By Kieran O’Mahony
FROM learning about minimising the use of plastics to monitoring the use of energy, the eco-friendly students of Timoleague National School immersed themselves in all aspects of protecting the environment during the recent Climate Action Week.
This is the second time the school has celebrated the week of action and, according to school principal Norma Harte, it has been a very positive experience for both students and staff.
‘Every class and child in the school has been involved and it has really opened up the conversation of climate changes throughout the school and local community,’ she told The Southern Star.
‘The Green Schools committee visited every classroom and informed them about the week and we publicised all our plans on the school’s social media accounts as well as the weekly newsletter to create awareness. They also reminded each classroom to maintain their high standards in the area of litter waste and energy.’
As part of the special week, 14 new energy monitors were appointed with two per classroom and all classes had a marine science workshop. While examining whale and dolphin bones, they discussed how pollution affects these creatures who are often found swimming not too far from their own homes.
‘Every family in the school received a WEEE Ireland battery recycling box and are encouraged to deliver some to neighbours and other family members as we are participating in the WEEE Schools Pledge Recycling Challenge, which not only helps protect the environment, but also support Laura Lynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice,’ explained Norma.
Olive Finn of Twig Refill in Clonakilty also spoke to students in the senior classes about minimising the use of plastics and wasteful packaging, while 6th class carried out the Coastwatch Survey and monitored water at low tide. They also carried out nitrate water tests, with the data later uploaded to the Coastwatch website.
‘We are also working on our 4th Green Schools theme of travel and the pupils finished Cycle Right – a cyclist road safety training programme – during the week.
‘Also 3rd and 4th class finished their upcycling project where they used scrap pieces of fabric, an unused shower curtain and old buttons to create a re-usable sandwich/ snack bag,’ added Norma.
Senior pupils also got a guided tour of the Timoleague pump station and the Courtmacsherry wastewater treatment plant, where the engineers answered all their many and varied questions.