Category Archives: Recycling

Wicklow County Council’s Competition – Christmas Decorations from Recycled Materials 2017

For as long as we can remember, every year at this time,

students make Christmas decorations

for the Wicklow County Council competition.

It is an annual event, that is much anticipated and greatly enjoyed.

The decorations are made from recycled materials.

All entries are on displayed in the hall.

Two entries go on to the Wicklow County Council competition.

These Christmas decorations made from recycled materials

are all so different and show great creativity and ingenuity.

The children had great fun making them.

Well done to all involved and many thanks to Ms.McNally

who co-ordinated the competition.

Wicklow County Council organizes

this annual Christmas Decorations Competition,

challenging the children to make Christmas Tree Decorations

out of recycled materials such as paper, cardboard, newspapers,

plastic & glass bottles, tin cans, milk and juice cartons, etc.

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Green School Notice – Repak Programme – Lesson Plans and Activities

Bag Decay MTSOfan via Compfight

Green School Notice

  • Repak have sent us a new programme which includes lesson plans and activities related to recycling.
  • The programme is divided into class groupings i.e. 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
  • Resources including short videos for the programme can be found at
  • Ms.Ryan will send around the pack next week to appropriate class groups.
  • The programme can be easily integrated with the curriculum and would make a nice 20/30 minute lesson.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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#GlobalCitizenship – Did you know electronic waste is exported from 1st world to 3rd world countries?

Millions of electronic goods:

mobile phones,

laptops, tablets,


digital cameras

and other electronic devices

from old fridges to electric toothbrushes

are being dumped illegally in developing countries.

Why does this happen?

In the 1990s, governments in the 1st world set up ways of ‘recycling electronic waste ‘ Many countries did not cope well with the large amount of e-waste they generated or with the hazards that were caused.

1st world countries began exporting the problem to developing countries where laws to protect workers and the environment are not as strong as in the 1st world.

These electronic goods made up of hundreds of different materials and containing toxic or poisonous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and flame retardants.

Once in landfill, these toxic materials seep out into the environment, contaminating land, water and the air.

Devices are often dismantled and taken apart in primitive conditions. Those who work at these sites suffer frequent ill health.

Although it is legal to export discarded goods to poor countries if they can be reused or recycled, much is being sent to Africa or Asia under false pretences. Much is falsely classified as ‘second hand’ or ‘used’ good but really these are broken and beyond repair.

What do you think about this?

How can this be improved?

How can YOU help?


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Happy Christmas with Recycled Materials

For as long as we can remember, every year at this time, students make Christmas decorations for the Wicklow County Council competition. It is an annual event, that is much anticipated and greatly enjoyed. The decorations are made from recycled materials. All entries are on display in the hall, except for one which has gone on to Wicklow County Council. These Christmas decorations made from recycled materials are all so different and show great creativity and ingenuity. The children had great fun making them. Well done to all involved and many thanks to Ms.McNally who co-ordinated the competition.

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A collection of photos from our journey towards earning our Green Flag for Biodiversity.

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Making Christmas Decorations from Recycled Materials


We are getting ready to enter 
Wicklow County Council's Annual Competition, 
to make Christmas decorations from Recycled Materials. 

It is fun collecting the things that we will use 
and thinking of ideas of how to turn junk into Christmas decorations.

We made this decoration out of jam tart cases made out of aluminium, 
old shoe laces, and cellophane that had been wrapped around flowers

We think that our finished decoration looks very Chrismassy.

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Celebrating ‘Less Waste Day’ – the Belgian story

Dear Irish green friends,

Last week was our ‘Zero Garbage Day’ ! Here are some pictures of what we did :

  • We talked about what happens to our garbage and how we can prevent it at school.
  • We put up posters on how to prevent waste/garbage.
  • We showed the trailer of ‘Midway’, a film by Chris Jordan. That made a lot of emotional impact, because we could see what garbage in the water can do to animals.
  • We made a power point presentation about your school St. Brigids and what you did on your ‘Eat local’ day.
  • We danced to our theme song ‘We doen het zelf wel/we’ll do it ourselves’. The lyrics tell us that we can do something about the problem ourselves.
  • Bizzy, our eco-mascot visited our little ones. He brought the garbage-teacher along = one of the teachers is wrapped in tape (the adhesive side on the outside). Bizzy told the toddlers to stick all the garbage they found in the playground onto this garbage-lady. He told everybody that he was really pleased when all garbage was in the bin and he asked what the toddlers can do to prevent a lot of garbage (no plastic or silver paper in the lunchbox, no cans and brigs but a drink bottle instead, no paper around cookies but the cookies in a little box, etc.) We already do this in our school, but every year we repeat the same things just to keep focused.
  • We sent a flyer home to the parents reminding them about tin foil, cans, plastic, etc.

During the next weeks we will draw attention again on how to avoid garbage and finding more sustainable solutions.

Best regards,

Joëlle Erkens

Gemeentelijke Basisschool Overijse

Please note: The green team are having a few technical problems!! Photographs to follow.

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Celebrating ‘Less Waste’ Day – the Irish story.

We had great fun celebrating our ‘less waste’ day. Reducing waste has been an ongoing theme in Saint Brigid’s for the last number of years.

We covered the following topics on what we do in the school to reduce waste:

  1. Green lunches (reusable lunch boxes and drinks bottles).
  2. Recycle Michael and Green Eileen.
  3. Green bins – we recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, stamps, batteries and mobile phones.
  4. We discussed how the library helps us to recycle books because we use a rental scheme. Students can also donate old or used books to the library.
  5. We recycle uniforms as older brothers and sisters pass them down to their younger siblings. We also have a second hand uniform sale at the end of the year.
  6. Our ‘lost & found’ bin is sent to the charity shop to be recycled if no one claims the clothes after a certain amount of time.
  7. We have Litter wardens and Recycle wardens to remind everyone to reduce, reuse and recycle.
  8. The school sends texts and emails to parents rather than sending out letters. Thus reducing the amount of paper we use.
  9. The office and teachers always try to use both sides of the paper when they need to print work out to cut down on the amount of paper used.
  10. Our Green schools blog informs all staff, students and parents of our green work without having to print out newsletters. Not only does this save paper but it means less photocopying.
  11. We talked about how to make things out of recycled materials. Emma made a robot from cardboard boxes. We made recycled bird feeders and insect homes from cartons and plastic bottles. Zac and his Dad made an insect home from an old press.
  12. The school is having a ‘Recycled Christmas Decorations’ competition in December.
  13. We also discussed how much wrapping paper is thrown away every year so we thought wrapping up a shoe box and reusing it every year would be a good idea.
  14. We are having a ‘Bikes for Africa’ Day where we will recycle our old and unused bikes and send them to children in Africa.
  15. We discussed how litter can affect wildlife and why we should be careful when disposing of waste.
  16. Our local pharmacist gave a talk to the senior classes on medication and how to dispose of it properly. He told us that medicines can get into the environment and affect the wildlife.
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Award winning Animation made from recyclable material

‘Bog Standard’, a short environmental animation from the Pure Wicked
Training Programme, won Best Film in the Under 18’s Category at the
Blackrock Animation Film Festival on Saturday night (12th October).

Bog Standard tells the story of business man Shady Tony and his
unfortunate awaking of an angry ancient bog body when Shady and his crew
are breaking ground for a new landfill site.  Unhappy with the intrusion
on his ancient slumber Bog Man takes matters into his own hands and
wreaks havoc and revenge.

Not only does the short film Bog Standard focus on important
environmental issues, the characters and landscapes that feature in the
animation were all created from recycled materials, from plasticine,
cardboard, plastic, tinfoil, fabric, old sandpaper, bin bags and lots of
other recycled material.

To view  ‘Bog Standard’, and other Pure Animations logo on to;

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How to make a Ladybird Home from Recyclable materials!

The weather is getting cooler and it’s time for some of the wildlife to find sheltered accommodation. So the Green Schools Committee decided to make a Ladybird home for all the ladybirds that invaded Wicklow to hibernate in. It’s Repak Recycling week so we thought that it would be a good idea to make our Ladybird home from recyclable materials.

All you need is:

  • A clean plastic bottle (we used a 2L soda bottle).
  • Some corrugated cardboard (We used a cardboard box and removed the white paper to expose the corrugated cardboard underneath)
  • A few twigs
  • Ladybird decorations (optional)
  1. Cut the bottom off the plastic bottle using a scissors. Leave the cap on the bottle.
  2. Roll up the cardboard and place in the bottle.
  3. Place the twigs in the bottle.
  4. Decorate the outside of the bottle with ladybirds stickers or drawings.
  5. Place in a sheltered area with the open end slanted downwards so the rain doesn’t get into it.
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The story of Peanut the Turtle (or how litter affects our wildlife).

Peanut’s Story

This is Peanut the turtle. She is called Peanut because of the shape her shell grew into after she got caught in a plastic ring.

When she was a small turtle, she got the ring stuck on her shell. She couldn’t get it off, and over time, the majority of her shell grew, but the area around the ring could not grow. Peanut’s shell protected her body so she survived but some of her organs don’t function properly.

She was found in 1993 in Missouri and taken to a zoo in St. Louis where the six-pack ring was removed. Today she is in the care of the Missouri Department of Conservation, and is doing well.

Peanut’s story reminds us to dispose of our litter carefully so that we can protect our wildlife and our environment.

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Our New Green School Wardens!












Our new Wardens look after the following areas in our school:

  • Compost – Adam and Nadine check that the compost bins contain no litter and empty the class compost bins into the big compost.
  • Litter  – Zac and Ed help ensure that the school grounds are free from litter and show students where to put their waste.
  • Water – Sive and Jack remind all the classes to turn off the taps and not to waste water.
  • Energy – Erin-Jade and Julia’s job is to get everyone to turn off lights or electrical equipment when they are finished with them.
  • Travel – walk or cycle to school every day which is why they are our travel wardens.
  • Garden -Rita, Keelin, Rory and Jack are our green fingered wardens. They look after the garden, pulling up weeds and watering it.
  • BirdsHannah, Aobha and Heather make sure the bird feeders are full and that the bird tables are clear of stones.
  • Recycling – Alex and Daire remind everyone to recycle plastic, paper and cans.
  • Insects – Emma and Abi check the Insect homes and let us know what they find.
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Big savings from all the Green Schools!



Here is the latest news from An Taisce  on how Green schools all over Ireland have made a difference through conserving waste, energy, water & travel.

Congratulations to all the schools that have helped make Ireland a greener place. Well done!


2012-2013 School Year Results for Green-Schools: 

·         Total Reduction of waste to landfill – 11,023 tonnes
·         Average reduction of waste to landfill – 45%
·         Per capita per year reduction – 18.5kg

Energy (Electricity) 
·         Total Reduction of electricity consumption – 23,571,551 units (kWh)
·         Average reduction in electricity consumption -17%
·         Per capita per year reduction – 52.58 units (kWh)

Energy (Gas)
·         Total Reduction of gas consumption – 3,908,000 units (kWh)
·         Average reduction in electricity consumption -13.4%
·         Per capita per year reduction – 87.2 units (kWh)

Energy (Oil)
·         Total Reduction of Oil consumption – 1,599,437 litres
·         Average reduction in Oil consumption -1.6%
·         Per capita per year reduction – 3.96 litres

·         Total Reduction of water consumption – 292,191,000 litres
·         Average reduction in water consumption – 38%
·         Per capita per year reduction – 1163.11 litres

·         18,000 less students coming to school by car per day
·         Extra 9,575 students walking instead of being driven to school per day
·         966,500 litres of fuel saved.

Well done to all of those schools who worked so hard on their Green-Schools programme and achieved these great results. Big savings like this are because of small changes you have made around your school: every light you’ve switched off, every can you’ve recycled and every kilometre you walked have really made a difference!

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Hello to our Belgian friends!

Students from a class in Overijse in Belgium saw our Green Schools blog and sent this super work to show us the differences between our environments and what both groups in Greystones and Overijse do to try and stay green.

To see their great work check out the Green Schools noticeboard.

A big thank you or ‘Dank U’ to the whole class and particularly to their teacher Sofie for sending over their drawings.

We hope to do more work with you in the near future.


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Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!














WEEE Ireland is holding a free Recycling event in Greystones on Saturday 14th September from 10am till 4pm at Tesco car park.

These events allow households to get rid of any electrical or battery operated equipment in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

All e-waste can be recycled at this event including batteries or anything with a plug or battery.

For more details go to

Stay green!

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Make your lunch green!













As part of our Green Schools programme we want to reduce litter and waste at our school. So don’t  forget to

  • Use reusable lunch boxes and drinks bottles.
  • Put any fruit skins, cores, etc in the compost bins
  • Recycle any plastic bottles, cans, cardboard or paper
  • Clean up any litter in the yard
  • Take home any rubbish

Enjoy your lunch! 

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Theme of Recycling: Resources: Adventures of a Cardboard Box

Even though we are working on our Biodiversity Flag,

that doesn’t mean that we forget about the other themes.

The first flag we got was about Litter and Waste.

We learned a lot about recycling at that time

and since.


Here are two videos on Vimeo

about recycling that I think you will enjoy.

Both videos are about recycling cardboard boxes.

Cardboard Box
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Douglas Porter via Compfight

Both feature boys of eight or nine years of age.

The first one, is fictional

and the second one really happened.

Which is your favourite?

The Adventure of A Cardboard Box

How many ways does the hero in this video

use the box?

The 2nd video is about this boy.

His name is Caine.
Caine's Arcade at the Exploratorium
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Exploratorium via Compfight

Caine’s Arcade

Did you ever make anything out of a cardboard box?

If you want to know what happened next, take a look at
Caine’s Arcade 2

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ECO-UNESCO People’s Choice Award for 4th Class, Room 11 – Improving the Environment

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee via Compfight

At an event organised by ECO-UNESCO

showcasing top projects about improving the environment,

Miss O’Malley’s 4th class Room 11 has won

The People’s Choice Award.


After being selected from almost 4,000 young people

at the regional finals in March,

70 groups presented their projects

in the Mansion House in Dublin

at a  special ceremony attended by

the President, Michael D. Higgins.


Here is a link to 4th Class Room 11’s prizewinning project.

Well done Ms O Malley's class


Congratulations and Well Done!

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