Even better than recycling is making the effort to reuse materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Refillable water bottles can make an enormous difference in reducing the production and disposal of plastic, single-use water bottles. Some Jemicy homerooms have also committed to reusable plates and utensils for lunch events. Students in the lower school have participated in “trash-free” lunch exercises to help them make responsible decisions about bringing lunches with reusable containers. Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring their own coffee and tea mugs, or to use those available in the faculty room, rather than styrofoam single-use cups.
Jemicy has a long-standing practice of recycling paper, aluminum cans, and plastics. Our recycling contractor, Cockey’s Enterprises, collects single-stream materials from a dumpster located below the parking area. Every week, Star Group students circulate through the school, collecting recyclables from classrooms and offices and depositing them in the recycling dumpster.
If you are unsure about what can be recycled at Jemicy, please refer to this chart:
The top garden bed just above the boot garden is being converted to a fall/winter tree nursery. We are collecting this year’s seedlings, planting them in pots, and burying the pots in the garden bed to overwinter. So far, we have collected hickory, American holly, pawpaw, and tulip tree seedlings, and we hope to add many more species through the fall. These baby trees will be added to our reforestation project area below the playground.
This effort meets several sustainability goals: restoring native species to our campus, offsetting the trees we remove from forests through using paper, and learning about the natural history and ecosystem needs and benefits of different tree species.
What’s not to love about compost? You take old veggies, guinea pig refuse, shredded newspaper, wood chips, throw them in a bin and a year later, the mixture has been transformed by microscopic organisms into a thing of beauty. We have been composting on a small scale at Jemicy for years, adding refuse from the science room and a few classrooms to our two small composters, and then transferring the decomposed, nutrient-rich soil to our organic garden beds. This year in the Jemicy LMS, we hope to create a larger composting area near the woods to accommodate all of our lunch and garden compostables.
We continue to educate students and the adults in our school about what can and cannot be composted. Plastic straws, most definitely not.
Here is a handy guide from Clean Air Baltimore to help you decide: Compost, or send it to the landfill?
It’s a brand new school year, and we are excited to share Jemicy’s sustainability mission through our brand new blog, GreenJemicy. We will be posting weekly stories, announcements, and updates on sustainability initiatives on both campuses, in and around classrooms, and through different departments. You can find us linked on the sustainability page of Jemicy’s website, or click the follow button below.
If you would like to become involved in our effort, share resources, or get more information, please contact Emily Stanley.