St Jarlath's College

Green School

Green School

St. Jarlath’s College began their Green School’s journey in 2014 when work began on the Litter and Waste Flag. The focus was on encouraging the school community to reduce, reuse and recycle both in school and at home. Students were encouraged to use lunchboxes instead of tinfoil or cling film and to make sure they used the correct bin and litter picking became a regular occurrence on the school grounds. The College was awarded the second Green flag for Energy in May 2019. This flag involved trying to reduce energy use and so reduce the carbon footprint of the school. Over a two-year period the committee worked very hard by raising awareness through a school survey, a poster competition and by having a walk to school campaign. The also researched effective ways to encourage changes in behaviour and now every light switch in the school has a save energy sticker to remind students and staff to conserve energy. Students from the committee also participated in the One Good Idea Project and created a video for social media of a song they had written about climate change.

The school began work on its third flag for Water in September 2019. This theme develops awareness around water conservation and how to effectively manage this important resource in schools. The college’s first action for this flag was to reduce the use of single use plastic bottles in the school and they unveiled two water hydration stations in November 2019 during Reuse Month. These units were part funded by the Local Authority Prevention Network (LAPN) programme and the Climate Action Support Scheme in Galway County Council. Mark Molloy, Assistant Environmental Awareness Officer, Galway County Council visited the school and met with members of the environmental committee. Already these units have prevented the use of thousands of single use plastic bottles in the school by enabling students and staff to refill their reusable bottles which were supplied by refill Ireland. These bottles are made of organic sugar cane which is a renewable raw material. They are are non- toxic and BPA (bisphenol A - chemical) free.

Three students from the Environmental Committee volunteered to participate in the Water Ambassador Programme which is run by Green School’s in association with Irish Water and Clean Coasts. They attended a workshop which involved a tour of a water plant in Athenry where they were shown how water is treated and the technology involved. The also participated in a beach clean up at Traught Beach in Kinvara. As part of the programme they organised an awareness campaign for the school called Walk a Mile in their Shoes 24th – 28th February 2020 to highlight to students how far people in the developing world have to walk to get water on a daily basis. During PE class students carried 5 litre water bottles around the school walks so they could experience this reality for themselves and appreciate how much we take our clean tap water for granted. A speaker from Concern also visited the school to give a talk to students on the subject. The committee will continue their hard work this year and hope to awarded the Water Flag in May 2021.

The Green School’s Programme is a wonderful opportunity for students to become active citizens in their school community. By raising awareness in the school community, the environmental committee has helped students to realise that by making small but significant changes in their habits that everyone can make a difference when it comes to reducing, reusing and recycling and in the battle against climate change.

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Bishop Street, Tuam, Co. Galway, H54EV84
093 243 42
Roll Number: 68074M
Charity Number: 20202100
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