Wednesday, August 13, 2014

...And We're Back!

Welcome to 2014-15!  Whether new or returning, there is something warm and wonderful about ISKL. As ISKL's Sustainability & Service Learning Coordinator it comes to me to ensure that the word is out about things "green" on our campuses and programs. This academic year is not about building new sustainable campuses just yet. It's about ensuring that sustainability are part of the vocabulary, part of the manner by which things are done here. In some cases the conversations are difficult and in some cases they just pour out but the need is there to move ahead with creating opportunities for our students and community. 
This year is about putting the leadership in the hands of students and making students leaders of their own circumstance and community. It'a about empowerment and engagement. It's about making difficult decisions. It's about  recognizing both the limitations and the opportunities of a green economy, thinking and future. The sky is the limit, and we intend to use the opportunity that provides us to move in a sustainable direction. 
Apart from an increased presence and hard work, we hope to focus on the following things this year:
  • Increasing leadership capacity in our students and organizations such as service teams and clubs, the Green Council and Student Council including 
    • leading in collaborative projects with other schools and local organizations
    • generating a connection between sustainability and learning spaces on both campuses
  • Increasing leadership capacity in our teaching and administrative staff by providing professional development opportunities
  • Working on projects that support our efforts to maintain the Eco-Schools Green Flag (this is an assessment year, after all!)
  • The continued development of ESD benchmarks in our curriculum
  • Minimizing landfill waste and maximizing recycling, composting and appropriate disposal of chemical and toxic waste
  • Infusing the service learning process at all divisions 
  • Continue efforts to reduce energy, water and air miles
  • Continue assisting in the design and building of a new sustainable campus
  • Creating a five-year strategic plan for Sustainability & Service Learning
So what are you waiting for?  We might as well start now?  Join the composting program! Bring in your recyclables at the first monthly Community Recycling tomorrow!  Have your child eat a home-made, nutritious lunch. Car pool. Every decision is an opportunity!  Have a wonderful year, all of you!

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