The Greenschools Committee for 2017-2018 have been busy getting started on their years work. This year sees the Committee begin the Greenschools Theme of Biodiversity. The Committee have conducted a Biodiversity Awareness Surveys among students and staff in order to gather information of the level of awareness that exists in the school on the theme. The Committee will begin to compile a Habitat Map in the coming months with a view to creating a plan for a Biodiverse Habitat on the school grounds and seeing it through to realisation.
Local Master Bee Keeper and Honey Judge Mr. Paul Boyle came to speak to the Greenschools Committee about the role of bees in increasing Biodiversity. The Committee are currently working towards ACS fifth Green Flag, a flag for Biodiversity.
As part of the Biodiversity theme, some students along with their teachers visited the Botanic Gardens in Dublin to take part in workshops on biodiiversity.
Green Schools was founded in Ardee Community School in 2009 by MS. Marcella Greenan. It is made up of a committee of students from all year groups and teachers from Ardee Community School.
Green Schools is vital to the running of Ardee Community School as it helps to reduce bills for electricity, gas and recycling. The organisation also encourages students to be ‘’litter aware’’ and mindful of carbon footprint that cars and vehicles leave in our atmosphere. We do this by encouraging student to walk or cycle to school with our ‘’Walk On Wednesday’’ days at various times during term time.
To this date we have been awarded flags for litter and waste, energy, water and travel which we are very proud of. Our aim for next year is to work on an application for the Biodiversity flag which is the fifth Green Schools theme and looks at steps which can be taken to increase awareness of the importance of native plants, animals and habitats, and to increase species-richness in a locality.
Green School welcomes all new members from 1st year upwards. It is an excellent extra-curricular activity for student to participate in.
Green Schools 2nd Green Flag Awarded
Heartmost Congratulations to the hardworking Green Schools Committee on being awarded their 2nd Green Schools Flag for energy awareness. They contributed to a 23% reduction in consumption of heating gas in 2010.
On Wednesday, 5th October 2011, Ardee Community School received its second green flag for energy awareness. It was raised by radio presenter and environmentalist, Eanna Ni Lamhna who is a native of nearby Stabannon.The ceremony began with speeches in the Dalton room. Principal Ms. Mary Jackson welcomed Ms. Ni Lamhna, staff, students, the green schools' committee, the student council, art students, local councillors, primary school principals, Louth county council representatives.
Ms. Mary Jackson welcomed everyone and commended Ms.Marcella Greenan, Green Schools' co-ordinator and her hard workin gcommittee for all their hard-work. Ms. Greenan explained how the students carried out an action plan and succeeded in promoting energy awareness among staff and students, Katie Beirne, representing the committee talked about the 'last out, lights out' campaign. A poster competition was held and the first prize winner, Patrick Gallagher received his prize from Ms. Ni Lamhna. The broadcaster spoke about the pride she felt in coming to ACS on this special occasion. She considered the whole area of green schools' as another ' layer ofeducation'.
She also commended the students and appreciated the voluntary effort which is required in secondary schools to promote the green schools issue. Ms. Ni Lamhna raised the flag outside the school in front of a large audience of students and staff. It was a proud day for the school but most specifically all the students who work hard every day to protect the school environment.
GREENSCHOOLS DAY OF ACTION 2009 – 2010.
Energy meeting with Farrell Office, Ardee
For the day of action the committee decided to visit a local furniture manufacturer to share energy saving ideas and inform them of what the committee are doing in the school. They also teamed up with the business to produce a leaflet for the school and community.
In November and December 2009 the committee set about planning their day of action with a local business. Farrell Office was decided upon as a local business with whom we would work. Farrell Office is an industry manufacturing office furniture and it has been running in Ardee for 49 years, and there are currently about 50 employees. Farrell Office is committed to keeping their impact on the environment to a minimum; they have an Energy Management System in operation, and were keen to become involved in an energy imitative with our school.
After much planning the committee made a visit to Farrell Office on Friday 11 December 2009. The agenda of the meeting was as follows:
ARDEE COMMUNITY SCHOOL VISIT TO FARRELLS FURNITURE
11 December 2009
Students (Lorrin, Emma, and Hannah) inform of how the Greenschools energy committee began this year, and how they conducted the energy audit.
Ms. Greenan will inform of the SEI Energy Audit & mentoring conducted during the summer in A.C.S
Students (John and Calvin) will discuss the action plan that was devised, action that is currently in progressand future plans for action.
Students (Kevin and Brendan) will inform of their monitoring of gas and electricity usage.
Barcharts and evaluation of energy usage will be discussed by Darragh
Summary of results to-date and our aim.
Students will answer any questions which have arisen.
Farrells Furniture representative will discuss the energy management strategies in place in their factory.
Any questions that students may have about Farrells.
Recommendations from ACS students for Farrells
Recommendations from Farrells for Ardee Community School
How can we improve community awareness of energy saving possibilities?
Tour of site/factory
The committee members met Colm Young (staff member responsible for energy management), Mr Brendan Farrell, and Mr. Paul Farrell.
The committee, who had brought their prepared information, outlined in detail their energy audit, their action plan, the process of monitoring energy consumption, their results to date, and future action planned. Mr. Young commended the committee on the work and their flawless presentation of the details. He felt that the awareness campaign that the students had outlined was excellent and he pointed out that the bar charts which displayed the progress were very clear and informative. He was indeed surprised to see the level and detail of monitoring and evaluation that had taken place in the school. Mr B. Farrell told the committee that he had attended Ardee Community School for his second level education and that he was delighted to be working in cooperation with the committee on this energy saving initiative.. Mr. P. Farrell was also very impressed by the students work and expressed gratitude to the committee for their efforts to reduce their impact on the environment.
At that point Mr Young gave the students a PowerPoint presentation of the Energy Management System which Farrell Office are conducting. He showed the students the environmental policy of the company …and explained that their Energy Management System of ISO is aimed at minimising their environmental impact. He informed the students that Farrell Office began this environmental structure approximately two years ago. He told the students of the policy that Farrell Office have in place, of targets that are set annually, and of continuous self-monitoring and evaluating of their progress. The students were told that the company had recently replaced three machines which were inefficient in energy, with one specially designed machine which was highly energy efficient. This new machine would use 22% less energy than the other three combined, would do a similar work load, and would emit 40 tonnes less of carbon each year. Mr. Young also showed the committee a number of bar charts on ESB online. The company use these bar charts to monitor their electricity usage. A chart for 2009 showed very low usage in August, with November being busier than September or October. He showed a chart which compared 2008 to 2009 usage. In 2008 usage was much greater than 2009, mainly due to the economic circumstances of 2009. A chart showing any 24hour period can also be accessed on the ESB online facility. This chart showed the increase in usage from 7am to 3pm. Usage decreased greatly after 3pm as this is when most of the factory floor machinery is switched off. The students realised the extent of the energy used by the machines in comparison to the office appliances which continued to be used until 5pm.
Mr Young explained that a tariff arrangement with ESB also encourages the company to use less energy, as after 520kva (MIC, Maximum Import Capacity) have been use the price of electricity increases greatly. The committee then made some suggestions as to how Farrell could reduce their energy further, and Mr Young also made suggestions which the committee took note of.
The committee then participated in a tour of the factory. They were shown the area where waste wood is burned and used to heat the factory, this means that the waste product is used as a fuel instead of burning oil/gas. Mr Young pointed out the machines and discussed their efficiency with the students.
Following the tour it was decided that Farrell Furniture and the Greenschools Committee should pass on some of their energy saving tips to the community of Ardee. The Greenschools Committee compiled a leaflet with the local printers. The leaflet is printed on back and front. It includes a list of energy saving tips for home owners in Ardee, and also a list of what is being done in Ardee Community School, and in the local Farrell Office factory to save energy. It is headed with the sentence ‘Save Energy, Save the Environment….Save Money’ . The students felt that this was a very suitable and attractive title for their leaflet as due to the economic recession at the moment many people in the town are trying to save money and they could do this by saving energy and in turn saving the environment. In consultation with the Principal a leaflet was distributed to the home of each of the 600 students along with items being posted to parents at Christmas time. The committee also decided to spread the message to the people of Ardee town. They decided that the best way to do this was to go around the town speaking to business people in their place of work, and to speak to local people in the town. This meant that the committee spent an afternoon in the towns busiest areas. Students working in pairs approached business owners. They gave each a leaflet which they discussed, and asked the business people to try to use less energy when possible. They also spoke to local people who were very interested to hear of the steps that the committee are taking in the local Community School to save energy, and the students urged them to do the same in their homes using the tips from the leaflet.
The Green-Schools Teams returned after Christmas break and resumed their activities as they have been doing in A.C.S since September.
The school are hoping to achieve Green Flag status and have cited their main aims as being
1. the reduction of waste in the school
2. the increase of recycling in the school.
Since Christmas the Teams have been particularly aiming to improve the waste segregation in the school canteen, have begun a phone recycling drive, and have been working on the schools application for the Green-Flag.
New wheelie bins have been placed in the canteen in order to segregate the waste there and in particular food waste. Food can then be composted by our waste service provider. Progress is ongoing on this aspect of our work.
At present approximately 100 unwanted mobile phones have been collected in the school. Students have been using the specially provided envelopes and dropping their phones off in the collection box in the office. Ink and toner cartridges are also being collected. All items collected are going to The Jack and Jill Foundation, so well done to all those who are contributing to what is a worthy effort in many aspects.
The committee look forward to raffling a DVD player when our total of collected phones has reached 200.
Monitoring and evaluation of litter and waste has been ongoing, and credit is due to the students involved in the Action Teams for their work in these areas.
ARE WE RECYCLING MORE??? IS THERE LESS WASTE IN THE SCHOOL??