Green-Schools Programme

Scoil Cholmáin is proud to be a Green-School.

The Earth has all the things we need to live, but we need to take care of the Earth so it can keep giving us what we need. Caring for the environment means doing things that will keep the Earth healthy, like recycling your plastic bottles instead of throwing them in the bin, and turning off lights when you don’t need them on anymore.

It’s up to us to do what we can to care for the environment. There are plenty of ways to be green and make choices that help our planet, and you don’t have to be a grown-up to make eco-friendly choices!

It’s important to conserve the Earth’s natural resources, like water, so people living decades after us can still enjoy living on our amazing planet.

We love learning about Litter & Waste, Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship. It is empowering to implement changes in our school and homes that can help us to help the Earth.


What is Green-Schools?

Most young people care deeply about environmental issues, and wish to make a positive change to the environment around them. The Green-Schools programme provides an ideal way for fostering environmental awareness in the entire school in a way that links to many curriculum subjects.

The programme is based on the EU EMAS (Eco-Management and Auditing System) approach, and encompasses four principle aspects: Green-Schools is an international environmental education programme, offering a well-defined, controllable way for schools to take environmental issues from the curriculum and apply them to the day-to-day running of their school.

The Green-Schools programme is run by FEE (Foundation for Environmental Education), and is known internationally as “Eco-Schools”. Green-Schools are now represented in over 53 countries from all over the world.

Green-Schools is holistic. It aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and ethos of a school. This should include the students, teachers, non-teaching staff and parents, as well as the local authority, the media and local business.

Green-Schools endeavours to extend learning beyond the classroom and develop responsible attitudes and commitment, both at home and in the wider community.

Green-Schools is a long-term programme. It it important to remember that the programme is one of continual reduction of the schools’ environmental impact.


Green School Themes:

Green-Schools’ themes cover a number of different themes, beginning with Litter and Waste minimisation and followed by the themes of Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship.


Sequence of Themes:

Litter and Waste - Examines the impact of litter and waste on the environment and explores practical means for reducing and minimising the amount of litter and waste produced by the school.

Energy - Suggests ways in which all members of the school can work together to increase awareness of energy issues and to improve energy efficiency within the school.

Water - Provides an introduction to the importance of water both locally and globally and raises awareness of how simple actions can substantially cut down water use.

Travel - Suggests ways for pupils, staff and local government to work together to raise awareness of transport issues and come up with practical solutions that will make a real difference to pupils’ everyday lives.

Biodiversity - Examines the flora and fauna present in the school environment and suggests ways to increase the levels of biodiversity around the school and raises the pupils awareness of biodiversity and nature.

Global Citizenship - Examines what our rights and responsibilities are on a National, European and Global scale and encourages staff, students and parents to look at the impacts our consumptions habits have on other parts of the world.


Benefits and requirements of the ‘Green-Schools’ Programme:

The Green-Schools Programme offers opportunities to:

  • Help develop children’s decision-making skills
  • Build students’ confidence and sense of citizenship through participation
  • Supply curriculum materials and ideas for projects and events
  • Gain access to a network of support agencies
  • Link with other schools in Ireland and internationally
  • Provide local and national publicity
  • Save money
  • Reduce waste and litter
  • Improve the school environment
  • Reduce energy and water consumption levels
  • Tackle and improve transport issues around the school community
  • Involve the local community.

As part of our pledge to encourage a circular economy and help the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling fifth and sixth class run an annual Christmas Jumper Swap, Halloween Costume Swap and end of year School Uniform Swap. 

We decided to run the swaps when the children in 5th and 6th class did some research and discovered that

- Only 4% of textiles get recycled in Ireland

- 83% of costumes are made of plastic fibres,emitting so much CO2 in their making we'd have to plant 31,000 trees to absorb it.

- In Ireland we throw away roughly 700,000 costumes a year - that is 200 tonnes of textile waste!

Our swap days aim to save people money, slow down fast fashion and make preloved clothes and costumes the norm rather than the exception. 

We also encourage creativity, recycling and upcycling for our annual Mad Hatter Day parade. We create Easter bonnets using a wide variety of materials. Click on the video below to see our creativity in action!

In 2022 we invested in a beautiful biodiversity trail. As you walk around our school yard and garden see how many signs you can find! 

In 2024 we revamped our garden area and built a beautiful shelter. Now we can stay in the garden regardless of the weather! 


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