The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

Opinion: Environmental policy still needs work, refinement for greener school

April 22, 2019

This piece was originally published in the Oct. 2, 2018 print issue of The Review.

The School recently implemented a “green initiative,” that, while well-intentioned, has not generated noticeable change. If we genuinely want to make the campus a greener place on a daily basis, we need to take more significant steps toward eco-friendliness.

1) Make it easier for us to recycle. There should be a recycling bin next to every trash can, especially in Flores Hall and at athletics facilities, especially for bottles and cans, but there aren’t enough recycling bins in those places. There should also be noticeable signs showing people where and what to recycle.

2) In the cafeteria, paper plates and plastic utensils should not be the default. Most people eat near Flores Hall anyway. As students, we should be required to ask for a paper plate only if we need one. Same goes with plastic utensils.

3) Bring back the days when we could more easily sell our textbooks at an on-campus event. But we shouldn’t be limited to just textbooks — the sale should allow us to sell any usable school supplies. I know that I’ve thrown away five-subject notebooks that had four subjects of usable paper left. An on-campus, student-run school supply sale would reduce supplies wasted at the end of the year. Many schools run a Trash-to-Treasure program that we should emulate.

4) We should set up small planters at the cafeteria-end of the Great Lawn where cafeteria staff can grow herbs and vegetables. ECOS could help maintain the planters, making the effort collaborative. By sourcing even a small amount of the raw goods needed to produce food for everyone on campus, we could greatly reduce our waste.

Ultimately, the School should pursue renewable energy options in future construction like solar panels, which we could actually reduce our environmentally harmful energy consumption. That’s a lot to ask, but with a small push, the red and black can become a little bit greener.

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About the Writer
Photo of Sophia Kontos
Sophia Kontos, Online Editor-in-Chief

Sophia is a senior, and this is her third year on The Review. She is also an avid baker and music lover.

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