Actions taken during the month of October, as part of the KeySpan Foundation/Do Something Environmental Sustainability Contest
ENERGY Hung up signs, made daily announcements, and sent out emails to teachers to encourage them to turn off their computers and lights at night and over the weekends and educate the student body about the impact they can make also. The school’s original policy was to leave computers on 24/7 to allow computers to be updated. After taking to the IT department at the school, they agreed to run updates on Monday’s only so the computers could be turned off during the nights and weekends. The librarians agreed to turn off all 75 computers at night, which translates into 33,600 hours of energy saved during October from the computers alone. (The average desktop computer uses 200 watts per hour meaning that over the course of October Boston Latin saved 6,720 kilowatts of energy just by turning their library computers off for one month. )Got “TURN IT OFF” stickers by writing to the National Resource Defense Council in New YorkRaising funds to buy solar panels for their school.Started a sub-club, “The Psyclists” which encourages students to ride their bicycles to school at least twice a week. (250 bike rides since the month of October = 83 hours of energy saved and approx 250 pounds of CO)Busses were asked to stop idling when waiting outside of school. Youth CAN met with the vice-principal and he agreed to remind all bus drivers to shut off their engines when waiting for students at the end of the day. They have put in a formal request to the Mayor’s office to have “no idling” signs put in front of the school. Estimated 33683 hours of energy savedWASTE RECYCLED, REDUCED, OR REUSEDPaper recycling competition between the six grades at the school. They recycled 1780 pounds of paper (almost a ton!). (Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, 7000 gallons of water, and 60 pounds of air pollutants).Order 18 cardboard boxes and set up recycling in the cafeteria. Students cleaned out and separated the cans by materials by themselves before a parent would help deliver the contents to the recycling center. They were able to recycle 450 cans, 1277 plastic bottles, 47 glass bottles.Started recycling styrofoam school lunch trays. They recycled 200 in October.Made a reduce, reuse, recycle PSA, that was broadcast during the morning news to all homerooms.Established battery recycling stations at school. They were able to recycle 50 pounds of batteries. Recycled ink toners.Initiated double-sided printing (Permission pending from the headmaster, but they requested that all printing jobs in the school library be set to automatic double-sided printing).Students signed “Think Outside the Bottle” campaign pledges to say that they would drink tap water in reusable bottles as opposed to buying new water bottles every day. 270 students signed the pledge.In the process of setting up a permanent recycling system at the school, but currently recycling is managed by student, faculty and parent volunteers.Estimated 2300 lbs of waste recycled.INVOLVEMENT85% of students involved2500 people involved and impacted300 club members INNOVATIONPaper recycling competition, PSA’sBLS saw this competition as an opportunity to begin long lasting initiatives to last throughout the year and the coming years at the school.AWARENESSEncouraged teachers to incorporate the Carbon Quiz into their curriculum and put signs in the computer lab encouraging students to take an online carbon quiz. (380 students took the quiz)Held 45 library presentations on Global Warming.Had 43 volunteer students go to all 87 homerooms and “pitch” them on why they should sign the “Think Outside the Bottle” Pledge. In total they made 348 short homeroom presentations.Weekly movie screenings and discussion (Past Screenings- “An Inconvient Truth” and “Who killed the Electric Car” and movies to educate students about the importance of going green.)Created seven PSA’s encouraging students to reduce, reuse and recycle.