In many ways, such as switching BT from a print magazine to an online website, or showing documentaries about recycling, ISM has always been concerned about minimizing the school’s impact on the environment. This new school year, ISM has gone full throttle with the objective of sustainability through the installation of solar panels on the roofs of the high school field lockers. According to Environmental Council Advisor, Ms. Gitanjali Paul, last year, “ISM High School students facilitated community members ranging from Mr. Toze to the president of the PTA to Mr. Flynn to create sustainable action plans,” that led to innovations such as the solar panels. Therefore, showing how plans to improve the school’s sustainability through new available technologies is echoed throughout the ISM community. Additionally, Ms.Paul adds that because of the newest addition to the institution, “not only are we using less electricity, but we can [also] use the solar panels and their data as tools in classes!”
Although it is too early to tell the long-term effects of the solar panels, Ms. Paul states that they “will provide ISM with up to 30% of the school’s base-operation energy requirements [or] the amount of energy the school uses when it’s closed.” While this does not seem so impressive, it is crucial to recognize that solar panels could help reduce ISM’s total electricity usage by 4%, which could save ISM up to $80,000 in the long run! Evidently, although the return of the solar panel investment will not immediately manifest, it provides the foundation for a more sustainable energy source, which we could potentially depend on in the future.
Despite its early state, it is possible to view this new technology with optimism. Furthermore, the ISM community is closely monitoring the progress of the system and hopes to address any problems that may arise during this process, in order to ensure the efficiency of the panels. The installation of these solar panels is more than just a step of sustainability for ISM; it also serves as proof that despite an ever-changing society, which is becoming heavily dependent on energy-consuming technology, it is still possible to prioritize the environment.
Written By: Alyzza Acacio
Photograph by: Ariana Mapua