Belfast Telegraph

Poots lavishes praise on school’s green initiatives

by Michael Bashford

Environment Minister Edwin Poots joined pupils from Hazelwood Integrated Primary School last week to mark Recycle Week.

During his visit, the minister had the opportunity to see how pupils are applying the three Rs — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, inside and outside the classroom.

He also joined pupils from the student council, known as ‘The Green Swat Team' during one of their classroom inspections. These are to check that pupils and teachers are saving energy by turning off electrical sources when not in use. This not only helps the environment but saves money for the school by lowering energy bills.

“I want to commend Hazelwood Integrated Primary School for their innovative approach to teaching children the importance of protecting our planet through the principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” said Mr Poots.

“Through their recycling practices they have, in one year alone, saved 110 trees and recycled 2,700 plastic bottles and 6,600 cans.

“By instilling these principles in children and putting them into practice, the impact reaches far beyond the classroom walls. The messages themselves become ‘recycled’ as children carry the practices home to |family and friends and through to adulthood.

“During this year’s Recycle Week I want to encourage all schools to equip pupils to be ambassadors of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle message.”

Head teacher of Hazelwood, Mrs Murtagh, said: “We are delighted that the positive work that we have been engaged in with Bryson Recycling has been recognised by the minister’s visit during Recycle Week. Our children are justly proud of all their efforts in recycling paper, card and plastic as well as the clothing recycle bin which is regularly used by our parents.

“Recently we were awarded the Green Eco flag for our work developing the sustainability curriculum in our school. Our pupils from three years of age are very clear about their responsibilities in looking after our world — these are the |citizens and decision makers of the future and it is right that we raise their awareness from an early age. Reduce, Reuse |and Recycle are key words |for Hazelwood.”

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