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In Pictures: Fashion, transport, chocolate and coffee – Portlaoise school bring sustainability to the fore

Last week saw Scoil Chriost Ri in Portlaoise bring sustainability to the fore of all classes this week.

Students were taught a different theme daily in their 9am classes as part of Sustainability Week. All teachers rowed in to bring home the message that we can all do better in combating climate change.

Monday saw students learn how to recycle properly and 1st years had a frantic lunch time challenge organised by the Green School’s committee to sort out the rubbish into the correct containers.

Tuesday marked Fairtrade Fortnight. All students watched an explanatory video and 5th years were given a more detailed lesson in Religion on Fairtrade chocolate.

All enjoyed a bar of gorgeous Fairtrade Mosser Roth chocolate available in Aldi. Teachers enjoyed a Fairtrade coffee morning with specially labelled tea, coffee and of course Fairtrade chocolate.

Wednesday was all about Sustainable fashion and highlighted the scourge of fast fashion. TYs held a swap shop bringing in excess clothes, books and other items and swapped feverishly until they all were happy with their ‘new’ items.

Again, teachers showed all classes a clip at 9am about fast fashion and later in the morning Meg O’Doherty from Glas Fashion who has a blog with two other friends, came to talk to 6th years about the benefits of sustainable fashion.

The excitement rose at 1pm when all students lined the corridors and a wonderful fashion show was held using clothes that were donated or bought from various charity shops including Oxfam, Mountmellick thrift shop and St. Vincent de Paul shop, Portlaoise.

Many students wore garments their parents wore when they were younger as they are now regarded tragically for the parents as ‘vintage!’ Teachers again got in on the act and wore their best sustainable outfits, wearing stickers inviting their students to discuss it with them.

Thursday saw the students set up various WEEE collection points for batteries to remind them that we are in fact a WEEE school. Students all watched a video on the importance of battery recycling and how their efforts help support the Laura Lynn children’s hospice in the process.

Finally on Friday, Stephen Butler and Peter Breslin from Joe Mallon Motors Renault came to the school bringing two electric vehicles and discussed with over 100 students how the engine works and the benefits of such a vehicle to the environment.

The school is undertaking this initiative to fulfil actions by the Green School’s committee under the guidance of Miss. Marion Healy and the Global Citizen’s education programme led by Miss Ann Byrne.

Already this year the school have replaced single use cutlery to stainless steel and are reminding staff to switch off computers and screens daily at 4pm.

Both teachers emphasised the energy the students brought to each day and the support offered by the teachers in teaching all these vital lessons that the student body will need as global citizens in this ever-changing world.

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