Green-Schools are delighted to be announced as an Awardee of the Rethink Ireland Innovate Together Fund. Our latest theme, Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity is the tenth theme to be added to the Green-Schools programme.

The theme is proudly supported by the Rethink Ireland’s Innovate Together Fund, following Green-Schools being one of the 51 best projects shortlisted out of a total of 481 project applications. The Government of Ireland, through the Department of Rural and Community Development (via the Dormant Accounts Fund), committed €5M to the Innovate Together Fund as part of a €40M support package to the community and voluntary sector in May. The funding from ReThink Ireland will help Green-Schools to offer additional supports to participating to schools on the ground, including a schools kitchen kit for preparing food in each school, and increased contact hours with trained specialists.

Green-Schools latest theme:

Following a successful two-year pilot with eight dedicated schools, Green-Schools have officially launched their newest theme for the start of the 2020/2021 academic year. The Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity theme is the tenth flag of the Green-Schools programme, with 45 schools nationwide invited to partake in the new theme. As a Global Citizenship maintenance theme, Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity facilitates schools in exploring and discovering how their local actions on the Green-Schools programme, positively influence environments worldwide.

The Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity theme consists of two main strands of work. The first strand focuses on local actions, including growing and eating food that is produced on the school grounds. Green-Schools have teamed up with celebrated chef, cookery writer and food campaigner Michelle Darmody, to work together with schools to plan growing suitable food during the school term and to develop exciting dishes from their harvest.

The second strand of the theme focuses on global impacts. Students will learn how their local actions can positively impact the global environment, by interrupting the current global food production system, which is heavily dependent on the importing of produce from the far reaches of the Globe. Students will explore the environmental problems associated with the global food production system and learn how to make positive environmental impacts. Throughout the two-year theme students will understand the benefits of growing home-grown foods or choosing sustainable local produce. Through positive local actions, such as growing and eating their own produce, students will contribute towards environmental conservation and sustainable development by avoiding the negative impacts associated with high food-mile produce, or by avoiding excessive plastic packaging waste associated with shop-bought foods.

Speaking on the launch of the new theme, Green-Schools Biodiversity Officer, Dr. Meabh Boylan said:

Food education is critical. Some of the more obvious elements to consider from the environmental perspective include food miles, packaging and food waste. The benefits of food education, however, go far beyond reducing the environmental impact.

Schools will be supported through seminars, workshops, lesson plans and a wide range of educational materials. These supports will cover topics including preparing soil, planting seeds, caring for and harvesting crops, and simple recipes for these crops.

Visit the Global Citizenship Food and Biodiversity theme page and learn more about the tenth flag of the Green-Schools programme.