Bird choirs are waking us as spring is in full bloom in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a time for nature to revive after the winter months as our common home becomes alive and green once again. After launching the Caring for the Environment at School keynote, with contributions from all six Jesuit regions of the world, we have asked you, the wider Educate Magis Community about how you care for our common home. We would like to thank all of you who took the time to respond to the survey and share not only your green projects but also your attitudes to green education as one of you very aptly put it “creating a culture of protection and care for our planet”. It is great to see so much awareness and such a great variety of school projects blossoming in the community.
We would like to present in brief the findings of the survey. Below are some of the main themes that were highlighted in the answers. These show some of the ways in which we are caring for our common home.
Reducing, Reusing, Recycling
Segregating and using recycling bins, composting, using biodegradable plates and utensils. Reducing the use of electricity, water, paper and printing. Recycling in schools and the surrounding communities as well.
“We urge our whole community to bring from home paper, plastic and metal. In our main entrance there are recycling containers, one for each material and people leave there what they collect at home. Every week, the local electricity power company collects everything that has been brought and they give us discounts in the electricity bills. The school decided this discount should be given to a local day care center for low income families and so was done”.
Gardens and other ecological projects
The variety of ecological projects and ways of growing plants is amazing. It ranges from green school roofs, through flower, vegetable, walled and historical gardens, green houses, orchards to veritable small plantations “we produce more than 1000 small native trees plants every year. We plant some of them in our school, but the majority is planted in our city and surrounding cities”. The Bgreen film festival project is also on the list.
Creating awareness and educating students and staff
Environmental education takes various forms. It is included in in-class curricula “we have an environmental sustainability curriculum embedded in Biology lessons for all grades” or in educational projects “a Specialized School Program (PRAE-Proyecto Ambiental Escolar – Environmental School Project). The project includes in training and developing environmental topics, such as sustainability” and ecological clubs and campaigns for creating awareness “campanas de reciclaje y sensibilizacion”. And to highlight an eco-attitude: “We celebrate living in a redeemed creation every day.”
Here the focus is on energy efficient school buildings which includes lighting, heating, water usage “build with soil-based bricks, not kiln-burnt bricks; furniture from joinery that replants trees; solar water shower heaters”. Transportation was also highlighted as important, such as walking, cycling or using public transport to get to school, and the use of electric Jeeps on (university) campus.
Using Eco friendly Products and reducing printing were also mentioned in the survey.
Most of you answered YES to the question whether you celebrated Mother Earth Day on April 22nd.