Sixteen schools in Kilkenny have been awarded the Green Flag for the 2019/2020 academic year — the 23rd year of the Green-Schools programme in Ireland.
Despite 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. The Green-Schools staff who have been recently processing applications have been overwhelmed by the high standard and inspired by the positive actions taking place all over the country.
A week of celebrations took place virtually last week, with Green-Schools Officers, local authorities, sponsors, and communities commending the #GreenFlag2020 achievements made by schools nationwide.
Among them, two Kilkenny schools were awarded the Green flag for the first time under the Litter and Waste theme, three were awarded for Water, four were awarded for Travel, two were awarded for Biodiversity, three were awarded for Global Citizenship Litter and Waste, one was awarded for the Marine Environment, and one was awarded for Global Citizenship Travel.
During May, 750 schools nationwide were awarded the Green Flag for their work on the themes of Litter and Waste, Energy, Water, Travel, Biodiversity and Global Citizenship. Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter congratulated the schools.
“Well done to all the students and teachers all over the country who have worked so hard to achieve this award,” she said.
“Seeing the creativity and positivity of thousands of young people taking action to improve our environment is truly inspiring. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
In 2020 schools diverted 2,500 tonnes of waste from landfill, and saved an impressive 592 million litres of water, 4.4 million litres of heating oil and over 29 million units of electricity. 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 4,000 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.