CMS works together to make the school greener and to make other schools green with envy!
In 2012, our school decided to move from disposable water bottles to water stations.
The Carol Morgan School Global Issues Network (GIN) team, along with high school principal Ernest Peterson, developed the idea and presented it to then Head of School, Jack Delman. The idea was approved by the Board of Directors and financial assistance was provided by the school’s PTO. Over the course of two summers, 11 water fountains/bottle-filling stations were installed around the CMS campus.
It was not a simple task. “We had to install a full sanitation station with its own water pumps, reservoir and piping going to all of the 11 locations of water fountains throughout the school,” explains CMS Maintenance Engineer, Carlos Rodriguez.
In addition, there was some resistance on the part of students when it came to giving up the bottled water they were accustomed to buying at the cafeteria. Most students quickly adopted refillable containers, but some struggled to make the transition in mind-set.
Today, the transformation is complete and CMS is a disposable bottle-free school. What was the impact?
Nothing short of amazing – the counters installed on the water stations reveal that CMS has saved the equivalent of almost 150,000 500ml plastic bottles. One station alone, in the high school, has dispensed the equivalent of 60,000 bottles of water.
Equally as important as the plastic savings was the change in attitude. Today, refillable bottle have become an everyday part of what a CMS student carries from class to class. Filling up bottles, rather than buying them and discarding them, has become the new normal.
What’s next for CMS in terms of the environment? “We are focusing on Gardening and Recycling,” says Carlos. “Our Community Garden is fully functional and plants are growing. Our Recycling Center was officially inaugurated on Earth Day in the back parking lot, available to CMS and non-CMS persons. Finally, Green Team and MS GIN teamed up to work on the Solar bench project, which consists of a metal tree with solar panels and a bench below with outlets where you can charge your phone from the solar energy harnessed.”
What is your school doing to go green? Share your ideas and action with us!