Holy Innocents' is "going green" – but don't worry. The crimson and gold will continue to adorn the hallways.
Across the divisions, changes such as eliminating serving trays and Styrofoam are being implemented to help protect the environment. The newly formed "Green Team," which includes faculty, students and parents, now revels in the task of helping the school enhance its green initiatives.
According to Head of School Kirk Duncan
, the school has had good intentions to create a coordinated environmental program for the past several years. "There were individual initiatives and programs throughout the school, but we just didn’t have a design for the entire program," he says.
Then, about a month ago, art teacher Katie Arnold
began encouraging the school to become more environmentally friendly. Due to her efforts, students and faculty now drink from biodegradable cups, which are made from corn. "The school needs leaders like Katie to step up and take responsibility for this important initiative. Because of her leadership, we are ready to enter a whole new era of environmental awareness throughout campus," Mr. Duncan says.
For Ms. Arnold, helping the environment is a passion and part of her life. For example, when she forgets her reusable cup, she walks back from the cafeteria to her classroom to retrieve it. "The sacrifices are worth it. Little things we do make a difference, which is empowering," she says. "Our whole world is changing right now, and it's important to appreciate and take care of what we have."
Through the Green Team and environmental-friendly changes, students are learning the importance of taking care of the earth and expressing much interest in preserving its resources. "All of the kids have so many ideas. It's so great to see their brains in action," Ms. Arnold says.
Sophomore O’Neal Wanliss
is taking the initiatives to heart, encouraging the school and local businesses to become "greener." "You've got to start somewhere," he says. "We only have one world. If we mess it up, I don't know what we're going to do."
Freshman Alex MacLellan
says he is learning each person can make a difference. "The Green Team’s mission is important because as a community, we are helping to make a much needed change in the world and its environment. Many schools recycle bottles and paper, but that’s just the start. We all can go beyond that point and help conserve our environment."
Junior Natalie Decker
says she hopes students and teachers take what they learn and apply that knowledge in their homes and communities. "I personally don't think there has been enough excitement in our community about being respectful to the environment. The Green Team will help make this issue a top priority and one that we take pride in solving," she says.
An HIES alumnus already went green. Charisse McAuliffe
is founder and CEO of GenGreen LLC and the GenGreen Foundation, which are based in Colorado. Visit her organization’s Web site, www.GenGreenLife.com
, for ideas about living an environmentally conscious life.
For more information about joining the school's efforts or networking Web site, contact Ms. Arnold at email@example.com
Being green never looked so easy!