St. Patrick's N.S. in Slane, County Meath has over 200 students and 11 teachers. As part of their energy programme each class has a monitor to make sure doors are kept closed, lights and heaters are turned off when not required.
The students compared electricity bills before and after implementation of the Green-Schools programme. The schools electricity bill for the year 2003/04 was €1,931.82, whereas for the year 2004/05, it was €1,662.83. That is a saving of €268.99. This reduction was attributed to new doors that were purchased in the school in addition to the many low cost and no cost measures being implemented to save energy.
Action day - Energy Free Day
No electricity or heat was turned on. All classes studied the effects of having no energy and how to cope. All children were dressed in green. Children walked to school where possible and where this was not possible parents were encouraged to car pool. All pupils took part in a clean-up of the school grounds and areas in the local village. Some pupils visited Navan Credit Union's Energy efficient building and Dundalk IT’s wind turbine.
Energy experiments (e.g. self-inflating balloon experiment, volcano experiment, the hand whisk V. electric whisk experiment) and the Dalgan Park project were displayed in the school hall. Parents were invited to the school along with local media.
The Energy Awareness Board has visited the school to talk with the children about energy conservation. Mr. Larry Staudt from Dundalk IT has also visited the school to work with the children on Energy.
All pupils took part in the Dalgan Park project called ‘Just for the record'. For this environmental project, the pupils created an accurate 'site map' of the school and all other classes from 1st to 6th recorded the weather in a log book:
1st class recorded rainfall
2nd class recorded wind speed
3rd class recorded wind direction
4th class recorded temperature
5th class recorded sound levels
6th class studied school grounds and created an environmental site map.
All classes collect stamps, ringos and batteries from home. All parents were sent a letter from the ‘Green Team’ informing them that children should use lunch boxes, reusable drinks containers and keep packaging to a minimum.
All classes have a patch in the vegetable garden and the whole class goes out and plants a particular vegetable in March. All classes take' Jungle Juice' from wormery to feed classroom plants.
The school has a very good relationship with the local media. On their Green Day in 2005 LMFM called to the school and reported their activities live on air. They receive regular coverage for their environmental activities in the Meath Chronicle and The Drogheda Independent.
School projects that only involve a few children are frowned upon. Every child in the school is fully involved in Green-Schools - every child has a turn picking up litter, every child participates in planting in the vegetable garden, every child participates in the action days, every teacher teaches about energy so every child learns about it.
Through local media the school has become renowned for their activities. So much so that St. Patrick’s N.S. often gets phone calls from other schools on how to set up a Green-Schools programme correctly..