‘Energy Saver, Life Saver’

Communicating and Involving the Whole School Community

There were many different methods of communicating and involving the whole school community in all aspects of the Green-Schools programme.

Some of which are as follows:

1. Green-Schools Notice Board

Our Green-Schools notice board was updated regularly by the committee i.e. posters, points of information etc. Our Green-Code : ‘Energy Saver, Life Saver’ took pride of place on our notice board. Each sub-group updated the notice board on a regular basis

2. Classroom Displays

Each classroom had wall-displays that included information in relation to energy efficiency, light saving, our Green-Code and of course information regarding recycling.

3. Competitions

We held numerous competitions which include a poetry competition, best green-code competition and ‘how low can you go’ competition. This was where committee members assessed each classroom frequently over a three week period. Each class was awarded points for their energy efficiency at that point in time, and the overall winning class received a prize and certificate.

4. Doll’s House:

In order to promote energy efficiency we designed a doll’s house in which the different ways we can save energy in the home are highlighted

5. Newsletter:

Each Christmas, the school produces a newsletter for circulation to the parents of our students i.e. about 640 families in which the progress and activities of the Green-Schools Committee are highlighted

That Christmas we also sent a pamphlet ‘Christmas Tips for You’ to each home which encouraged energy efficiency throughout the holiday period.

As part of action day we gave each student a greenflag pamphlet outlining our current work and energy saving tips.

Other Green Schools Activities:

♦ We are continuing to collect old mobile phones, which are being donated, to the Jack and Jill foundation.

♦ Recycling is ongoing and students are being constantly reminded of what can and can’t be recycled.

♦ Printer Cartridges are being recycled in association with Cartridge World.

♦ Batteries are being placed in the battery box for recycling.