Facilitator notes from Sustainability break-out sessions 11/6/09

The following are suggestions and comments compiled from the notes submitted by the
facilitators. An attempt has been made to “classify” the suggestions.
Dining experience and student/faculty responsibilities
Training everyone to dispose of their waste properly.
Reduce amount of waste – eliminate trays or get the compartment plate/trays
similar to what Gilman is using.
Ban meetings at lunch time – encourage the down time to relax, eat slowly and
enjoy each others’ company.
 Measure and show the amount of waste.
 Encourage use of re-usable lunch containers for those that bring their lunches.
Gilman provided containers for one year, then additional ones available in school
store, similar to what we did with water bottles.
 Should we go to the Gilman plan of lunch being included in tuition?
 Get a true number of how many milk containers are actually used for Little &
Lower school to avoid waste.
 On campus garden, at the very least, an herb garden.
 How to reduce food waste in the Little School?
 Walk the walk. Students take their cues from adults. Are we committed to these
things or are we not really? Yes, we can do incremental changes but we need to
keep moving in the sustainable direction and be vocal and open about it.
 Enforce rules about not eating in certain locations.
 Call attention to what does not get eaten – have someone compile a list of why
and report back to cafeteria prep and to students.
 Bring in your own cloth napkins.
 Install a can crusher.
 Have a sorting station for clean up.
 Parents don’t know what their daughters are eating. How can they be made
aware?
US lunch period is too frantic, little time to enjoy the meal much less make decent
choices, it is all about rush and grab. Can we divide US into two separate times
to line up?
Remind each other to take our refillable bottles to be an example. Use more
refillable coffee mugs and not take paper/foam cups.
Use advisory meeting times to pull weeds or rake leaves, or other tasks, have
tools and gloves available in a central location.
Some people fondly remember the Earth Day US advisory event working in the
Northwoods and others not so fondly due to the poison ivy!

Students should be more involved in cleaning their spaces – both after lunch and
at the end of the day. Some schools have this built into their daily schedule.
Food preparation services
First off, there was recognition of the hard work and the time crunch element that
goes into prepping our food. No one wants to make it a more difficult task, but
rather, look for trade -offs.
 Develop a composting system {note: we are in the final negotiation process with
a composting company called Waste Neutral which would allow us to compost all
of our organic material in the lunch room as well as leaves, etc. everyone will be
hearing about this soon}
 Why are we using disposable plates, cups and utensils? Why not re-usable?
 Offer a vegetarian alternative more frequently, do not need to announce
“meatless”. Offer more grain salads on the salad bar. Offer two versions of an
item, one meatless and charge less for the meatless.
 Fewer cream based soups and more veg. and tomato based soups.
 Difficult to re-train taste buds and staff need to be exposed to alternatives to offer
through training at conferences or other food service training opportunities.
 More food purchased from local farmers. Increments – can we have once a
month, Local Food Days? Seasonal Food Days?
 Greater variety of fresh fruit. Variety of apples, labeled by type was a great idea
from Gary.
 Eliminate packaged chips or offer more nutritious alternatives.
 Offer plain yogurt and some fruit to mix in with it.
 French fries only once and a while. Do not offer french fries same day as pizza.
 Lower School feels that pickings are slim by the time they come to lunch. Some
suggest that LS students need less choice.
 Sweet potato fries.
 Solicit vegetarian recipes from faculty and students, when preparing one ,
promote who provided the recipe and encourage feedback, maybe make it a
contest of some sort over time.
 Healthier baked dessert options and eliminate packaged processed items.
 Less sugary drinks.



Curriculum
Ways to teach “what is away” in age appropriate activities.
More cooking in the classrooms, cooking challenges and food related to topics
being studied.
English department look for more fiction to utilize. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by
Kingsolver was one suggestion
Ways to take lessons home – student challenges, personal goals.




More consistent message to girls about food choices.
Coaches talking about healthy food choices.
Food/ gardening course offering, perhaps a club or activity.
First grade measured their trash after lunch one day as part of their trash unit.
They now turn the lights off and have silent eating for the first 10 min. of lunch
and the trash has been reduced.
More visual projects that emphasize the theme of waste.

Administration






The Administrative heads must lead - calling for curriculum integration, it started
in US a couple years ago but died out. Faculty must hear that this is a sustained
priority or it will fall by the wayside.
Visit other schools that have sustainabilty programs. List what schools like St.
Paul’s, McDonogh, Sidwell Friends and Park are doing – how do we compare?
Can funding be found to hire a full time Sustainability Coordinator who has been
trained or has a degree in this stuff?
Target alumnae participation. Tap their knowledge, expertise and their pride in
Bryn Mawr as well as their wallets.
Identify how parents can be utilized in the efforts.
Where are potential partnerships, the way Balt. City Schools have partnered.
Feasibility of tri-school transport to and from light rail?

Operations and Grounds
Plant perennials and native plants, not lined up annuals
Are the leaves composted?
Do we have to use the gas powered blowers, noisy and polluting. Could
detention students rake leaves?
Better containers for can and bottle recycling – should all be the same and more
easily recognizable. Why do teachers and staff still have to take bottles and cans
home for recycling? Why don’t we have it picked up at school?
Why are lights left on in rooms in the evening and sometimes overnight?
Weight room temperature control is way off and usually overheated.
Temperature control in NB is difficult, is there some way to train the faculty in the
system?
Has there been a review of the cleaners used, could we use less toxic cleaners?
Energy and Resource Usage

Have an unplug day.
Put all classroom lights put on motion timers.





Programmable thermostats?
How can we reduce paper usage? Have made some strides in Business Office –
kudos. Paperless report cards? How to get students not to print out
unnecessarily?
Where is paper going when it is put in the recycling containers? Still skepticism
that is not being thrown into the trash dumpster.
More water fountains with the high spout to refill bottles.
Why don’t we use our waste oil for heating? Where is it going and what is it
being used for?
It gets very hot in the cafeteria work space, better ventilation?

Congratulations if you got this far!!!! We received many good ideas and a lot of positive
response to the Professional Day last Friday.
Gary referenced several sources of info. while he was here that some folks have asked
about:
Did My Shopping List Kill The Songbirds:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/opinion/30stutchbury.html
The Burger that Shattered Her Life:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html
Monterey Bay Seafood Watch:
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx