Derby held its first annual, all-school Earth Week this spring, bringing together faculty and students to expand recycling efforts and explore innovative ways to reduce waste.
The week-long event was introduced by the School’s announcement of receiving the Bronze Award by the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-School USA for Derby’s efforts in sustainability. The recognition is the result of the School’s waste audit and subsequent action plans, the creation of sustainability clubs in both the Middle and Upper Schools, and on-campus recycling and composting efforts that are saving 76 pounds of food waste from entering a landfill and producing 16 pounds a day of recycling – everyday.
“We’re very proud of how students stepped forward and really looked into how much impact even small efforts can make,” said Derby Sustainability Club Chair Anne Benjamin. “We have come a long way by composting at lunch, reducing individual waste at snack time, and improving environmental awareness and recycling efforts on campus.”
“The Bronze award is a show of the Derby community's commitment to sustainability,” said Derby Environmental Education Coordinator and Upper School Sustainability Club Co-Advisor David Kleberg. “This is just the start! Earth Week connected student enthusiasm with simple, but significant actions they can take.”
With days like Mother Earth Monday and Turn it Off Tuesday, each day of Earth Week focused on a sustainability theme and challenged the community to make impactful, straightforward actions to help the environment. Students designed solar ovens to learn more about alternative energy. Morning Meeting presentations on water consumption, threatened biomes, and ways to reuse materials shed light on the challenges and solutions for sustainability. Beans were planted in the gardens as students learned about cultivating healthy crops, and trash and recycling was collected as the campus grew its appreciation for the environment.