W2O Board member Lynne Taylor recently met with a group of inspiring teens working to improve awareness of reducing waste and plastics on the Milton Academy campus.
When the younger generation get involved things really begin to happen. Take the group of students who make up the Sustainability Club at Milton Academy, a K-12 day/ boarding school located in Milton Mass. These students, led by co-chairs, Emmie Atwood and Yuta Inumaru have made big things happen on campus. Atwood will tell you that most of their work is done behind the scenes but the results have been commendable. The club is fully charged to get their initiatives done. Currently they are working with administration and Facilities Department to get the school on a compost system that will reduce waste and help the environment. Atwood explains, “Although the school has been receptive, it still takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. Our team had to work out logistical details and financials before moving ahead with our proposal to the CFO of Milton Academy.”
Last spring the club not only managed to convince the administration to purchase more efficient toilet flushers in the dorms on campus, they also arranged dorm competitions to get students to reduce electricity consumption. “Once we present our strategies for sustainability, we get impressive support from the student body. But it still takes a strong voice and clear vision to get the work done,” comments Atwood.
A recent highlight for Atwood and Inumaru’s team occurred just recently when the group convinced the school to reduce plastic consumption on campus. Over 600 non-plastic water bottles were ordered to distribute to students-free of charge, an investment that most schools can’t make but one that shows a big return for our environment. The idea behind the big purchase is to set an example and have students, faculty and administrators use their personal water bottles instead of buying plastic water bottles. The change inspires conversation at the school and in and around the community. The school has already installed a water station so students can fill up without buying bottles from a machine.
W2O challenges and encourages Atwood and Inumaru to write to legislators about the in Bill to reduce plastic currently in committee at the State House. If anyone can start a student writing campaign, they can! (You do not have to be 18 or a registered voter to write.) These fabulous, motivated students are our next generations of stewards of our planet.
Looking to the future, The Sustainability Club has a long list of ideas to get and keep the Milton Academy community more involved in pertinent sustainability initiatives. “With help from a very motivated group of people, we know the work will get done”, explains Inumaru. “It is crucial for our Milton community and for our planet at large.”