Green School talk at the Patrician Academy

Pictured at the launch of the Patrician Academy ‘Global Citizenship Goals’ mural this week was teacher Regina Glynn with members of the Global Citizenship class and John Casey of Teagasc. Photo, S. Murphy.

The Global Citizenship class at the Patrician Academy recently organised a Green School talk with Tricia Beecher. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the talk was held online using Google Classroom. She spoke to the first-year students about the Green Schools 7-step programme and how we can adapt the programme to our chosen interest, which is waste.
The seven steps are as follows:
1. Form Green Schools committee
2. Environmental review
3. Action plan
4. Monitoring and evaluation
5. Curriculum work
6. Informing and involving
7. Green code
Tricia also spoke about how much waste the Green Schools have saved which is once again proving the importance of this programme. She taught the first years about waste in general and how it is disposed of in Ireland:
• 14 million tonnes of waste were produced in Ireland in 2018, 38% was recycled, 43% was incinerated and the last 14% went to a landfill.
• Ireland remains heavily reliant on export markets; around 35% of Ireland’s municipal waste was exported for recycling or recovery in 2018. Ireland is improving on its bad waste management habits but there is still a long way to go.
• She focused on one of our global goals which waste is associated with, number 12, and it is ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’.
• She made us question if we are responsible for the things we use and buy and this will hopefully improve the way the students in our school think about waste and recycling, as well as potentially passing on the message to others in our community. Tricia also gave a definition for waste, which was: “Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use.” This helped inform the younger students to understand how to reduce their waste and how to dispose of it properly.
The above information guided us on our programme for our waste awareness week called ‘Wake up to Academy’s Waste’. We made a presentation to other students in the school to educate them on the different types of waste, how it can be disposed of responsibly, and what we can do to reduce waste. We had to cancel the week because of Covid but we did some of the events online such as poster and poetry competitions, survey on waste and a Concern workshop.
We also put together a lunchbox policy so as to reduce waste, and we plan to incorporate this into everyday practice within the school. We have linked up with the T.Y. group of Social Innovators in our school who have set up an Instagram page for Mallow Tidy Towns and will be involved in assisting them in producing content for the page and helping with litter picks in Mallow town.
Finally, earlier in the year we entered the ’Upcycle Challenge’, where we were involved in upcycling different objects to save them from the landfill. We recycled blue bins, tyres, a chest of drawers, a deckchair, a stool and a weaving made from old fabric. This has been a great success.
The bin element was launched last week with the 1st years, and this week we are launching our mural on Global Citizenship Goals.
Our final element is the creation of a large mural of the Global Citizenship Goals. This was launched by Mr. John Casey of Teagasc (Forestry Advisor) who has a keen interest in global issues. The TY art students took two of the goals each and have enlarged and reproduced them to create a big mural which is hanging in the main hall of the school for all to see.
Finally, I want to thank all the teachers, guest speakers and my fellow students who have made this such a successful project.