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The Green Team explores sustainability with other schools

The Green Team is leading Dana Hall towards creating a better environment for the future. On April 15, five Dana Hall students and Ms. Catherine Buttner, Sustainability Coordinator, joined 6 other independent schools for the Independent Sustainability School Coalition Conference (ISCC) at Milton Academy to discuss environmental issues, ways to reduce energy, and materials usage.

Each school gave a brief presentation on their current sustainability initiatives, such as installing solar panels, auto-sensor lights, or dual-flush toilets. Most schools in the conference, including Dana Hall, have installed solar panels on their athletic centers to decrease its electricity usage and carbon footprint.

Chantelle Mendonsa, keynote speaker of the day, works in the Center for Policy Advocacy at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She shared her experiences working in the environmental science field as well as what sparked her interest in sustainability. When she was a student at Syracuse University, she co-founded a student-based organization that focused on reducing the use of fossil fuels, and due to their effort, the organization received $1.8 billion from the university to support their future research.

Some plans that Dana Hall has in order to become more environmentally friendly include composting Dining Center leftovers, reducing the amount of paper that students use for printing, and reducing the amount of water and electricity that the school uses. Each school committed to dates by which to achieve their goals, and the school representatives agreed to keep one another up to date to share their recent accomplishments.

Jenny Jung ’18, one of the Dana Hall representatives, thought “it was amazing how independent schools came together to share their sustainability ideas and goals from their school.” Furthermore, as a Green Team club member, she “gained new ideas to help our Dana community and the ISSC members came up with great goals together for each of our schools.” Overall, she learned useful information regarding sustainability, and she can’t wait to implement these ideas and make improvements.

Photo: Ms. Buttner and the Dana Hall representatives at the Independent Sustainability School Coalition Conference. Photo credit: Dr. Keely.