Thursday, 7 June 2007


(Click on the title for a link to the An Taisce site)


Could you give me some information about Green Schools? Who runs it and what does being involved mean? Thanks G.K.

An Taisce are running the Green Schools programme. The hope is to help improve attitudes towards global change. Green-Schools is an International environmental education programme, designed to promote and acknowledge whole school action for the environment. Green-Schools offers a well-defined, controllable way to take environmental issues from the curriculum and apply them to the day to day running of a school. This process helps students to recognise the importance of environmental issues and take them more seriously in their personal and home lives.

The Green-Schools programme can help schools to:
Improve the School environment
Reduce litter and waste
Reduce fuel bills
Increase environmental awareness
Involve the local community
Gain local publicity
Create links with other schools in Ireland and abroad.

Green-Schools is run by An Taisce in co-operation with Local Authorities throughout Ireland and is sponsored by Coca-Cola Bottlers Ireland Ltd. and The Wrigley Company LTD. Both companies have been criticised recently. Fizzy drinks have been taken out of a lot of schools because parents are concerned about the amount of sugar in them. Chewing gum gets a bad press because of the mess it leaves behind on the streets (and underneath tables!). By doing something positive they hope to clean up their act with the public. A leading integrated waste management company called Greenstar is also on board. In Ireland there are currently almost 2015 Primary, Secondary and Special schools participating in the programme, that's over 50% of all schools in the country! 651 schools have implemented the programme successfully and have been awarded the Green Flag.

Green-Schools is both a programme and an award scheme. The award is given to schools that successfully complete the Seven Steps of the programme.

The Seven Steps

This directs the school's involvement in the project. Ideally, the committee includes pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, management and parents.

A process of examining the schools environmental impacts in order to identify targets for action and improvement.

This gives specific and achievable targets with proposed completion dates that will show real success.

This will ensure that progress towards targets is checked, amendments made when necessary and success celebrated

Curriculum materials are provided that give ideas on how to integrate environmental issues into lessons.

A publicity programme keeps the school and wider community involved and informed through displays, assemblies and press coverage.

This is a statement of the schools commitment to environmental good habits

Green-Schools is a long-term programme; the awards will probably be renewed every two years. An Taisce provides support materials to each school that registers for the Green-Schools programme. There has been lots of positive feedback about the initiative and it looks set to grow in popularity over the coming months. If your school isn’t part of the project then give An Taisce a ring or check out the web site.


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