Environment Wins as Green Schools Reap Rewards

The 2019/2020 academic year marks the 23rd year of the Green-Schools Environmental Education and Awareness Programme in Ireland. 35 schools from all across County Wexford were awarded the Green Flag for their work on the themes of Litter & Waste, Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship.

Two schools receiving the Green Flag for the first time, while Scoil Mhuire, Horeswood also scooped the Global Citizenship Energy Primary South School award.

The Wexford Green Schools programme is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with Wexford County Council. It is a long-term environmental education and awareness programme where schools contribute to protecting and improving our environment as well as mitigating the effects of climate change in their locality.

Wexford County Council and Green-Schools wishes to congratulate all Green-Schools students, school staff and families who helped schools in achieving and renewing the Green Flag 2020.

Cliona Connolly is Environmental Awareness Officer at Wexford County Council said,

“In the face of the temporary closure of schools in March, the dedication of schools to submit their Green Flag application after a two-year effort to create sustainable environments in their schools was both poignant and exceptional”.

“I am continuously impressed by the dedication and the amazing activities and projects by Green Schools each year and look forward to working with and supporting students and teachers again soon”.

The collective efforts made by schools across Ireland during the 2019/2020 school year culminated to impressive environmental savings across waste, energy, water and transport, while positive impacts were also made towards biodiversity, global citizenship, and the marine environment. More than 2,500 tonnes of waste were diverted from landfill, and an impressive 592 million litres of water, 4.4 million litres of heating oil and over 29 million units of electricity were also saved.

Throughout the year students contributed to lowering traffic related emissions at the school gate by walking, cycling and scooting to school. To promote active travel, a total of 4000 students received cycle training and 1100 spaces were created for bike and scooter parking. The installation of new vegetable gardens and bird feeders improved students’ knowledge of the importance of biodiversity, and 2799 native trees were planted by students.

Schools around the country learned of the hazardous effects of climate change and marine pollution on our Oceans, with over 86% of schools participating in #2MinuteBeachCleans. On completion of the Global Citizenship themes, schools tripled their knowledge about global issues such as food origin and FairTrade, and 79 % of schools increased their knowledge on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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