The most innovative part of Berkshire School's sustainability initiatives is the learning process involved in their implementation. The implementation of most sustainability initiatives is led by students in the Sustainability and Resource Managment elective and guided by faculty and staff in the Sustainability Committee.
Three such projects are currently underway during 2013-14.
Hallie and James are working on a Sustainable Environment project that you can read about here.
See a video explanation of Hallie and James's Project Here:
Melody is working on Sustainable Economics, promoting business with local restaurants like the Marketplace Café and Village on the Green by shifting delivery service from restaurants in other towns. Reasons for this project include:
- Reducing the carbon footprint made by our "go to" delivery services from Connecticut. These restaurants drive near 30 minutes back and forth bringing boxes and bags of food.
- Giving students healthier food options.
- Transferring business to the local economy.
Tanner is working on Social Sustainability by raising awareness of other countries and other cultures. Socially sustainable communities are equitable, diverse, connected and democratic. By listening to the experiences of our international students, Berkshire hopes to elevate a sense of inclusion for the entire community.
Link to Berkshire's International Voices page here.
The students in the class are responsible for three areas: research, operations, and networking. Students are also iin charge of the day-to-day operations such as recycling, composting, source reduction, data collection, and the implementation of strategies. Finally, students connect with other schools, businesses, government organizations, and the local community to create a healthy dialogue about issues in sustainability.
A more traditional education about why we need to conserve our resources is still taught through environmental science classes and elements of environmental stewardship are included across the academic curriculum. Also, students can pursure their own interests throught the school's independent study program (one student created an emissions trading program that became the Innovative and Experimental Solutions award-winner in the National Wildlife Federation’s Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming nationwide competition).
The mountain is an invaluable resource used by our community for academic growth. The numbers on the map are study areas used by classes in the science department. The orange numbers represent forest stands and the blue numbers represent water collection areas.