Scoil Éinne is a 5 teacher, 83 students school located in Cloughanover, Headford Co. Galway. The Green Schools committee comprises of 1 teacher (Miss Walsh) and 14 pupils, with roughly 2 pupils from each class from 1st to 6th class.
Pupils interested in being on the Green Schools committee were randomly selected from each class. The committee meet on a weekly basis. The environmental coordinator sets the agendas for the meetings, and a 6th class pupil writes the minutes of the meetings. Arising from these meetings the committee members relay any new information to all teachers and pupils.
For the environmental review the committee took water meter readings on a daily basis for a week. The committee took a water meter reading in the morning before anybody entered the school, and another reading after the last person had left the school in the evening. By subtracting the water meter reading in the morning from the water reading in the evening the committee were able to calculate the amount of water used that day. The school was using an average of 980 litres a day before water conservation actions were put in place. The committee investigated if there was water leak in the school. They did this by making sure all water appliances were turned off at the end of a school day, they then took a water meter reading and another water meter reading was taken in the morning before anybody entered the school. There was no difference between the water reading in the evening and the water reading in the morning so the committee could conclude there were no water leaks in the school.
From the environmental review it was decided to reduce the amount of water used in the school by at least 10% in 6 months, and to prevent water pollution. The following actions were put in place:
Pupils were educated in class about water conservation. Classes participated in slogan and poster competition on water conservation, and the older classes completed projects on Lough Corrib. Information on water conservation was displayed on the Green-Schools newsletter and noticeboard.
A Green Schools committee water squad was appointed to check for running taps and leaking taps or toilets and to report findings to appropriate class.
“Turn off tap” notices were placed alongside all taps
500ml bottles and hippo bags were placed in toilet cisterns in order to reduce the volume of water used in each flush
Basins were used when washing object at sinks
Rainwater butt was installed to water plants
Eco-friendly cleaning products were bought and used
As part of the school’s Water Action week pupils participated in different activities to promote the conservation of water: visit to local water treatment plant, presentation from Carra Mask Corrib Water Protection Group, interview with an older member of the community about uses of water in the past, and water experiments performed by the Green Schools Committee for the other pupils.
After the water conservation measures above were implemented the Green Schools committee took daily water meter readings. The school reduced their water consumption from 980 litres a day in December to an average of 510 litres a day in April a decrease of 48% in the school’s water consumption in 4 months. The school far exceeded its target goal of reducing its water consumption by 10% in 6 months. Pupils from Scoil Éinne also reduce waste and energy consumption by recycling and composting, and turning off taps, lights & equipment when not in use. Scoil Éinne promote biodiversity in their school garden by planting daffodil bulbs, wildflower seeds, fruit & vegetables and this year they assembled an outdoor classroom, and bird tables and bird boxes.