Is your cupboard flowing?
For this challenge we invited Tom Roche from Just Trees to speak to 1st year and T.Y classes in the school about the importance of the conservation of wood. He spoke to us about the importance trees play in our everyday life. Just trees work with people to create a just and sustainable world. We learned some shocking facts such as “an area of rainforest the size of Croke Park is cut down every second” this really shocked us. We hadn't realised our everyday actions could have this much effect in another side of the world.
He also had set up various stations with different items made out of recycled wood such
as African musical instruments and the world’s first ‘Fairtrade Guitar’.
He finally told us the work of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) through a role play exercise where one of us was a bad forester and the other a good forester who followed FSC guidelines. This really educates us on what we can do by buying FSC products such as paper, toilet roll, kitchen roll and tissues. While the price for paper is slightly more expensive what it can do for the world is priceless.
The fifth years in our school have done a YSI project which involved them changing all paper used in the school to recycled paper. Our principal had agreed with this. the school has been using recycled paper since last May. The supplier is Antalis and it costs only 78cent extra per box . There are 2,500 sheets in each box.
The school is now forming a policy about using recycled paper and FSC wood. They also presented this to all Kerry ETB principals as well as a local politician- Michael Healy Rae who plans on putting it forward to the Dáil.
We calculated the amount of water we will have saved by the end of April due to the school buying recycled paper. During a recent maths class we found out that the school uses 180,000 sheets of paper per year approx. We obtained these figures with help from the school secretary who orders the recycled paper for the school. We discovered that we will save a whopping 720,000,000 litres of water per year because we have switched to recycled paper!
What we will do is encourage our parents to purchase FSC products and to use recycled paper next time they shop.
The school is also part of the green school's programme and is presently applying for its third flag for water. There is a very strong emphasis in the school to recycle waste material where possible. We are in charge of litter and waste in the school. There are only recycling bins in the classrooms and we monitor them every week. Our recycling logo is placed above the recycling bins-athlaghdú, athúsáid,athchúrsáil. There is also a poster stating what items can be recycled beside the bins in classrooms. Other waste is placed in bins located in the corridors and hall.
This was a very enjoyable task as it really showed the real world effect our actions have.