Our green journey at St. Joseph’s G.N.S.
Our green journey at St. Joseph’s G.N.S. began in 1999. We started initiatives to secure our
first green flag. Firstly we enlisted the help of parents to bring our segregated waste to landfill on a Saturdays. This greatly reduced our waste costs and also improved our recycling efforts. This continued for 10 years and then we secured the free service of blue bins for recyclables and our caretaker brings the rest to the landfill so we in effect do not have commercial collection of waste. We instead segregate it all on site. How industrious is this for a primary school!
We set up an art bank with waste materials which cuts down the costs of art supplies. To highlight litter in our town we made a video called ‘Stop the Drop’, a drama that highlights the consequences of littering and suggests ways to improve. We had a fashion show of all waste materials to emphasise reusing and recycling. We’ve covered all themes of the green school’s programme: Litter and waste, energy, water, transport, biodiversity.
In school we have a lunch policy which recommends a no wrap lunch to include a naked sandwich, fruit and a reusable drinks bottle. Children take home their waste in their lunch box or bag. We have a composter for fruit and waste.
Walk on Wednesday
We launched our Walk On Wednesday campaign and walking improved from 32% to 54%. We installed bicycle accommodation and annually give a skills and safety course to 5th class. We have worked with local group M.E.G (mountmellick environment group) on ‘The Race Against Waste’ project. We designed a Tidy Towns Banner. We visited a lake during biodiversity week.
Green School’s Slogan
Our green school’s slogan is:
STOP THE DROP
STOP THE DRIP
STOP THE LIGHTS
WALK DONT DRIVE
BIODIVERSITY-VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE.
We have assigned a class tree to each class. We organise field trips to Emo court during Tree Week. Finally , we’ve had great fun changing our ways and we know that each child and parent individual action amounts to massive collective action.We’ve celebrated in style and have brought the army band to our green flag celebrations. We are convinced that looking after the environment works better if we do it with military precision! We believe caring for the environment is nobody’s job but everybody’s responsibility.
Our Common World
This world is our common home. We work together to protect it. In our school we have been working on caring for our environment for a long time. We bring this message home so we can continue these good habits in our homes and in our community.
How can we do this? Well it’s all about change. We have changed our attitudes and habits. We have taken action and got results. It’s not that easy and it can be tough at times. We are depending on all of you and your families to help us.
At school we keep our grounds litter free. We save energy by turning off lights and taps and using less. We compost and reduce our waste. We have an art bank for junk. We do “Walk on Wednesdays” to encourage all to walk or car-pool. This reduces pollution from cars. We have cycle safety training. Maybe when you are grown you might be living in cities where they do the “Bike Scheme” where you can borrow a bike to cycle. This helps climate change.
We celebrate Tree Day and learn about Biodiversity and the benefits of planting trees to improve the air we breathe.
Our actions in the past have caused climate change and we need to try and slow it down.
The earth is our common home. It belongs to all of us, you, me, our brothers and sisters in Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Antarctica. We are the caretakers of the earth. Our job is to mind and protect it so it will be in good shape for the future.
If the earth were a ball that we could hold in our hands we would look at it and admire its seas and oceans, its mountains and valleys, its land and sea creatures, its trees and vegetation.
We would marvel at the thin layer of gas surrounding it and protect it.
There is only one earth we must keep it safe.
Let us as a school and as a community and as a citizen of Ireland and the world do all in our power to protect this beautiful one and only earth that God has given to us to share.
Let us continue on our green journey here as we come to realise that our small actions matter and can go a long way to improving and protecting the big world we live in.
It is “Our Common Home”