t. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School works in many facets of campus life to reduce the impact of our community on the environment. Our school’s work as stewards of God’s creation aims to protect the resources entrusted to us so that they remain available to all people.
In step with the recommendations of the Episcopal bishops in 2006, SSSAS pledged to reduce its total carbon emissions by 2020, and our community is one-third of the way towards its goal. SSSAS focuses its sustainability efforts on energy reduction, transportation, waste and recycling, curriculum, and the campus landscape. Between 2007-2013, SSSAS reduced its total carbon emissions by 31%, and the school continues to utilize aggressive strategies to reduce its carbon footprint significantly further by 2020.
Energy Reduction: Through changes to its classrooms and offices, SSSAS has reduced electricity consumption by 30% within the past six years. The school continues to monitor energy use through annual audits, an energy-monitoring dashboard, and is pursuing alternative energy sources. SSSAS also raises awareness about conserving energy through competitions across campuses each year.
Transportation: SSSAS encourages carpooling, shuttles, and alternative transportation to limit emissions from cars and busses. In addition, SSSAS provides families free shuttles between campuses and the King Street Metro to reduce vehicle trips, and recommends that families to turn off their cars in carpool lines to reduce harmful vehicle emissions caused by idling.
Waste and Recycling: Recycling, repurposing, and reducing food waste constitute key focus areas. SSSAS serves lunch on washable dishes, bowls and silverware, uses recyclable paper products, has ‘trayless’ dining, and composts at several special events. Single-stream recycling in all classrooms and offices, and identifying community partners for gently used supplies has helped SSSAS to reduce its waste volume.
Curriculum: Environmental stewardship and environmental literacy are closely linked. The director of environmental stewardship works with teachers to infuse curriculum with topics such as watershed, woodland and habitat protection, resource conservation, alternative energy study, and visiting local municipal services that relate to the environment. Science, history, and art departments integrate awareness and experimentation with environmental topics.
Campus Landscape: SSSAS actively shapes its campuses to promote more diversity of species, to reforest its trees, to provide shade and to reduce stormwater runoff. Campuses feature bioswales to manage storm water, a range of native trees, shrubs and perennials, walkways to provide safe paths to school, and gardens to encourage pollinators and provide habitat.
Faith and Sustainability: As an Episcopal school, our goals are linked to a commitment to be stewards of the gifts of God’s creation for use by all people. The connection between our faith and the environment is evident in chapel services dedicated to environmental stewardship, in the produce gardens growing food for area food banks, as well by a commitment to being good local citizens.
Questions about environmental sustainability initiatives should be directed to Brian Kane, director of environmental stewardship, at email@example.com