In our school we are lucky to have a great deal of outdoor space and we make sure that we look after our school playground and our school garden very carefully.
Scoil Inse Rátha is proud to be part of the An Taisce Green Schools Initiative. Green Schools is an international environmental education programme that recognises school who prioritise the environment and awards these schools a prestigious Green Flag if and when they achieve the standards laid down by the programme. In Scoil Inse Rátha, our staff, students and parents are all actively involved in Green Schools.
To date Scoil Inse Rátha has achieved two Green Flags. We were delighted to be awarded out first flag in 2007, for the very hard work we put into reducing and recycling our waste and litter.
What do we do in Scoil Inse Rátha to help reduce and recycle waste?
Our first Green Flag first was awarded in recognition of our work in combating the issue of Litter and Waste.
We actively work to reduce the amount of litter we generate. Students and staff use reusable boxes for our lunch instead of cling film or tin foil and in class we aim to use products that are made from recycled materials and can be recycled again or composted.
Where possible we reuse product and materials – we use old bottles, jars and containers for storage or for use in art class. We re-use plastic drinks bottles for our lunch instead of cartons or cans and we leave a box for scrap paper beside the photocopy machine/printers which can in turn be used by the students for rough work in class.
We actively recycle, and have put in place a school recycling project. Each room in the school has three separate bins, allowing us to sort our waste. All scrap and used paper and card is recycled, as well as plastic bottles and packaging.
We compost our food waste and have a number of large compost bins in the garden which we monitor carefully, so the students can witness first hand the process of conversion from food waste to compost which is in turn used in the school garden.
In 2009, we were delighted to be awarded a much sought after second green flag for our work in reducing our school energy consumption.
For this Green Flag we had to make a commitment to reduce the amount of electricity we use, so every day we make a big effort to turn off the lights when no-one is in the room. In school we have notices to remind everyone to turn off the lights at the end of class.
The staff and students of the school are careful to turn off appliances like our interactive whiteboards, computers, photocopiers, printers, stereos and other appliances when they are not in use.
We are currently working on our third Green Flag, which is awarded for water awareness and conservation. Be sure to check back over the course of the year to see how we are getting on, and to learn about how you can get involved at home.