Holy Child Killiney
Actions Not Words

Green School

Green School

Environmental Committee and Green Schools

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The Environmental Committee in HCK is a very vibrant and proactive group. There are elected representatives from all classes but interested students, not elected are welcomed also, along with other members of The Community. The group meet weekly for forty minutes to work on their many campaigns to effect change both in the school and the wider community. Environmental issues are of great concern for all students and being part of a group creating a real difference is very empowering for the students. The girls see that they can become part of the solution rather than continually feeling overwhelmed by the climate crisis. The Environmental Committee fosters a strong sense of citizenship and leadership among participants that reaches beyond the group, the school and to the wider community. It also promotes a strong sense of teamwork and enables students to become part of the decision-making process in school.

The Environmental Committee embodies the school motto ‘Actions Not Words’.

Achievements for 2018-2019

  • Green schools Rebranded
  • The Environmental Committee established and representatives from each class elected.
  • Arrange to meet weekly on Wednesday Lunchtime
  • New Badges were ordered with a new design
  • Whole school Carpool Karaoke to promote more environmentally friendly modes of Transport.

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  • Travel Flag application made
  • Whole school inventory of plastic usage within the school carried out.
  • Focus on canteen use of plastic and letter written to The Principal and The Board of Management to remove all plastic from the canteen including water bottles and to promote the use of reusable water bottles.
  • Peer Education- each environmental rep to show the movie A Plastic ocean to their class at SPHE to highlight the problems in single use plastic.
  • Increase focus on reduce/reuse and Recycle – students look to bins to improve our recycling and composting.
  • Eco bags and food bins added to bins outside the canteen.
  • Eco bags and food bins added to the staff room and the 6th year wing.
  • Signs added to highlight how to use the bins
  • Video created by The Environmental Committee to show the correct usage of the bins.
  • All Plastic was removed from the canteen and bio- degradable napkins introduced along with bowls of jam served with a spoon.
  • Focus on Energy usage, signs added to all classrooms to turn off lights, these were added in different languages in the language rooms.Also energy waste in form of the heating on with the windows open was highlighted on stage in the hall at lunch.
  • Eco Art Workshop attended and displays put up on the notice board.
  • Word of the month – The Environmental Committee took over the word/phrase of the month from January to May to highlight Environmental issues. This was supported with artwork around the walls from the students.
  • Weekly newsfeeds were put up on the TV screens depicting actual current environmental news happening around the world.
  • Environmental class reps carry out climate pledges with each class and all students pledge to make some small change to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Environmental Reps create lesson on Climate Change and deliver to their individual classes at after reg to whole school at the same time to
  • Liaised with The KPA about the possibility of funding a water bottle filling station which was approved and installed outside the canteen with a counter to show how many bottles are saved on an ongoing basis.

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  • Liaised with KDCC about beach clean ups
  • Looked for approval to set up each class with a beach cleanup so the school can plan a fortnightly beach clean to run for the academic year. The proposal was given the green light and will start in September and each form group will do one cleanup during SPHE
  • Three students represent HCK in a workshop followed by a presentation to selected members of The Dáil in Leinster House on Climate Change. Eva O Kane delivered a speech in The House.
  • Transition Year students attend The #fridaysforfuture march in Dublin city centre with 11,000 other students. Síofra Ní Mhidigh was interviewed and quoted in The Times International.
  • Environmental Committee plant a crab apple tree to mark National Tree Week.

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  • Jenny Hughes from NGO Uplift visits The Environmental group to invite them to get behind The Emergency Bill on Climate Change
  • The Environmental Committee write a letter to Fianna Fáil to lobby them and support the bill at The Joint Oireachtas listing the demand –Keep it in the ground 2030
  • Students feel very empowered and part of something bigger when Ireland is the 2nd country in the world to declare a climate emergency and pass The Climate Emergency Bill.
  • TY attend Plastic Free workshops and carry out surveys of the bins as well as peer educating other year groups.
  • School takes first steps in becoming single use plastic free, all single use plastic must be taken home to be disposed of.
  • Senior Students address the staff at a staff meeting to highlight the use of bins within the school and especially in the staffroom, as well as the need for the school to become single use plastic free.
  • 5th Year Students attend #fridaysforfuture march in Dublin City Centre.

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Achievements and ongoing projects for 2019-2020

  • Less print outs from teachers, work to be emailed or shared.
  • Establish fortnightly beach clean ups in SPHE linking an environmental service with a community service.
  • Review bins: colour coded for ease of separating waste. Signs to be added beside bins and environmental representatives to address whole school on this issue
  • Create awareness of social justice and impact of not disposing of waste correctly. Display posters of social injustice in corridors and outside eating area- Cornelia Connelly Hall.

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  • look at ways to incentivise correct use of bins by rewarding best class - not yet achieved.
  • Increase the numbers of reps per class and allow open meetings(monthly?) for input from all interested bodies.
  • Increase staff involvement in Environmental Committee especially those delivering environmental studies through their subject for Junior Cycle.
  • Incorporate behavior points to promote all environmentally friendly actions – Actions not Words
  • Artwork around the school promoting a greener environment perhaps depicting a celebration of our use of the DART- sustainable transport or sculptures from recyclables?
  • Promote Climate Pledges and get all students to sign up a personal pledge and display on The Environmental Board.

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  • With Support push through The Single Use Plastic ban offering parents alternatives to cling film etc.
  • Create PowerPoint on Alternatives to Plastic and promote the use of Environmentally friendly products. This is to be taught to each class by their class rep- Peer Education. It will also be displayed on the school TV screens.
  • Apply for Biodiversity Flag and begin the process to achieve it.
  • Liaise with The Killiney Parents Association and initiate a cross generational scheme to develop Biodiversity and the steps to achieve it. Starting with an insect search to be carried out by The TY in September. Following up with creating a habitat map of the school and dividing it into year groups to investigate different sections and record their findings. To introduce bird tables and insect motels. To plant insect friendly plants to attract specific insects identified in the insect search. To look at the viability of keeping bees and building a pond.
  • Promote meat free meals with a view to incorporating a meat free day in school. Students to collaborate to produce a list of healthy recipes to put up on the school app. Look to possibly producing a cookbook in the future.
  • Promote Clean Air week to improve air quality and raise awareness to stop cars idling. A competition is to be run with students designing car bumper stickers promoting improving air quality through ‘No Idling’. Car bumper stickers to be printed off and displayed in all staff, student and wider community cars to promote improving air quality.

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  • Reps to research news stories of Environmental interest and produce PowerPoints to inform the whole school on the TV screens.
  • Senior students attend SVP Workshop on Sustainability

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  • Environmental Committee liaise with Junk Kouture and SVP to look at the possibility of putting on a fashion show with the finished Junk Kouture outfits and holding a swop shop at the same time to promote sustainability and highlight the issues with Fast Fashion.
  • Write letter to the principal and The Board of Management to switch from Google to Ecosia as a search engine.
  • Permission for switch to Ecosia granted. All students shown by class representative how and why to download and use Ecosia as a search engine, on their iPads in school and their phones outside of school.

.Flags awarded by An Táisce

  • Litter and Waste
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Travel

We are currently working towards our Biodiversity Flag.

Military Road, Killiney, Co. Dublin
01 2823120
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