Cloonliffen’s Green Flags
Cloonliffen started to ‘go green’ many years ago in 2006 when we got our Wormery – the first school in Co. Mayo to do so and we started to feed the worms of left-over pieces of fruit and vegetables. This encouraged the children to eat more fruit and vegetables and we started to apply for our first Green Flag.
We immediately set about managing Litter and Waste. We had an action day with a lady from An Taisce, Sharon Cummins and she taught us to empty the 4 bins onto the basketball court and we sorted through everything and realized that our litter and waste should be segregated into Recyclable, Compostable and General Waste.
We bought a compost bin and started to fill it with more fruit peels – so many banana skins! And withering leaves.
Whereas it wasn’t in the first year, but by year 2, we were making enough compost for the flower beds, the hanging baskets and the window boxes.
Each year we planted flowers in these window baskets, hanging baskets and we had enough compost from the Wormery to plant spider plants, cacti, acorns, conkers and other seeds.
After year 3 we started to plant Oak trees and Horse Chestnut Trees in the school garden and especially on ‘The Hill’.
Our next project was to reduce the amount of waste bins needed in the school. We did this over time and got down from 4 bins to just 2 – saving the school money as well as saving The Earth!
Flag 2 was Energy Flag… for this flag we measured all the bills used in the school – electricity and oil.
We put up signs ‘Turn out the light before the bill takes flight’… ‘Does this light NEED to be on?’
We got teachers to turn off lights and computers during lunch time.
We reduced the electricity bills.
Flag 3 was The Water Flag
We measured how often we flushed the toilets. We put a 500ml bottle filled with sand in each toilet cistern and reduced the water use in the school.
We got a water butt for watering the window baskets and the hanging baskets.
4. Travel Flag
We got more and more people to cycle to school by getting a bicycle rack. We had competitions for the best cyclist. We had cycling lessons. We got parents to car pool. Lukasz Krzywon came to the schooland encouraged all the children to carpool and we made a map showing where everyone lives and how each family could ‘give a lift’ to neighbours.
Our 5th flag!!!!
We have been planting conkers and acorns for years and planting them on the hill and this year we planted them on the pitch. They will grow into OAK and HORSE CHESTNUT trees in years to come please God.
We made up a slogan for Biodiversity :
Bio D is the key,
to keep the World
cool for you and me!!!!
Next we sent out a survey to see if Students, Parents and Neighbours are following the ways of the first 4 flags and how much they know about the biodiversity of the area – can they name 3 animals, three minibeasts and 3 birds that live in Cloonliffen.
This survey was sent out again this year and there was a small difference
This year we are happy that only 2 people do NOT turn off the tap when they are brushing their teeth and only 3 couldn’t identify all of the birds, minibeasts and animals. 10 Parents now know what Biodiversity means. 13 Students say they do and 9 neighbours say they understand what Biodiversity means.
We got photographs of Santry Park’s Bug Hotel and we contacted Ballinrobe’s Men’s Shed. We learned from Santry how to make a Bug Hotel and we sent this information along with youtube videos to Tacú and The Men’s Shed. They made us a similar Bug Hotel and we have asked Mrs. Cahill NOT to control the weeds on the hill so bugs can multiply and make compost for us, pollinate the flowers and plants.
Max made a Biodiversity Map for the school to show all the school community where biodiversity is happening e.g. the frogs in the pond, the compost bin, the wormery, the bog area that has insects. The garden where there is a wasp nest.