Project Green sponsors Earth Week events
Project Green is a student-led organization advised by science teacher Jeff Dyreson dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues, minimizing Loomis’s environmental footprint, and inspiring eco-activism on and off campus. Claire Hard ‘13, co-vice president of Project Green, said that “the major purpose behind the events is to raise awareness about the ways to live sustainably without drastically changing your life style.”
During their bake sale on Monday and Tuesday Project Green used only organic and locally grown ingredients. “We hoped to demonstrate how easy it is to purchase or make more environmentally friendly foods. Local foods or foods grown organically can help decrease carbon footprints and support companies that don’t use fertilizers and chemicals,” said Hard.
The organic goods will not only promote sustainable food sources, but also generate funds to bring environmental speakers to campus. Loomis received two visits from environmental speakers during Earth Week: one from ‘Sustainable Dave’ and one from Richard Kauffman, senior adviser to the U.S. secretary of energy and parent of Ezra Kauffman ‘13.
Students had the opportunity to express their own commitment to protecting the environment during Earth Week through the signing of leaf-shaped pledges. The pledges were hung up by Project Green and displayed at the end of the week.
The week’s most memorable event was the “no power hour,” during which teachers were asked to conserve energy for an hour. Some teachers found that opening the blinds eliminated the need for lights; others took the creative approach of holding class outside. Walking through the major academic buildings, the environmental proctors noted over 50 percent of the classrooms were honoring the challenge and conserving energy. They reported that the effort produced a 10 percent decrease in energy reduction—the equivalent of turning off 5,000 desk lamps. “That might not seem like a lot,” said Hard, “but for only one hour and during classes this is a great accomplishment that our school should be proud of!”
The presentation by Kauffman was held Friday. In, “Unraveling the Mystery: Obstacles to a Clean Energy,” Kauffman explained some of the barriers to clean energy in the United States. He argued that the obstacles are not only technical, but also political, economic and environmental. He pointed out that the government has subsidized all conventional energy sources; the only energy source yet to be subsidized is renewable and clean energy. This uneven playing field makes it even more difficult for renewable energy, he argued.