Project Description

Colaiste Chu Chulainn is located on a ten acre site in Dundalk, Co. Louth. The school has approximately 63 Teachers and 700 students. They achieved their second flag for Energy in May 2022.  

Step 1: GS Committee

The committee is comprised of a range of students from 1st to 6th year, 3 teachers and a 6th year environmental ambassador who all meet weekly  

Step 2: Environmental Review

For their Environmental Review, Colaiste Chu Chulainn read the school meter and found out that the school uses gas as their energy source for heating. An appliance audit was carried out to ascertain which electrical appliances were consuming the most energy. A lighting audit followed to see if there was any inefficiencies followed by a standby survey to identify any energy wastage. The committee investigated renewable and non renewable energy sources in the school and researched energy supply in food production. The Energy Survey showed poor awareness among students and staff of energy sources and conservation starting out on the programme. After two years of working on the theme this rose to excellent  awareness and practice of energy conservation actions. 

Step 3. Action Plan 

Some of the actions carried out were: 

  • Switch It Off” Campaign: Create posters for classrooms: switch off lights, projectors, etc. 
  • Energy saving tips distributed throughout school. 
  • Energy Quiz to test awareness repeated later in year to assess improvement 
  • A suggestion box for ideas – i.e. ideas on a school Green Code. 
  • Management to remind staff of Green Code – Windows, doors, bins and floors at the end of the week over the intercom. 
  • Place guidelines for efficient and ethical photocopying in photocopier room. 
  • Develop ideas for Green Schools to be implemented in curriculum work of all subjects in schools for one class during a certain week 
  • Schedule when the two dish washer will be turned on in the staff room to avoid washing clean dishes twice. 
  • Fundraise for solar panels on roof. 
  • Visits and workshops from SEAI 

Step 4. Monitoring and Evaluation  

Progress is being monitored and evaluated by; 

  • Energy readings displayed on the Green Schools board. 
  • Switch it off campaign – intercom message announced to remind teachers to turn off their PCs and for staff and students to close windows and doors at the end of the day to save heat. (Windows, doors, bins and floors reminder to clean rooms and save energy). This was monitored as the electricity readings were read out over intercom stating what was saved or if nothing was saved. 
  • Photo copying costs were announced at a staff meeting to reduce the amount of printing. It was also advised to use E -books and scan work up to Microsoft Teams. 
  • Ongoing ‘Bin it’ campaign 

 Step 5. Curriculum Links 

Some curriculum links included: 

Science   Renewable and non- renewable sources or energy and energy consumption, ecology – waste management, sustainability, water and carbon cycle. Windmill excursion in DKIT, Graphing 

(Data & Measure) 

Numeracy during environmental review 

Creating and reading bar charts 

English  Literacy, Write ups, newsletters, quiz making, communication 
CSPE  Being a steward for the environment and working with the wider community including the Board of Management and An Taisce. 
Geography  Renewable and non- renewable sources of energy. Water cycle 
Home Economics  Reduce food waste 
Business  Incorporating reusable materials into mini- business product ideas. 
Politics & Society  Reviewing laws such as Eir Grid and the 1999 Electivity Act that are in place to encourage energy savings.(TYs) 

 Step 6. Informing & Involving 

 The whole student body is informed of electricity readings and reminder announcements to close windows, doors, bins and floors. This is the end of day routine reminder to save energy. There is also a reminder to turn off PCs at this point.  

  • Notices are posted on the notice board. Notices and updates are posted in the local news paper – The Dundalk Democrat. 
  • Information is also distributed at Board of Management meetings. The Board of Management donated litter pickers in 2020. 
  • The principal supplied the biology class with the County Council results of the tonnage in the local bottle banks in the town over the past three years. The TY Biology class reviewed this data and have it displayed in the biology classroom. 
  • Notices are also read out by teachers in period 1 from the weekly school bulletin which is posted every Monday. 

Day of Action:  

  • Low energy day! Turn off unnecessary lights, projectors, computer monitors and no photocopier day. Monitor the readings of the day and announce the results on the intercom. 
  • Green Schools Quiz and poster competition. Students peer correct the quiz with the answers that they were sent in the teachers Power Point. The top results of the class are emailed and prizes delivered. Using Power Points reduces our carbon footprint. Prizes include a Green-School certificate. 
  • Beach Clean in Blackrock.  

Step 7. Green Code

  • Windows, doors, bins and floors 

Close windows and doors at the end of the day to save heat. Empty bins and sweep the floors. 

  • See it. Bin it. 

This code relates to litter. If you see litter put it in the bin! 

  • Switch it off 

Switch off the PCs, especially when you are in the computer room.