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  • Susan Russell

Sustainable Students- A Guest Column from the Mandala School

Prepared by students, Sarah, Ria, Katelyn, Kody, & Jackson

At Mandala School all of the students and teachers are trying to be friendlier to the Earth. We try to minimize the trash by taking it back home. This makes us more conscientious of being wasteful.

Actually, very little trash comes in because we have reusable containers for lunch like stainless steel trays and our own mugs. We even take our own silverware, ceramic bowls, and mugs when we go camping. Leftover food goes in the compost.

There is an automatic thermostat to turn the temperature down to 55ºF when we are not here and all our lights are LED. The new addition is highly insulated and piped for radiant floor heating.

When we buy organic flour for our bread making we buy 25# because it comes in a paper bag. Our computer paper is made from sugar cane stalks.

What more we could do at school

We are working to be 100% electric for heating & hot water by switching to a heat pump. The goal is to be carbon-free within one year. The insulation and weatherstripping for the old part of the house needs to be improved.

How to be more sustainable at home

Very soon electric cars and the charging stations will be more available. When families need a new car, go electric!

Here are some ideas to be friendlier to the Earth:

· Eat less red meat (beef, pork, goat, lamb, ect.)

· Eat more sustainable meats (fish, chicken, turkey, etc.)

· Read instead of watching TV or being on a phone or computer

· Turn off lights when you are not using them

· Take short showers instead of baths

· Use reusable containers instead of plastic bags

· Compost kitchen scraps

· Buy second-hand clothing (Goodwill, Amvets, Salvation Army)

· Walk or ride bicycles when possible

· Eat plant-based meals

· Don’t use animal-tested products

· Buy local

· Recycle

· Use reusable water bottles

· Use public transportation

Why try to be more sustainable? If we work together now, we can decrease greenhouse gases to slow or reverse global climate change. As Jackson says, “If we destroy the Earth, where are we going to live?”

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