Every effort helps!
While many students at Cheshire Academy showed up to registration eagerly in their school colors—many donning an official ‘Fighting Cat’ blue “ask me for help!” t-shirt ready to assist with move-in day activities—the aura of the afternoon was noticeably green. Environmentally friendly stickers were the new un-official trend to the start of the school year. CA instructors Theresa West and Kathryn Evans manned a recycling information booth at registration in order to educate students as they arrived on campus, wasting no time steering students in a sustainable direction this year.
Thanks in part to Ms. West and Ms. Evans, Cheshire Academy recently invested in new trash and recycling receptacles in order to make recycling on campus much easier for students and faculty. “The bins are a more adequate size for our needs and they have wheels, which make it easier for our students to transport the recycling to the larger container behind the field house,” West points out. “There are also smaller bins for Hurley and Horton dorms that enable students to easily carry them outside for pick-up by our community service students.”
An eco-friendly addition to the Sheriff Field House is a popular filtered water fountain; with every slurp and sports-bottle refill, the fountain steadily counts and displays the number of disposable water bottles that have been saved since its installment in February 2013. As of mid-September, Cheshire Academy has totaled over 12,000 plastic bottles saved.
Opting to drink out of reusable containers carries a particularly sweet incentive on this campus, too — the “Candy for Conservation” squad makes sure of this. A team of students actively announces when their peers and teachers are “caught” drinking out of reusable containers, rewarding them with a piece of candy for their thoughtfulness. Cheshire Academy student Kayla Paedroff ‘14 states, “I care about future generations,” reminding her classmates to “Recycle and do your part!”
Ms. West points out, “If just one person used a reusable water bottle to replace a disposable bottle each day, that could eliminate the need for 365 disposable bottles. Multiply that by the number of students in the community, and the impact could be enormous.”
As part of its planned programming this year, Cheshire Academy Advisors will also cover recycling practices on campus with their advisees, and the Science Department is currently organizing an “Earth Day” themed all-school event as part of our Community Weekend series.
During the summer months, Cheshire Academy is also a leader in eco-friendly education. Our summer program offers Future Earth: A Green Planet, into the mix of academic clusters, incorporating physics, architecture, engineering, and sustainable agriculture into the four-week course. Addressing key issues across the sciences and engineering in sustainable practices and design, CA Physics and Future Earth Instructor Ray Cirmo explains, the focused cluster aims to instill a new sense of understanding of the limited resources we use around us, as well as the exciting potential for alternate energy sources to radically and sustainably alter the way we live.
“It is about effective design, and how we can use everything that is available to us in the most efficient and optimum way,” says Cirmo. “We’re not going to be the same planet 100 years from now; we have pumped more than 50% of existing fossil fuels out of the earth already. It is more important than ever we learn how to make use of alternate energy sources and sustainable practices.” As part of the course, students produced a compost bin on campus for use by our very own Sage Dining Services, and erected a turbine windmill to generate power for the scoreboard on the Alumni Baseball Field.
Cheshire Academy may proudly boast its blue, white, and gold hues when the Fighting Cats take the field this fall, but keeping the community green has become a home-turf priority. Whether the incentive is to save the planet or catch the eye of the “Candy for Conservation” squad, every effort makes a difference and helps to reduce the Fighting Cat carbon paw-print.