Lawrencetown is a sustainable energy community (SEC) and are part of the SEAI supported SEC network. https://www.seai.ie/community-energy/sustainable-energy-communities/start-an-energy-community/
Over the last few years we have begun our sustainability journey. Our aim is to develop Lawrencetown into a sustainable, energy & waste aware community through information and infrastructural upgrades and to knit the community together through a shared understanding of sustainable development with a focus on energy, waste, water, health & fitness and transport & mobility.
What is a Sustainable Energy Community?
A Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) is a community in which everyone works together to develop a sustainable energy system. To do so, they aim as far as possible to be energy efficient, to use renewable energy where feasible and to develop decentralised energy supplies. A SEC can include all the different energy users in the community including homes, sports clubs, community centres, churches and businesses. Bing part of the SEAI network enables us to access technical supports to guide us through a structured process of identifying and carrying out sustainable energy initiatives in the community. It also means that we might be eligible to apply for dedicated SEAI funding to realise our sustainable energy ambitions.
The tidy towns competition also acts as a barometer of government environmental policy reflecting the latest EU directives and national environment legislation. Sustainable waste and resource management plays a major part in the main Tidy Towns competition now.
The following lists some of the sustainability projects carried out in the community in recent years:
ECar charging point. For more information click here.
Cooperation between Lawrencetown Community Development Group, Lawrencetown N.S. and SEAI has resulted in the National School being accepted as part of SEAI’s School Sustainable Energy for Schools Pilot Programme. Please see the report for details on the work that was completed worth approximately €500,000 which included airtightness, mechanical ventilation, insulation in walls and roof, heat pump co-fired with a condensing gas boiler, PV panels on roof, new ablutions. This work has achieved better comfort condition and a better working and learning environment for the children and teachers, improved the school energy rating from a D3 to an A3 and the new mechanical ventilation system meant that during the Covid crisis a constant supply of fresh air was coming into the school without heat losses.
With the support of the Local Agenda 21 and Galway Co. Co. Climate Action Team we received funding to install a Water Bottle Refill Station at the local Playground and Community hall. This reduces the need for purchase of plastic bottles of water or minerals and provides a refill station for sporting activities and fun runs etc. It avoids unnecessary single use water bottle waste while helping our environment (hugely!), our health and our pockets all at the same time.
Obtained a grant (€500) from Galway Co. Co. for delivery of an energy related project in the community. This grant was put towards the replacement of the community hall/play school front door with a more Energy Efficient Door.
With support through the Community Enhancement Programme through Galway Co.Co we have received a grant of to replace the old boiler in the community hall with a High Efficiency Condensing Boiler in 2021.
With the support of the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund 2018 successfully received €1,650 in funding for the installation of 3 x Grass Composters and 8 x Rain Water Harvesters made from recycled plastic for the community garden and tidy town local area. These are visually attractive and are maintenance free, strong & durable and environmentally friendly. This project took place between December 2018 and January 2019 in key locations throughout the village. The addition of the waterbutts aids in providing an adequate rain watering system for the community garden, community polytunnel and for the general Tidy Towns flowers / shrubbery whilst the composting of grass cuttings allows the formation of a free, high-nitrogen fertilizer to be used within the community.
Have hosted a ‘Reduce Food Waste’ Workshop in association with Galway Co. Co. Sustainability Officers in the local community hall. This workshop also included a module on composting. It was run over four consecutive weeks.
New (secondhand) Kitchen installed in community hall that was donated from a member of the community.
A Scrap Metal Collection took place in Lawrencetown in 2017 & 2018 in association with Voice Recycling Ambassador programme.
The National School works alongside SEAI and avails of educational workshops for the pupils based on Energy Conservation. They also carry out monitoring, recording and reporting of the school’s Energy use online to SEAI as well as raising awareness of Climate Change, via activities during ‘Climate Change Awareness Week’. All of these activities led to our successful inclusion in the SEAI/DES energy pilot project.
National School’s continuous and dedicated involvement with the ‘Green Schools’ programme since 2004, has earned the school seven Green Flag awards so far, including related green flags for successful Energy Conservation’ in 2008, ‘Water Conservation’ in 2010, ‘Green Travel’ in 2012, and ‘Global Citizenship: Energy Conservation’ in 2018. The school are working on their 8th green flag, Marine Environments.
Local Parent & Toddler Group’s toys, books and learning aids continue to be resourced in keeping with Circular Economy Principles through donations from local householders and the local playschool.
Reuse/Upcycling of used household/agricultural items for village flower planting receptacles (wellingtons, tyres and wooden pallets) as well as a bicycle donated by a local Bike Shop).