St. John’s Senior school joined the Green Schools programme in 2010. There was huge interest from pupils to become involved in the ‘Green School’s’ programme. The committee comprised two pupils from each class, the former school principal, Mr. O’Neill, the former school caretaker, Mr. Galvin, Mr. Cooney and the green schools co-ordinator, Mrs. Moore. The committee met every fortnight during the campaign of the first theme of ‘litter and waste’.
As regards litter and waste, St. John’s Senior School is doing the following things:
- Composting is up and running in the school and the compost is used in the school garden.
- Children are asked to bring home their own litter and waste from their lunch.
- Waste from the school is separated into waste for landfill, recycling and composting.
- Waste newspaper was shredded and used to make ‘eco-briquettes’.
- Ink cartridges from the school are collected and recycled.
- The school collects household batteries for recycling.
- A collection of old and disused library books was donated to a local charity shop.
- The school collected clothes for recycling and these were donated to a local charity.
Previously, St.John’s Senior national school had two large wheelie bins (240L). One bin is collected each week. The recycling bin was always below half full, while the landfill bin was often overflowing with bags of rubbish. Since the ‘litter and waste’ campaign began, the recycling bin is usually full on collection day, while the amount of rubbish to landfill has reduced to under half a bin. The Green Schools committee exceeded both of the targets which were a:) to reduce waste to landfill by 10% and b) to increase waste to recycling by 20%. The third target, ‘to increase awareness about litter and waste’ was also well achieved.
As regards energy conservation we are doing the following:
- Energy friendly behavior is now the norm i.e. keeping doors closed, switching off lights when not needed, switching off computers from standby mode etc.
- The small refrigerator in the staff room is no longer in use and all appliances in the kitchen are left unplugged over the summer holidays.
- The heating system is being used more efficiently and is turned off at intervals during the day.
- Classroom doors and windows are kept closed when possible to retain as much heat as possible.
The school continues to raise awareness about the benefits of conserving energy.
On our next mission to continue to make St. John’s Senior school a ‘Green School’, we have been looking at ways to reduce water consumption and to raise awareness about water usage in St. John’s Senior School.