Many have wondered if Severn School is actually as environmentally-friendly as they claim to be. Well, let’s lay out all the facts and determine if the school is or not.
We have separate recycling and trash cans in the cafeteria, classrooms, and hallways, but are they used correctly? The recycling centers are not able to manually sort through the recycling they receive, so if it is contaminated by even one incorrect item, say a chip bag, then the whole batch has to be dumped at the landfill. I find it hard to believe that all of our recycling is that perfect.
Second, most students carry reusable water bottles, which is a positive! Severn did install water bottle filling stations in Teel, but it is possible to install additional ones over the water fountains in Creeden, though students can still use the water fountains to fill up their water bottles. Continuing on the water bottle note, Severn events often consume loads of disposable plastic water bottles. Could we devise a solution to avoid using and wasting all that plastic? Perhaps Severn could manufacture reusable Severn water bottles to be given out at events. Visitors could also be encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles, as many college campuses suggest for campus tours.
A larger, but worthwhile, investment for the school could be electric charging stations. Many Severn students have their own cars in high school, so if a free electric charging station was available to them during the days, then they might have more of an incentive to buy electric cars. Additionally, faculty, staff, and visitors could have access to them, as well.
Solar panels is another big investment, but also would be worthwhile. They could power any number of machines and services in the school. I understand that our main academic buildings are quite shaded, but the gym is not. We could install the panels there and have them run the electric workout machines or the lights, for example.
There are so many more ways that Severn could be more environmentally-friendly. Some are expensive and more extensive projects, such as solar panels or electric chargers, but some are affordable and easy, such as encouraging reusable water bottle usage and monitoring and educating the community about recycling. While Eco Club has tried for many years to educate and monitor the community about recycling, help and encouragement from the faculty could help convince students of this dire need to recycle more efficiently.