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Our education programmes also focus on young people, for whom the environment is both an inheritance right and a future challenge. Fostering an attitude of personal responsibility among all our citizens is key to the proper stewardship of our environment. It is a process of weighing the implications of human actions and balancing present and potential future costs.

Green-Schools (Eco Schools) is an international environmental education programme, designed to promote and acknowledge whole school action for the environment. Within our village area there are two schools that participate in the Green Schools Programme. One of these schools has obtained three green flags and the other school is currently preparing for their third Green Flag Award.

Green-Schools is a long-term programme that introduces participants (students, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the concept of an environmental management system. It fosters a strong sense of citizenship and leadership among participants that spreads far outside the school into the wider community. We are fortunate to have schools that are engaged with the Green-Schools Programme, which benefits the community. In addition to Green-Schools, Abbeyshrule Tidy Villages Committee host collaborative projects each year with both schools.

A schools poster competition entitled “Waste Not – Want Not” with the two primary schools in the area. The aim of the competition was to create and promote awareness of waste minimisation and recycling among the children of our community at an early age. Prizes include a twin apple tree, an art set with recycling ideas and a children’s gardening set. A presentation was made to the children in the schools by the Tidy Villages Committee.

The “Build-a-Box” and “Build-a-Bottle” workshop was held in conjunction with the Abbeyshrule Craft Fair and hosted by St. Sinneach’s National School Parents’ Association. The workshop was fully subscribed, with 150 local children from ages 4 to 12 participating. It was designed to promote junior creativity and foster environmental community awareness. Children’s art resources were used from recycled materials (where possible) to create jewellery boxes and decorated bottles as candle holders. It also gave the children inspiration for producing art work from recycled materials.

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