Ballinamere N.S Green Schools Committee.
Our Green Schools team was set up in October 2012. There are 12 pupils, four teachers, the Principal, 2 SNAs and the caretaker on the team each year. Each class selects its representative each year with 6th class having two members.
In our first year we achieved so much.
We measured the amount of waste we produced and analysed if we were using the bins correctly. Each class started a compost collection and we started a compost heap that is now used for fertilising our sensory garden attached to the Esker Centre. Signs were placed throughout the school as a visual reminder to pupils and staff about Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. As a result of this awareness campaign we have been able to get rid of one of our general waste bins each week.
We had many great awareness competitions in our first year. 3rd class had a Halloween Fancy dress Competition using only recycled materials. There was a whole school Slogan and Poster Competition which was won by Alan Slattery, Andrew Walsh and Niall Comiskey from 5th Class. The winning Slogan was “If you refuse to reuse it’s our planet you abuse”.
We received a talk from Mr David Dunne from WEE Ireland about electrical waste. Along with the Parents Association we ran a used clothes drive and many bags of clothing were sent for recycling.
Every year in March we hold Green week. We get to dress up in green for a whole day, do our annual walk up to Ballycowan Castle and clean along the way.
Each week we have a Green Star Class of the Week competition to see which class has been reducing and recycling the best. 3rd class have won this competition for the last 2 years.
In 2013 we had a Green Schools song competition. 38 groups auditioned and 12 were selected to perform in a hotly contested final. The winners were a group called LSRR (Lucy, Sophia and Ross). Their song was called “Green Haired Freaks”. This became our official school Green Anthem.
We have also been analysing our photocopying usage and encouraging all classes to photocopy both sides of the paper or even none at all. Our photocopying usage has been reduced by 40% since we began.
We had a Mascot Competition and all the classes created many wonderful machines, robots and creatures. The eventual winner was “Larry the Litter Warden” made by John, Fiachrae and Daniel. He now keeps a watch over the Green Schools notice board.
In April 2014 we were informed that we were to receive our school’s first green flag which is now displayed proudly at the front of the school. In May 2014 Abigail and John went to Athlone with Ms. O’Sullivan and Mr. Fleming to be awarded the Green Flag.
On 22nd June, 2014 we had our flag raising ceremony. Again, everyone dressed in green, we had a disco and the flag was raised by the committee.
From September 2014 we have been working towards our new Green Flag. This year the theme is Energy. We have a new committee and we are working really hard to get our second flag. We are trying to reduce the amount of energy we use in the school and looking at renewable sources of energy. We will have Green Week again and a new poster and slogan competition. There will also be another song contest and whisper it!!! A no electricity day. What will our teachers do without their tea and coffee?