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Thursday, 19th November 2020

Oliver's students, past and present, doing their bit for the planet

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Ollies students at the new smart water dispenser.

Reusable water bottles and new dispenser cutting thousands of plastic bottles out of the frame

St. Oliver's Community College staff and students, both past and present, are doing their bit to save the planet. 

Since the beginning of September St. Oliver's has avoided the use of over12,000 single use plastic water bottles by installing a smart water dispenser in the school.

In a concerted effort to spread the green message, the school also provided every student with their own reusable water bottle which are colour coded for each year group.

The new smart dispenser is automatic so that when staff and students fill their bottles the dispenser measures how much water is dispensed and calculates how many plastic bottles have been spared.  

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The school canteen has also rallied to the cause with a drastic reduction in the amount of single use plastic bottles on sale. This will hopefully help students and teachers save money on drinks as well as doing their bit for the environment. 

In another environmental development, a past pupil of St. Oliver’s, children’s author Oisín McGann, has written a unique children’s book about climate change which is aimed at the 12-14 age bracket and combines climate science with an empowering and positive message for young readers.

Oisín has joined forces with the environmental NGO Friends of the Earth and children’s publisher Little Island Books and together they hope to raise the €15,000 they need to produce the book.  

"I am fascinated with our existence. From the air we breathe to the roaring power of hurricane winds, this book is about the mind-boggling system of relationships between living things and the environment they inhabit. It is an environment that’s changing, and in doing so, it is changing us" Author Oisín McGann said.

What makes this book all the more special is that it will be made in the most environmentally friendly way possible – using 100% recycled, FSC accredited paper, chemical-free printing on the most eco-friendly printing machines available using vegetable-based, vegan-friendly, biodegradable inks

There will be no plastic lamination or packaging and, when it is printed, the book will be handled by a warehouse that has a commitment to minimising their use of plastic

They have started a crowdfund appeal for anyone who would like to help them get this project over the line: https://crowdfunder.foe.ie/

Once the book reaches the bookshops, hopefully in the New Year, 10% of sales will go to Friends of the Earth to support their work campaigning for climate action.

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