Sustainability must start with administration

The district must take responsibility to become more sustainable.

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While the district strongly supports students’ initiative to make Park more sustainable, the administration should do more than support students clubs — they should take action.

According to Park’s facilities manager Tom Bravo, little is known about Park’s current recycling program. The district recognizes faults within Park’s sustainability program and has plans to make changes, but little visible action has occurred so far.

The district should recognize the issues with the current system and take clear actions to make changes to the obscure recycling program.

Bravo said Park has ideas scheduled to begin soon, such as new carpet that can be recycled. However, one student-run club and a handful of projects-to-be aren’t enough to make Park more green.

The school needs to do more than just follow through with the recycling program. Initiatives should not be taken on solely by students. Actions should start with the administration in order to make longer lasting impacts than students can during their four years.

The majority of action taken toward sustainability has been through the student-run Roots and Shoots club.

This past year, they partnered with iMatter and awarded Park a B- average on their climate report card.

Roots and Shoots continues to do many good things for Park in the realm of environmental sustainability, but more help is needed from the student body. There are not enough students in Roots and Shoots to take on the responsibility of becoming a greener school.

Prioritizing environmental sustainability goes beyond the high school and should be key in other Park schools.

Incentives like giving community service hours for helping with sustainability efforts, like the compost cans in the lunchroom, can help get more students involved.

Additionally, increasing environmental education at a younger age will promote a culture of sustainability amongst students in the Park community.

For some students, the first environmental education they receive happens in AP environmental science in their first year of high school.  However, learning about environmentalism must occur prior to freshman year.

It will take a combined effort for Park to become more environmentally sustainable, but the effort is worth it. With the administration leading the movement by following through with recycling, compost and educating students at a younger age, and more students becoming involved beyond the Roots and Shoots club, Park will become more sustainable and a greener place to live.

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