On the morning of April 22nd, Derby Academy students and faculty gathered to kick off Earth Week with a presentation on how to tackle today’s environmental challenges by Anne Sudduth of Boyer Sudduth Environmental Consultants. Sudduth, who dressed as Mother Earth, aimed to motivate young students to be sustainability leaders now and into the future--along with the help of the Bag Monster, aka Derby teacher David Kleberg. The address then culminated in the presentation of the National Wildlife Federation Eco Schools Bronze Award to the Derby community.
To achieve this recognition, schools must complete a set of seven steps to evaluate their current environmental impact, implement sustainable change, and raise awareness. Different actions within each step are assigned point values, and schools earn one of three levels of award for these point totals: Bronze for 100 points, Silver for 200, and Green Flag for 300.
This process is completed through a pathway of the school’s choosing, such as water, transportation, or as Derby selected, consumption and waste. The Derby community performed a waste audit, and then introduced various initiatives to reduce their waste, including composting in the school cafeteria and a student-led system for marker recycling.
The award came just in time for Earth Week at Derby Academy, which featured environmentally-themed activities for each day of the week. Students engaged in a garden cleanup challenge for Mother Earth Monday, created recyclable art on Waste-Free Wednesday, and participated in green dress up competitions throughout the week.
This change has been led by the school’s Sustainability Club, headed by teacher Anne Benjamin. “The members of our club have become school-wide leaders, bringing their own interest in sustainable action to the forefront of our community’s consciousness. Our ultimate goal is to make environmental protection a key tenant of our school’s identity.”
Along with this guidance, Derby Academy is on track to make even more green progress, and make a sustainability champion out of every member of the school community.
By Casey Maslan, a junior in the Environmental Studies department at Boston College, and intern at Boyer Sudduth Environmental Consultants.