Green Meadow Waldorf School’s sustainability efforts aim to create an environment that is in harmony with the philosophy of Waldorf Education. We recognize a growing need to rekindle our commitment to the natural world and to take practical action toward protecting the earth and its resources. To that end, the school is working to foster environmental awareness by taking steps to live responsibly with nature and preserve its benefits. Reverence for all the kingdoms of nature inspires care and respect, thereby cultivating responsibility in future generations.
Our many initiatives include recycling, composting, and promoting waste-free lunches as well as the use of porcelain cups and reusable or compostable dinnerware. We have enlisted “green” parent representatives in each classroom, and are educating our school community to make responsible choices and encouraging teachers to enrich the classroom work with ecological content. We ask parents to "green" students’ lunch boxes with reusable containers, cutlery, and napkins, and to bring their own reusable eatware to GMWS potlucks. We serve organic food in our Early Childhood classes and at most events on campus. Our Neighbor to Neighbor Gardening Program builds ecological consciousness in our students, connects them to the land on which the school stands, and allows them to work with marginalized students from a local middle school as those students grow food for their families. Many of the families in our school choose to live close to school in order to walk and reduce car usage. Recent speakers have included farmer Joel Salatin (featured in the film Food, Inc. and hailed by The New York Times as the “high priest of the pasture”) and film screenings have included Mother Nature’s Child, which focuses on nature deficit disorder. Every summer, we lease our campus to The Nature Place Day Camp, ensuring that the campus is used year-round and supporting a vital community resource that instils ecological ethics in its campers and their families.
At the heart of our curriculum is a commitment to seeing the human being in the context of the world around us. Environmental education begins in the Early Childhood program, with a cultivation of the children’s reverence for nature, nourished by outdoor play, nature walks, and natural play materials. Our Farm Kindergarten teaches our youngest students to grow a garden and care for animals. In the third grade, the farm block (including a week-long farm trip) is an integral experience. Our high-school curriculum includes an Earth Science block, a surveying trip that teaches students to create maps of the land around them by observing and then mapping it, an ecology block, a zoology block that includes a study of the work of Rachel Carson, and a botany block. These direct experiences foster connection to the earth, leading to stewardship.
Green Meadow has focused for many years on maintaining existing buildings rather than building new ones. Our recently renovated Arts Building was built with LEED standards in mind, is well-insulated with spray and foam, and features a “Wattstopper” lighting system that features timers and sensors that reduce energy usage.
For more information, contact the Go Green Committee via Kindergarten teacher Lyn Barton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2012-13 Go Green Representatives by Class