ISM Sustainability – Combating Climate Change

Writer: Tara

Editor: Chris

Visual: Sarah

Over the past few years, climate change has manifested its destructive effects to us all, and because of this, the world has taken stronger initiative toward combating the issue. In order to reduce the effects of climate change each and every individual has to take an active role, and therefore institutions around the world have been promoting such measures. 

ISM, has also taken an active stance on climate change through several initiatives, one of them being the BYOC (Bring Your Own Container) rule. In the years prior to BYOC, the Kantina vendors used disposable paper plates and utensils, with a large percentage of students and faculty buying meals everyday. This unsustainable practice was replaced by BYOC, in which the Kantina no longer offered any disposable utensils, and therefore students were compelled to bring their own containers. Furthermore, the sale of metal straws and reusable cups was made available in the bearcat cafe and bearcat den to further the goal of sustainability. 

ISM has also installed solar panels on the roof that produce a maximum of 3% of ISM’s energy use. The school had already planned to cover a large proportion of the roof with solar panels this upcoming summer. Ms Govier, stated that “The rest of ISM’s energy supply comes from a company that produces energy using hydroelectric power.” She suggested that to further “reduce the energy consumption at school, ISM had new aircon units installed a few years ago that are more efficient, as well as adding a thermostat to control the temperature in every room. All lights in ISM are energy saving. Teachers are encouraged to turn off everything at the end of the day.” 

Furthermore, the Sustainability Council has also hosted many webinars throughout this year, connecting students with guest speakers who can educate them more about sustainability and climate change. Isabel (12), the events director of Sustainability Council, explained, “To me, sustainability goes beyond just environmental protection. In my freshman year, I learned about “sustainable development: development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and the sustainability compass points: nature, economy, society, and wellbeing. In that sense, I’ve come to see sustainability as combatting local and global issues — from climate change to lack of education to access to healthcare — so we can create a better future.” She expanded on how we can further implement sustainable practices in our community, “As members of the ISM community where we have an abundance of activities every week, I believe everyone has the resources and opportunities to work towards sustainability. I think we can implement the practice of sustainable development further by encouraging everyone to do their part, and reminding those around us that we each have a responsibility to help our world.” Ms Govier further emphasised how “every year the schools set two priorities to focus on for the year. For the last two years, one focus is Sustainability. There has been training sessions for teachers, teachers have identified ways to teach about sustainability in their classes, and we have completed schools projects to improve our sustainability such as BYOC.”

The effects of climate change are far-reaching, and ISM has pursued several initiatives to combat it, placing an emphasis on  especially emphasising how improving waste, water and biodiversity. ISM’s recent effort to become an Eco-School has helped cement this goal, and demonstrated its dedication to promoting sustainability within the community. We should persist with these efforts, and continue finding ways to help alleviate this crucial issue. 

Works Cited

“Why Plastics Can Be Garbage for the Climate.” Yale Climate Connections, 4 Apr. 2020, yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/08/how-plastics-contribute-to-climate-change/.