As Jared Carson learned at CA, when it comes to sustainability, it’s often the little things we do as individuals that add up to the biggest community impacts. At CA, our efforts to reduce our environmental footprint and increase our sustainable practices come from every corner of campus.
The newly formed Middle School Green Club is looking at ways to reduce campus waste. They aim to reduce printing by at least 25 percent through an information campaign that advocates utilizing smaller fonts, double-sided printing, and electronic distribution of materials.
The Sustainability Committee of the Upper School’s Delta Service Club has worked with Upper School science department chair Heidi Maloy to revitalize the garden behind the Center for Math and Science; volunteered with NC State to help realize their goal of a zero waste football gameday; screened the documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power for interested students; and spun plastic yarn from plastic bags to create sleeping pads for distribution to local non-profits that support people experiencing homelessness.
The CA SEEDS Club has been working to increase the amount that we compost and reduce trash and recyclable use. The club has created new signage and re-thought the arrangement of waste bins in the Dining Hall to reduce bottlenecks and promote better waste practices. From the beginning of the school year to February, CA has diverted 20,287 pounds of food waste to the compost pile, avoiding 2,368 pounds of methane production (nearly as much as 400 cars produce in a week).
Sustainable dishes and utensils are already in use in the Dining Hall, but their use is becoming more widespread throughout campus. The new café features paper straws and compostable cups. And all CA employees have been provided reusable tumblers in order to enjoy their beverage of choice with a minimal environmental impact.
For the first time, Taste and Toast utilized 100 percent reusable drinkware and dishes. And Ubuntu’s International Café used compostable materials, diverting more than 2,700 plates, 1,700 utensils, and 325 gallons of waste from the landfill. For future events, the PTAA has stocked 40 reusable table covers that will reduce the use of single-use plastic tablecloths for events of all sizes.
When we return to campus, a joint effort between the PTAA’s new Green Committee and CA’s Business Office will encourage parents to turn off their car engines while waiting to pick-up or drop-off students during carline.
Finally, our Business Office has worked with Wake County’s Habitat (Re)Store and the Public Schools of Robeson County to provide furniture from classrooms and the Dining Hall for reuse, rather than disposal.