Green Schools' Flags
St Laurence’s NS pioneering the way towards a GREENER WORLD
Here in St Laurence's, we strive to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle making us worthy of flying the coveted Green-Flag
Green Flag - Our Achievements so far;
2000-2002 - Green flag awarded for work done in the area of Waste - Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.
2002-2004 - Green flag awarded for work done in the area of Energy.
2004-2006 - Green flag awarded for work done in the area of Water - reduction of use.
2006-2008 - Green flag awarded for work done in the area of Travel.
2008-2010 - Green flag awarded for work done in the area of Green Homes.
2010-2012 - Green flag awarded for work done in the area of Biodiversity
2015-2017 - Green flag awarded for work done in the area of Global Citizenship & Waste
2017-2019 - Working towards Green flag in the area of Global Citizenship & Marine
1. Reduced Waste
Less waste was our initial target and our major success in this department was achieved through individual and whole-school commitment to the use of re-usable lunch-boxes and bottles, re-usable plastic-packaging and tin-foil, not to mention composting our organic waste. The end result; we ceased to be a commercial customer in 2006 and we have surpassed all our expectations in reducing waste with only 1 domestic bin-full being collected per week. Considering our staff totals 43 and the fact that we have in excess of 650 children on our rolls, we consider this to be a massive achievement.
Complimenting this lunch initiative in our endeavour to reduce waste, is the huge emphasis we place on using both sides of the paper when photocopying.
2. Reduced Energy Consumption
Embodied in our Green-Code and revisited annually, is our commitment to turning off unwanted lights and radiators, closing windows, blinds and doors to reduce heat loss and unplugging electrical equipment when not in use.
3. Reduced Water Consumption
In St Laurence’s, we ensure all sinks have stoppers to ensure precious water is not flowing down the drain. All rooms display notices in sink-area reminding everyone to turn off taps. Rather than pay for bottled drinking water in our staff-room, we have engaged “Advanced Water Coolers” to fit a filter to our existing water supply.
4. Reduced Paper Consumption
Check out St Laurence’s book-lists and you will notice a significant reduction as the school is committed to a book rental system, reducing the cost to the environment as less and less books are purchased every year. We also text and email parents frequently instead of sending home letters.
5. Reduced Car-Use
Walk the walk: 2006-2007 was a busy year for St Laurence’s Green Committee who muscled in and achieved tremendous results in the area of "Travel" - reducing car-use to and from school and raising the awareness of the need for the same in the community at large. The Park and Stride initiative launched by the then Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche TD literally took legs and continues to attract huge number. This has had a knock-on affect where traffic congestion around the school is concerned, with a 20% reduction. Our "WOW" Walk on Wednesdays sees up to 50 children with accompanying adults take to the roads in all kinds of weather. Since 2007, our Cycling Workshops have given 5th class children much enjoyment and practical skills and safety technique.
1. Save the Trees
The afore-mentioned book rental system where a book which hitherto served one individual is used year after year is very successful. Children and adults are encouraged to use both sides of the paper.
2. Postage Stamps
We collect used postage stamps which we present to the Guide Dogs Association on an annual basis.
Junk Art has always been a popular part of our art programme, and children are encouraged to collect items of a recyclable nature for all kinds of art projects throughout the year. One of the highlights of our calendar is Wicklow County Council's Christmas Decoration Competition which we have taken part in since its debut.
When it comes to recycling, no small credit is due to our “Bin-Busters” who have been known to begin their Friday “Bin-Busting” to the theme-tune of Ghost-Busters. This dedicated team check the three bins in all classrooms making sure that only paper, card and clear plastic is put in our large bin, only compostable waste is put into classroom compost bins (emptied on Fridays) and that only floor-sweepings and last resort rubbish goes into our small pedal bins. They also oversee the collection of the milk-cartons which for hygiene purposes are binned separately. Being a domestic customer of Greenstar the school is entitled to a green-bin collection.