We have finally completed our application for our first Green Flag and are waiting to hear if we have been successful.
We are so proud (no matter what the results may be) of the progress that we have made over the last few months.
In October 2016 the idea of working towards a Green Flag for our centre was brought up at our weekly assembly. The ideas was met with great enthusiasm and participants were asked to nominate themselves for a position on the committee.
The main problem areas of our centre were around grounds of the building. Some of the black spot zones were in areas where people gathered on the patio area and around the poly tunnels for the garden class. Cigarette butts, disposable cups, cigarette boxes and disposable rubber gloves were some of the main items of litter that we found during clean up days.
We assigned litter wardens to assess these areas regularly and held clean up days every few months. We also reminded everyone weekly at the centres group meetings about their responsibility to try and keep the centre clean.
Our Green Code
As part of our application we needed to created a ‘Green Code’ for our centre.
We wanted our Green Code to inspire everyone to stick with the project and to give people suggestion on how they can help out. During one of our committee meetings we decided upon the word environment as our starting point and brainstormed what we thought each letter could represent and what important messages we needed to share with everyone.
We feel that our ‘Green Code’ empowers, educates and inspires.
Our centre was not using our green bin correctly and there were no recycling facilities in any of the classrooms. This was one of the first things that we sorted out. We moved our green bin into an indoor storage area, created a sorting room, informed everyone about the items that we could now recycle, set up over the desk bins and assigned committee members to oversee all of these changes.
Information about how we can recycle more was not integrated in modules. We addressed this issue by completing a number of art and garden projects involving recycled materials and by bringing the subject up in many of the theory classes like personal development.
Some of the members from our Green Flag committee took a tour of our local recycling centre and found it to be very informative. The whole group came back to our centre with renewed enthusiasm to keep our recycling initiative going.
It is so important for us to try and change habits that have led to so many environmental problems. There is so much information out there about how we can all do our bit in relation to litter and waste.
We really like environmental activist Rob Greenfield who during one of his projects called ‘Trash Me’ wore all of the rubbish that he accumulated over one month to highlight the amount of waste that an average American can produce in that amount of time.
He gives great tips on how you can try to make a difference.
We are excited to hear back from An Taisce and we will let you know how we got on as soon as we get the results.
In the meantime we will continue to try and improve our environment as best we can.