Loreto Secondary School Clonmel was delighted to welcome a visit from Dr Thomas Nader, Austrian Ambassador and Dr Joseph Treml Austrian Trade Commissioner and Commercial Counsellor.
The purpose of the visit was to award Loreto Green Schools students with the National Energy Globe Award for their project Ban the Bottle.
The project focused on the elimination of single use plastic bottles in the school.
Over the past few years, the Green Schools Committee observed that there was a problem with the accumulation of litter around the school and in particular plastic bottles.
After much debate and research, it was suggested that reusable bottles be introduced throughout the school.
The school canteen was open to the idea of selling an alternative source of water.
Refillable water stations were installed throughout the school. The vending machine was removed, thus reducing the availability of plastic bottles.
Students going down town at lunch time were asked not to purchase plastic water bottles.
Local businesses were canvassed and asked if they would provide the option of a refillable water source.
The whole idea was brought before the Board of Management who have given the Ban the Bottle initiative their full support.
Loreto Green Schools then put their proposal forward to the National Energy Globe Awards sponsored by the Austrian Embassy and everybody in the school were delighted to be chosen as national winners.
A presentation was made to Emma Corbett, Chairperson of the Green Schools Committee, on behalf of the students involved, and the wider school community.
Dr Nader complimented othe Loreto students on their work in relation to Loreto’s current theme of biodiversity.
Handmade bird boxes, a bee hotel, wildflower beds and a mandala to commemorate Loreto’s 140th year were highly praised.
The Ambassador showed the students two video clips based on plastic pollution, to further encourage their efforts this year.
Light refreshments were provided at the end of the presentation in which students and the delegates embraced an opportunity to chat informally about current environmental issues.
Loreto Clonmel German language students took part in this year’s German language essay writing competition run by the Austrian Embassy.
Orianna Doyle, a current Fifth Year student, received a certificate and book prize from Dr Thomas Nader with her German essay on the topic of the environment.
Ms Mullins, German teacher, received the Caitriona Dowling perpetual trophy, for her work and enthusiasm in encouraging her students to become involved in the German essay competition.
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