Green School - Gurraneasig NS

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Green School

School Initiatives


In November 2013 we decided to make Gurraneasig NS a
Green School and to aim for the Green Schools award.  

What is the Green Schools?

Green Schools is an international environmental education programme. It is run by the FEE (Foundation of Environmental Education) and is known internationally as Eco-Schools.
There are Eco-Schools all over the world; however Ireland has an extremely high participatory rate with over 3,000 schools being awarded the green flag. That works out at over 85% of all Irish National Schools! Eco-Schools are called Green Schools in Ireland.

The Green Schools programme is a holistic approach to raising environmental awareness and adopting caring environmental behaviours. It will become an important part of our school ethos whereby all pupils, teaching and non-teaching staff, parents and the community help Gurraneasig NS become and remain a green school. It is our intention that Gurraneasig will remain a green school from here on.

There are 6 themes in the Green Schools programme; litter and waste, energy, water, travel, biodiversity, European and global citizenship. We're beginning with the litter and waste theme.

Aims of the Green Schools Programme

• To raise environmental awareness in school, home and community
• To promote respectful and caring attitudes towards the environment
• To make positive changes in our day to day living habit that help protect and sustain the environment

There are 7 steps involved in achieving the first green flag award.

1. Green Schools Committee
2. Environmental Review
3. Action Plan
4. Monitoring and Evaluation
5. Curriculum Work
6. Informing and Involving
7. Green Code

Our committee or
Green Team consists of a combination of pupils from throughout the school, as well as teaching staff, non-teaching staff.

Green Team 2014-2015: Eoin O’Donnell & Adam Draper (6th class), Pia O’Flynn (5th class), Riain Crowley (4th class),  Momo Sheehy (3rd class), Lilli O’Flynn (2nd class) Torin O’Kennedy (1st class),  Layla O’Neill (Senior Infants), Lachlan O’ Donnell (Senior Infants) Niamh Mc Grath (teaching staff), Ursula McCloskey (secretary).

Our Green Code

In February 2014 a competition was held in the school to come up with our green code. The Junior and Senior infant class composed the winning entry

Gurraneasig, keep it clean
Gurraneasig, let’s go green,
Gurraneasig we’re a team
Gurraneasig, let’s go gree-een!

We have made quite a few positive changes in Gurraneasig since November 2013.

• We have reduced the overall cost of waste collection to the school.
• We have reduced by 50% the size of the black bin (landfill)
• We have increased the amount of recycling done in the school by 75%. We recycle most things; paper, plastic, cans, food scraps, batteries, mobile phones.
• We have been recycling green waste for the past year to create compost for use in our school garden. We have doubled the amount of waste we compost
• The children and staff at Gurraneasig are making a big effort at keeping the school a litter fee zone.

What can you do?


• Always ask whether you really NEED the product before you buy
• Use waste paper for art or as scrap paper
• Make sure you use the double sided facility on the photocopier
• Always buy reusable containers, batteries and energy saving bulbs
• Use a reusable box for your lunch instead of cling film or tin foil
• Buy products that are made from recycled materials and can be recycled again or composted
• Buy products that have less packaging and highlight the issue to suppliers
• Say NO to plastic bags, use reusable bags instead

• Use old bottles, jars and containers for storage or for use in art class
• Use refill packs of detergents
• Re-use plastic drinks bottles for your lunch instead of cartons or cans
• Use lunch boxes instead of tinfoil or cling film for your lunches
• Leave a box for scrap paper beside the photocopy machine
• Use re-usable bags when you go shopping
• Swap clothes, books, video games and music with friends instead of throwing them away
• Give old clothes to charity shops - someone might need them
• Avoid buying disposable products i.e. cameras
• Always get machines regularly serviced to ensure long life
• Reuse school books and workbooks

• Find out from your Local Authority where the nearest recycling centre is
• Check out what you can recycle i.e. plastic, cans, paper, card, clothes
• Always rinse out bottles, tins and cartons before recycling
• Hazardous materials (oil, paint or batteries) should all be recycled
• Aim to buy products that are recycled

In December 2014 our school participated in a recycling initative with Lenrec Ltd whereby our Parents, friends & local community donated their recyclable textiles and the school received payment per kilo for all the material collected.

The students helped load the van on the day of the collection!!

As part of our Green School Project we undertook a litter survey and and participated in the National Spring Clean

Green School Day of Action

The whole school takes part in a weekly Walk on Wednesday. This involves a half hour loop walk of our local environs.  We were surprised at the amount of rubbish and litter on the roadside and ditches and decided to take action. On April 9 th 2014 the whole school took part in a clean-up of our surrounding area and neighbourhood.

Our school garden project progressed throughout the year with preparation, planting, weeding and harvest!  It was a good year and we all loved growing our plants from seed to maturation.

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