Towards the end of last semester, I joined the Eco-Schools initiative to improve the impact our school has on the environment. Eco-Schools is a global sustainable schools program that includes approximately 59,000 schools in 68 countries around the world. In order to be registered as an Eco-School and awarded The Green Flag, the school must undertake seven steps:
- Form an Eco Committee
- Carry out a Sustainability Audit
- Action Plan
- Monitor and Evaluate
- Curriculum Work
- Inform and Involve
- Produce an Eco Code
To find out more about Eco-Schools visit their website here.
The full process will take about 2 years and so far we have accomplished the first step and we have two committees:
- Committee A: We are a small group of students supervised by Mr. Poulus who meet every week. We are more hands-on and have a big role in organizing the larger committee (Committee B) and keeping us on track.
- Committee B: A large group with members from different areas of the school committee including students from primary and secondary, teachers, parents, administration, and board members.
Within Committee A, I collaborate with Talia to manage all communications to the wider community. We are in charge of writing the emails we sent to the different members of the community to encourage them to join the committee and the correspondence about the next meetings.
Additionally, as a part of Committee A, we worked together to organize the first meeting we had on February 11th. It was difficult to plan what to during the meeting to allow everyone to participate and have an active role in the project because of the size of the group.
I would say the meeting was a success. We started the meeting with a short presentation explaining the goals of the committee, the steps, and the goals of the meeting. Then throughout the meeting, we separated into different breakout rooms to rank the themes we should focus on and what types of things we should include in our audit, which we documented and shared through a Padlet.
My breakout room discussions were insightful and everyone participated. We ended the meeting by wrapping up what we accomplished and our next steps.
This initiative is greatly important to reduce the negative impact our school has on the environment, connecting to the important global issues of climate change and pollution.