In my first two weeks on the job I’ve had the opportunity to engage in an array of excellent conversations. These are the things that bring about positive change. I’d like to share a few here in hopes that the reader recognizes the deliberations, brainstorming, thoughtful planning and interactions that make sustainability and service something to be proud of at ISKL. In the two weeks I’ve had the pleasure of working in this new role I’ve had conversations with…
· … a board member regarding donating her childrens’ outgrown (but still in good condition) uniforms to others who might want one;
· … the PTA executives in order to put the student directory online and, in so doing, save thousands of sheets of paper and making the information more accessible;
· … the HS art department about increasing the capacity for storing reused and recycled paper;
· … The Director of Operations and Director of Grounds and Maintenance in regard to promoting the newly installed water-less urinals, dual flush toilets and paper-less hand driers at Ampang;
· … the 1st season varsity and junior varsity coaches in order to establish a tree-planting day (lead by the HS Earth Club), giving our student-athletes a chance to actively participate in offsetting their carbon emissions from team-related travel;
· … the composting coordinators and participants who make up a group of 76 families who compost regularly from home;
· … the HS Earth Club regarding their involvement and organization of the Community Recycling program;
· … the MS Activities Coordinator about the need for tournaments and the environmental costs versus the experiential opportunities our students are afforded;
· … the 5th Grade class to brainstorm ideas for service projects that that go hand-in-hand with Eco-Schools themes;
· … members of the Technology department about the manner by which we can ensure appropriate re-use of computers when they have outgrown their purpose at ISKL, while allowing low-income schools a chance to engage in educational use of technology in meaningful ways;
· … with the head of security at Melawati, Sam’s Canteen and the ES administration to discuss the placement of a digester on campus;
· … with the International Fest Coordinator on ways in which to ensure less waste during this school-wide event;
· … with the new Ampang canteen vendor (Cheeku) in regard to reducing the use of single-use plastics, composting, cooking oil disposal and the possibility of introducing organic foods;
· … with HS service-related teachers and administration regarding the organizational structure of the service programs;
· … with a MS Global Issues teacher, and his Mont Kiara counterpart, who hope to establish cross-town cooperation with their classes and clubs, particularly as they relates to the upcoming Global Issues Network Conference in November;
· … with Prep-Reception and Prep-Junior teachers in order to initiate a more comprehensive sustainability education program that will allow our youngest students a chance to engage in meaningful relationship with the earth, as well as become comfortable in the natural environment;
· … with the HS Environmental Officer to ensure the smooth running of the student-lead Green Council which is responsible for moving ISKL toward the Eco-Schools Green Flag by 2014;
· … with various members of the student body to establish unofficial ‘lunchtime brainstorming sessions’ on how best to reach our community and make a difference.
The list could go on, but I am hoping that in reading this we become a bit aware of what I do in my role as Sustainability & Service Coordinator and, more importantly, just how much is happening at ISKL by way of service and sustainability.
Though it would be naïve to think that each idea will be able to successfully reach fruition, the conversations in and of themselves should be proof enough that our community takes its ethical responsibilities seriously and, in so doing, pledges to make sure that the environment and the world around us are not overlooked.