St. Andrew's Environmental Action Committee - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

St. Andrew's Environmental Action Committee

Name:

St. Andrew's Environmental Action Committee

List Expenses:

Given the multifaceted nature of our "Going Green" initiative, the costs vary by sub-project, but have been kept relatively low and diffuse.  Many on-campus improvements, for example, have been covered in the context of ongoing facilities maintenance and development.

The students have done the bulk of the heavy lifting.  Community organizations and efficient partnerships have been supportive and can provide multiplier effects.  At the same time, travel, either locally or abroad, costs money, as do programs such as speakers and the Earth Balloon.  To date, though, no specific itemized list of associated expenditures has been compiled.

Type of Project (Air, Land, Water, waste or energy efficiency):

Comprehensive and multifaceted - including energy, resources, water, land, and waste/recycling) Description of Project: Launched earlier this year and inspired and guided largely by interests of our students, especially those on the Environmental Action Committee, our effort is multifaceted, comprehensive, and community wide. Spanning both campuses and all ages, it involves more than 1,500 people, including all of our students, faculty, and administration, as well as growing numbers of parents, alumni, and friends.  The tag line, already reproduced on hundreds of bumper stickers and larger banners on both campuses, is "One School, One World: St.

Andrew's Going Going Green."  As part of a larger effort to develop global literacy and competence in our students, this concerted "going green" initiative includes more than a few related steps and sub-projects, from research and recycling to energy efficiency to environmental education, many of which are already are blossoming:

Waste:

Instituted school-wide recycling program - including paper, plastics, and aluminum Lower School cafeteria uses very few disposable products, instead using metal cutlery, with re-washable serving trays and china plates

Water:

All athletic fields watered from retention pond (Lake Sherwood Wise) on timed zones Use high pressure flush valves - faster/more powerful flow, less water

Energy:

Maintenance vehicles on campus -- battery and gas-powered golf carts Low energy fluorescent lighting (approx. 80%) Computer controlled mechanical systems with a 4% variance school wide Solar shades have been installed in 85% of classrooms (both campuses) allowing light yet controlling thermal warming Very few interior corridor spaces that run lighting/heating and cooling but lie dormant a large proportion of the day

Air:

No F12 refrigerant in cooling systems

Education:

Students engaging ecological topics at multiple levels, especially in science curriculum, with the Lower School, for example, examining rainforests in depth Focusing on relevant knowledge, skills, and perspectives in our emergent local, regional, national, and global contexts Offering advanced courses in Environmental Science and International Relations Multiple student trips examine the natural world, including science museums, zoos, and exhibits, as well as different areas of the country and regions of the world Last year's inaugural speaker for Cerebration Speaker Series was Dr.

William Collins, a professor at the University of California and chair of the department of climate science at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who was part of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Recently hosted Earth Balloon, a twenty-foot inflatable globe, with a week of educational programs inside the balloon for more than 1,000 students from St. Andrew's and other school in the area Providing weekly "Going Green Tips" in the school's weekly newsletter and on the school's website

Research and Service:

Larger initiative catalyzed by student research project on the ecology of development, which focused on water quality in the Pearl River and on the Gulf Coast Students present research from Pearl project to various audiences beyond St. Andrew's, including in Washington, D.C. and to local developers and law students Recently celebrated the second annual "Green Week," with a wide range of student activities and daily themes of energy, paper, water, transport, and plant Working with local developer to provide student research opportunities to follow first-hand the construction of a new LEED-certified building Incorporating ecological and biological research on international trips, including providing opportunities for related community service in Mexico later this year

Institutional:

Students organize Environmental Club and Action Committee School launches new multifaceted Global Studies Program, which includes focus on global awareness and citizenship Students, faculty, parents, and alumni all serve on new, school-wide "Going Green" Committee

Name of Group:

St. Andrew's Environmental Action Committee

Number of Persons in Group:

1,500+ (including students, faculty, parents, alumni, and community members)

List the Goals of the Group Project:

To identify, prioritize, articulate, and pursue best practices and feasible steps forward in sustainable education and responsible citizenship on multiple levels - local, regional, national, and global;

To engage our students, faculty, parents, grandparents, alumni, and friends in a community-wide effort to raise environmental consciousness and to inspire concerted action, particularly regarding ecological conservation and sensible stewardship of scare resources on our shared planet;

To cultivate not only environmentally responsible habits of mind, but deeply entrenched life-long habits of behavior that recognize our growing connectedness, our shared responsibility, and our common future;

To set an example for other institutions, in the area and afar, about how to establish a community-wide commitment to "go green";

To empower our students with the confidence to know that what they do can and does make a difference and with the sense of purpose to tackle important problems and challenges - environmental and otherwise    particularly with strategic partnerships and purposeful collaboration with other people and institutions.

To help community members develop greater mindfulness and realistic but forward-looking expectations and action plans about how we can best live together on this planet and work together to make it better

What are the benefits of your Project:

Given the multifaceted nature of this initiative, the benefits are equally numerous and diverse.  Perhaps most important, our students are becoming more aware and engaged.  They are learning about critical environmental issues and about getting involved on multiple levels - locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.  In the process, they are conducting and sharing research, partnering with others, and developing knowledge, skills, and perspectives that will serve all of us well.  Beyond preparing responsible citizens, our practical efforts with energy, water, air, and waste/recycling also are providing substantial benefits to our local environment, which has regional, national, and global implications, as well as the potential to help set a positive example for others.

What have you learned from your Project:

While only recently inaugurated, the multiple programs associated with our "Going Green" initiative already are providing our students and other community members with exceptional learning opportunities.  We all are learning about the complexity of the issues and about the need for engagement.  We continue to learn how much more we need to learn and do.  We also are learning about ecological dynamics and connectedness in the environment, about how the local and global interact and relate to each other.  In the context, we also are learning about how small causes can grow over time and help generate positive feedback loops and substantial effects.  We also have learned about the need to not only work, but also to work together; for while every effort helps, caring for our ecosystem and the larger planet requires concerted action from more than a few people.  In this respect, we also are learning the value of partnering with other institutions    as we conduct research, provide service learning opportunities, and expand our travel programs.  Of course, there will be many more lessons to be learned and shared as our "Going Green" efforts continue to develop and gather momentum.

List Materials Used:

Given the multifaceted nature of our "Going Green" initiative, we have used a wide variety of materials, with no itemized master list yet created.  Different projects have different requirements.  Our school-wide recycling program, for instance, requires bins which were donated by a local recycling company.  Our educational programs utilize books, computers, the Internet, projectors, and a host of other tools and materials.  The same holds for our travel programs and service projects.  In short, no easy answer is available with such a range of diverse and extensive programs.

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