Over the last two months, we at the FIS have been taking steps towards becoming an ‘Eco-School’.
The Eco-Schools Green Flag award is a recognition conferred upon schools that are making strides towards environmental sustainability. It aims to recognize, reward, and celebrate the environmental achievements of the young people in these schools.
For the FIS, the award is more of a milestone rather than an end goal. As Mr. Thomas Heinrich, the lead for this project together with Mr. Harvey Greener, says, “What’s important is that we do something to lessen our environmental impact. We take action. And this initiative will set us on the right path.”
Since their kick-off meeting in February 2022, the FIS Eco-School Committee has split up teams to lead efforts on six sustainability goals. These goals have been identified from a list of 10 topics suggested by the Eco-Schools organization. They include:
- Reducing meat consumption
- Carbon footprint awareness
- Waste separation
- Energy saving
- Incentivizing alternatives to car
- Reduce and Reuse
Based on this allocation, each team has prepared an outline of success factors, roles and responsibilities, resources needed, and time scales to implement the project.
The committee got together last week to check in, exchange feedback, evaluate the progress thus far, and identify opportunities for continual improvement.
Most teams expressed that they would like to conduct surveys of students/staff/parents to audit their opinions and habits. This will help them lay the groundwork in terms of recognizing patterns, so subsequent action plans can be customized accordingly.
Some of the steps taken in the school so far include metering the usage of energy on a daily basis (thereby identifying where the consumption can be reduced without disrupting operations).
Another win has been in the waste separation area. Five test separation stations have been installed in the Grade 5 hallway. Additionally, Grade 5 students have been tasked with the responsibility to teach fellow students, and staff, how to separate and dispose of waste in an environmentally sound manner.
Several other opportunities were discussed during the meeting, like conducting bike workshops, introducing a buddy system for biking, hosting flea markets to facilitate reuse and swaps, and providing takeout containers to reduce food waste in the cafeteria.
This is only the beginning. There is much to be accomplished and we hope to take action that really moves the needle. If you are passionate about the environment and about driving sustainability efforts at the FIS, get involved. All parents, students, and staff are welcome to join the Eco-Committee. To know more, you can get in touch with Thomas.Heinrich@the-fis.de and Harvey.Greener@the-fis.de.