An Taisce is the national trust for Ireland and is tasked with preserving the natural and built heritage. An Taisce runs a number of campaigns aiming to raise environmental awarness and to encourage and facilitate the public to protect the environment. Among these campaigns are Clean Coasts and the hugely successful Green Schools campaign.
The main pillars of the work of An Taisce centre around:
- Advocacy – campaigning on behalf of environmental protection
- Properties -it has in its trust a number of heritage sites and properties)
An Taisce also carries out research and issues reports. You can support and get involved in the work of An Taisce by joining, donating or volunteering. More information can be found on their website www.antaisce.org
Green Schools Programme
This is one of the most well known and widely replicated An Taisce programme. It is part of the internationally know Eco Schools programme. It is an environmental education and awareness programme that promotes sustainability and environmental stewardship in primary and secondary schools across the country. About 92% of Irish schools are participating in the programme with over 2700 schools having been awarded a green flag.
The programme introduces the idea of environmental stewardship to schools through an education programme and the establishment of a schools green flag committee. The programme is centred around 7 steps which includes the establishment of a committee and an environmental review to see what ares of the schools environment can be improved upon and how. These 7 steps are then applied to different themes which are: Litter and waste; Energy; Water; Travel; Biodiversity; Global Citizenship. Common examples of improvements made to schools include: introduction or increase of recycling and composting, establishing community gardens, introducing an energy usage policy, encouraging car pooling and sustainable transport such as walking & cycling, and awareness campaigns and initiatives.
Find out more and how to get involved at www.greenschoolsireland.org