Ballymana National School, NS, Craughwell

Our Green Flag Project

Our School Garden:

265 268 371 373 393 472

Green Schools Water Questionnaire:

Questionnaires were distributed to households in our school community.

Q1. Do you think that it is important that households conserve water in Ireland?

Q2. By which means does your household obtain water:

Well:                Group scheme:             Mains connection:

Q3. Do you leave the tap running when brushing your teeth?

Q4. Do you ever use the dishwasher or washing machine when they are not full?

Q5. How much clean treated water do you think that each person in the average household uses every day?

70 litres            145 litres        200 litres

Q6. A tap dripping once a second wastes how much water in a year?

1,000 litres          5,000 litres       45,000 litres

  1. 7 50% of the human body is made up of water; do you think that this statement is true?

 Wind Farm Visit:

419 422

Walk for water:

242 245 250 253 254

Some pictures from our recent trip to Loughrea lake.


The Green  School  Committe and 5th + 6th Class will be going on a field trip to Loughrea Lake on the 17th of January. We will be going bird watching with Marianne Ten Cate.




Christmas Wrapping Ideas: 

Here are some ideas for you and your families to reduce reuse and recycle at Christmas.
All throughout the year I save every kind of paper, paper bags, fabric, buttons, ribbons, string etc. so by the time Christmas comes along my “Christmas Craft Collection box” is full to the brim!!  All the bits and bobs from the previous Christmas are in there too – the old cards which I have already cut around, the little bows, ribbons etc from the Christmas crackers and anything Christmassy which I would have picked up in the sales after Christmas which could be used to make cards and decorations.  I usually pick up some rolls of wrapping paper too as they are greatly reduced in the sales!

Some years I have saved up the little “free” gifts you get with magazines or at trade shows and use them for stocking fillers or to put into my own crackers or “lucky dip” (a Christmas Gift Bag filled with little presents for each of your guests on Christmas – a bit more personal!).

I get all my family to give me their old Christmas cards and then, with my children, we cut out all or around the pictures and the greetings, if salvageable!  They are put aside for making our new Christmas Cards – I use the plain white packs of 50 and some metallic ones from Argos at €7.99 so very economical however, there are many more suppliers on the market now and I am sure that there are better, recycled ones available – maybe someone else’s has found a supplier and could let me know!

I get little tiny double sided sticker pads in craft shops (€2 per 100) to stick the cut out bits and stick them onto the plain cards and then we decorate them with our own messages or doodles!  You can use photocopies of photographs too and do all sorts of fun and personalised cards.

The nice thing about the little sticky pads is that they look very professional and if you use a calligraphy pen or gel pens, you can write your own greeting and draw dots and lines around the stuck on pictures for that finishing touch.

Now, onto the wrapping of gifts….my favourite bit!!

Where do I begin as there as so many ideas…?

1.  Obviously, re-using old wrapping paper is good – be careful when removing the selotape!  If you take charge of the recycling of the paper at your gift opening, you can carefully fold all the paper and there is your supply for next year!  You can always keep and reuse all the ribbons and even the gift tags can be used to put on the front of your Christmas Cards for next year (the writing is on the inside so you won’t see it!)
2.  Any type of paper can be used though – I save all the brown packaging paper that I get during the year from whatever comes into the house – heavy duty brown paper is lovely for wrapping bigger pressies and so durable!  I also save any type of tissue paper, whatever size and use that to wrap more delicate items and finish off with a bow.  Even the plain, heavier wrap that delph comes wrapped in is good!


You can decorate the brown or heavier paper in lots of ways – paint it, stencil it or simply add cut out bits of old wrapping paper and stick them on.
3.  Keep any string, ribbons, boxes etc that come your way during the year also – my personal favourite is the fabric/ribbon tied around kid’s pjs!!!  I always remove that and put it away to reuse and the colours are usually quite funky!  You can of course reuse the plastic bags with the poppers on that underwear comes in too (not so good for presents but great for storing pencils etc. in or any other bits and bobs like your old Christmas cards for next year!!).


Got any old baskets?  Use them to make your own “gift hampers” – you could fill them with your own home baked mince pies or little pots of jam with fabric covered lids!
4.  Paper Bags – every store now use paper bags and if you are clever and a little artistic /creative you can create your very own “brand” on your paper bags!  Just save a pile of bags that are similar shape and colour – even your Pennys or Dunnes brown paper bags would do, create your own LOGO either on the computer or by hand and copy, several times.  You can then stick this over the existing logo on the bag and hey presto, your very own personalised bag!  You could use your family name as your logo and a crest for a school / business or County.

This can be adapted for any occasion – not just Christmas and you can use any recycled paper to stick to the bag or even blown up photograph, favourite saying or verse from a poem or scripture, song… you get the idea!

Another twist on this is to photocopy a page out of the dictionary and enlarge and use that as your wrapping paper!!  A good friend of mine did this for me for my first baby shower – she photocopied and enlarged the page where it said “MOTHER” and highlighted the word Mother in pink wherever it appeared – she then wrapped her gift for my baby in it and I have to say …I bawled!!!!  Not only did I bawl but so did all my girlfriends!  It was so thoughtful and I still have a piece of it in my little girls memory box (yes, I had a girl funnily enough!!!).

So, you can see, there are endless possibilities!
5.  A really cheap product to use though has to be the old reliable roll of WALL PAPER!!  My mother used wall paper for lots of things when we were growing up, covering our school books, lining our drawers and wardrobes and of course, we used it for wrapping paper!

You can go to any DIY shop now and as they are selling off so much of their stock at very low prices, you can stock up on any type of wall paper – lots of choices and themes.  The best thing about wall paper is though that you can use either side!  2 for the price of 1!!!

This idea can be used for any type of paper though – make your own designs.

You can use paint, stamps, stencils, stick on old bits of Christmas Wrapping etc – whatever you want to decorate your own paper and just print on the reverse side of the paper and make your own, personalised roll.

You could reuse computer spreadsheet paper too and be kind of funky by stamping the date on it in computer lettering ie 25.12.08 or something like that!  You could reprint the date in lots of different sizes or fonts all over the paper using stencils and coloured pens.

6.  Anything else besides paper can be used to wrap presents – fabric works really well and again if you pick up remnants in fabric shops, it is a very cheap way to wrap up something and you can reuse it!  You could use a Christmassy Tea towel and some ribbon so again, you would have an extra gift!!

Old tablecloths, sheets, pillow cases, duvet covers could all be dyed and cut up, sew up the seems or use a Pinking Scissors (that’s the one with the zig zag edging so you don’t have to sew!!) and make your own “wrapping” – you could embroider the recipients name on it too!!

7.  The good old cardboard box!!  You can do so much with just a simple box – if you have one with a lid, that’s even better as you can wrap the lid and box separately and make a beautiful (depending on your skill at wrapping is!!) reusable storage box!  I have been involved with Operation Christmas Child for years and we encourage children to wrap an empty shoe box and fill it with gifts for deprived children around the world.  The amount of shoeboxes I have seen over the years which have been lovingly and carefully wrapped that you would hardly know that they are a shoebox has amazed me!  The beautiful thing is that long after all the contents of the shoeboxes are gone, these special children still have their shoebox to remind them of the love someone, somewhere else showed them.   Lots of children make their own wrapping or simply decorate an empty box sticking on pictures and colouring in bits – they still look great!

I love to put a gift in an odd shape box and then wrap the whole thing up so the recepient doesn’t know what to expect!  The gift may not be very big or expensive but the fun guessing what it is makes it more interesting!!


8.  Gift tags – obviously you can reuse old Christmas Cards too and make various types of gift tags – ones that you stick onto the gifts, ones that you can punch a little hole in (using your paper puncher) and then tie on the gift with a piece of ribbon or even use the idea of gift tags as name places … there are even more ideas!


You can use so many things to have as name places for your Festive table.  I got tiny Christmas trees in a garden centre one year on sale and every year, I take them out and give them a new lease of life!  I make up little cards and carefully write my guests name on them and stick them on the little tree using tiny pegs, bows and ribbons.
My whole issue with wrapping is that it should NOT BE EXPENSIVE and should be REUSABLE so if you keep that in mind, you can’t go far wrong!!  I like to make it fun and personal too so it shows you thought about the person as you were wrapping their gift.

I hope I have given you some “Green” ideas and please contact me if you want to chat about them or have any other ideas you would like to share.  As you can see, I enjoy crafts very much and sharing them with others.  I got this passion from my very resourceful mum and her 9 brothers and sisters!!  I think it is really important to pass on these crafts to the next generation and I hope you will use some of these ideas too.




 Spring Clean:

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This year, our green flag theme will be water.




Congratulations to the Green School’s Committee, all of the pupils and parents who contributed to our success in achieving our green flag for energy.

This year we are working to get our second green flag. Our theme is Energy.

We have developed a green schools committee with members from each class. Mr. Tierney, Mrs. Dolan and parents representatives are also on the committee.

We carried out an environmental review. This included an audit of appliances which use energy in the school. Here are our results.


Graph showing number of appliances in the school.


Here is the estimated energy usage of these appliances.

Green School Questionnaire


 The green schools committee recently conducted a questionnaire about

energy consumption in our homes as part of our work on the green schools

 programme. A questionnaire was sent to the homes of every child in the school. Here is a sample of some of the results that we gathered:


Q. How long do you shower for?

2% shower for less than 3 minutes.

23% shower for less than 5 minutes.

61% shower for less than 10 minutes.

14 % shower for more than 10 minutes.


Q. Do you have any energy efficiency measures installed in your home?

96% have insulation (loft, cavity walls, floors) in their homes.

50% have draught proofing on windows and doors in their homes.

63% have low voltage lamps in their homes.

91% have insulation of their hot water cylinder.


Q. Do you turn off the lights when you leave a room?

Yes = 83%.

No = 17%

Q. Do you put on the washing machine when it’s not full?

Yes = 9%

No = 91%

Q. Do you fill the kettle when you only want one cup of tea?

Yes = 33%

No = 67%

Q. Have you ever heard of the Kyoto Protocol?

Yes = 57%

No = 43%


The Kyoto Protocol:

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.