Student Proposals deserve a Student Post! (This one courtesy of Emilia Pierce; she wrote it all the way back in June, when students presented; we’re finally getting around to publishing it now. Updates soon if we get these proposals off the ground!)
A handful of lower and middle school students as well as the upper school Green Club got together with teachers and members of the administration to present their proposals which aim to push Friends School of Baltimore to be more sustainable. The first Lower School presentation shared information about a newly discovered bacteria that has the ability to absorb plastic bags! These bacteria can be kept in a tank, and can absorb a plastic bag within six weeks if maintained at 29° C. It was suggested that we as a school might be able to create a small culture of these bacteria in a tank.
A second Lower School presentation focused on the use of printer ink at our school. In order to combat the monstrously high numbers of ink cartridges being thrown into landfills every year, it was proposed that the school should invest in refillable cartridges and ink – while of course trying to cut down on the use of printer ink in the first place.
A third Middle School presentation focused on the culture of sustainability at our school and presented many ideas to get students more involved in recycling, composting and using less resources and paper.
Finally, the US green club presented about the use of single use plastics at our school. It was suggested that the dining hall rethink its use of plastic water bottles, which can be replaced with other beverages that are not packaged with plastic, as well as purchase food from local sources. A reusable water bottle gift for prospective students was also proposed to Admissions administrators in order to show and support Friends School’s sustainable goals and culture. An outdoor classroom was also suggested which would allow students to have class outside, which has been shown to have higher learning rates than indoor classes. It would also give students the opportunity to take advantage of the beautiful grounds that this campus has to offer. The Green Club would also like to partner with various organizations such as Cylburn, Baltimore Green Space, Baltimore Tree Trust, and many more, regarding the removal of invasives in Baltimore City.
It is very impressive that students from all grades have come together to push for a more sustainable school and have so many awesome ideas. The passion these students have for the environment is very promising for the sustainable future of our school, and hopefully someday the whole world.
Editor’s note: After students finished, faculty also made some additional proposals around single-use coffee pods, an eco-justice retreat, and funding for the “Outdoor Ed” coach US students proposed, and finally, everyone agreed that this “Proposals” session should become annual. Next year we’ll advertise more in advance and hope to have a lot more proposals from students, parents staff, faculty, and administrators. Start thinking now!