Earth Day Reflections
Gery Juleff, Sustainability Manager and Ecology teacher, gives an update.
As we celebrate Earth Day, we wanted to share with you what we have achieved in the last year to improve our sustainability, guide our students so that they learn how precious earth is, and develop their skills and knowledge so that they can make a positive difference in the future. Since the last Earth Day:
- We are now a National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat!
- Our Solar Array, installed last year, has saved over 113,000 lbs of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of planting over 850 trees. We are on track to achieve the predicted savings of almost $3k per month.
- The school started the Ecoschools Program, run by the national Wildlife Federation. We have just learned that we are well on our way to earning the highest Ecoschools award, the Green Flag, which is quite an achievement for a small school in its first year with Ecoschool.
- We now have a student-led Ecoteam. With 9 active students and our Ecology Teacher, Mr Juleff, they’re beginning to contribute ideas and undertake tasks.
- We’ve planted a wide variety of vegetables in the garden and students are looking forward to a bountiful harvest before the end of the school year.
- We use the outdoor classroom in our woods almost daily and our students love it.
- Students at Columbia University undertook a study of our Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Most of our emissions came from natural gas (heating), electricity (lighting and A/C), commuting, and, to a lesser extent, waste. We have already addressed electricity by installing solar. Middle school students audited our waste and we are putting in place measures to reduce this. We are committed to reducing our CO2 emissions as much as possible over time, with a commitment to upgrading our HVAC to a more efficient system in our five year capital plan. Commuting is a much greater challenge, given our large catchment area and lack of viable public transport options for most staff and pupils.
As we celebrate Earth Day and recall both the beauty and fragility of our planet, we at Princeton Montessori commit ourselves to doing our part to protect it, and hope that all of our community will join us. Please contact Gery Juleff gery.juleff@