This year saw a continued passion about making our school more sustainable and helping us become more aware of green issues. As always, the pupils are the driving force behind the Committee which meets on a weekly basis to discuss new ideas and plan activities aimed at increasing environmental awareness.
The initiative this year was to try and reduce plastic bottle use in school. A re-usable water bottle was designed and sold to reduce the amount of single-use water bottles being bought in vending machines. This product was influenced by recent documentaries about the impact of plastic in our oceans which highlighted the problem with seabirds that mistake floating pieces of plastic for food. The plastic remains in their stomach and eventually kills them. The ECO Committee acknowledged this and were in a great position to make a difference. Two beach cleans were organised in Murlough National Nature Reserve and Helen’s Bay in order to reduce the amount of litter on our beaches in the ocean. These fun and sociable events had pupils and family members exploring the nature on our doorstep while making a positive step towards creating a safer environment for wildlife and ourselves.
We still continue to look for ways to develop the school grounds and our community. A plan currently being discussed, in collaboration with school council, is the implementation of a bicycle rack to promote cycling to school and reducing our carbon footprint. In addition, the school assisted Barnardo’s Northern Ireland in the ‘Big Spring Clean’ which involved pupils collecting litter around Lisburn town centre.
Next year, the Committee will make a new application to renew the School’s Green Flag status. As always, we welcome new members with fresh ideas and enthusiasm.