What is the Green Schools Programme?
The Green School programme is an international environmental education programme, environmental management system and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole school action for the environment. St. Brigid’s Secondary School is an active member of the Green School programme.
The Green Schools Committee consists of Transition Year Students who meet one class a week with Green Schools Coordinator Ms. Sheree Murphy.
To date we have received five green flags.
- Litter and waste
The committee and school are currently working towards their 6th flag which is Global Citizenship Litter & Waste
Not only does St. Brigid’s participate in the Green School initiative, our Transition Year students are also part of helping the Tidy Towns in litter picking and planting of bulbs in locations around the Killarney Town.
Here is just a glimpse into some of the work the green schools class did this academic year
- Collected perfectly good food from the end of the day in Tesco which would have otherwise been thrown out and gave it out to students for free the next day during lunch time.
- Banned paper coffee cups to encourage the use of reusable coffee cups.
- Organised for all students to get 50c off their tea/coffee etc in the black sheep and RiRa if they have a reusable coffee cup.
- Organised clothes drive to highlight fast fashion
- Group of students have started a podcast called "Planet A Podcast" to highlight climate change issues.
- A group of students have made a booklet called "Friends of the Forest" which highlights how we can use locally grown plants for various everyday use.
- We have started composting some of our organic waste.
- Students regularly go litter picking and took part in the National Spring Clean
- Completed the "Dog Poo" campaign with Kerry County Council to highlight Dog fouling problem in Killarney.
- Took part in the Halloween "Think before you flush campaign" with An Tasice to highlight what not to throw down the toilet.
- Planted bulbs with Killarney Lions Club.
- Visited the Killarney Urban Farm
- Painted Car tyres and planted flowers inside them.
Some initiatives our green schools committee have done throughout the years:
Offered cycling workshops to 1st years
Installed 2 x covered bike shed
Put in place a committee to promote alternatives to private transport
Promoted “Walk on Wednesdays”
Ran a “5 Days 5 Ways” week
Promoted walking and cycling to school within the school community and extended our efforts to the local community
Published distances for park and stride points in the student diary for the and promoted this at parents’ events
Devised and created 3 signs at the school gates to promote park and stride
Ran a TY module to promote safe cycling
Ban on single use plastic bottles
No plastic cutlery in the canteen
Two new water fountains installed in the school building and gym
Bins are categorised into the following headings: All Plastics, Glass bottles, Recycling, General Waste and Compost bin.
No bins in classes.
We strive to recycle everything we can
No tomato ketchup sachets
No crisps allowed due to packaging
Popcorn is banned
Introduction of emails to teachers to cut down on the amount of paper being use.
Texting teachers and parents on important issues
Shared folders for both staff and students to cut down on handouts.
Fixed our photocopier to print from the staff computers double sided.
Renovated the roof
Walls have been dry lined
Windows have been resealed
Changed the boiler
Double glazed windows
Triple glazed insulation
Use energy efficient lights
Adjust thermostats in Winter and in the Summer
We have now put in 2 500 ml bottles into the cisterns to reduce 1 liter of water per flush.
Changed syphons on toilets which gave out less water
Water compression taps
Taps now releasing less water
Water bills are analyased
Reporting leaks is more frequent
St. Brigid’s have changed all the taps in the school from the old twist taps to compression taps. Twist taps use 5 or 6 liters in 30 seconds, but compression taps only use 3 liters in 30 seconds. This is because they reduce the water flow, so there is more force and less water used. We also changed the syphons in the toilets. They use 9 liters to flush if you don’t hold down the lever, but they only use 6 liters if you hold the lever down for only 5 seconds.
In 2019 we won Best School Project in the Killarney Looking Good Awards for our “5days 5 New Ways” campaign to promote alternative means of travelling to school