As co-chairs of the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, Jeff Galli and I are responding to the editorial in the October 21, 2009, issue of the Scroll entitled “Why Aren’t We Truly Bleeding Green?”
Ironically, this editorial was printed in the same issue that the article entitled “New Environmental Projects: Lighting and Ice-making” appeared, highlighting Physical Plant’s summer projects that are anticipated to reduce electricity consumption by 4%. Physical Plant remains committed to addressing similar projects in the near future, as time and resources allow, to continue to improve efficiency and curb our energy usage where possible, as set out in the Imagine Deerfield Facilities.
While we are thrilled with the student initiatives to increase environmental awareness, and hope that this enthusiasm will continue to grow, it is important for us to point out some inaccuracies presented in the editorial in terms of lack of administrative and trustee support.
The Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, which is not student-led, is an advisory committee created as an outgrowth of Imagine Deerfield by the administration. The administration also included environmental stewardship as one of the five pillars of the Imagine Deerfield Campaign. The Environmental Proctor program was initiated by Kristan Bakker, Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator. Sunday night clean ups in dorms was instituted by the Dean of Students’ office this summer in an attempt, in part, to put increased focus on recycling.
Student participation and enthusiasm in these initiatives, including the student-run Environmental Club, are essential to Deerfield’s continuing progress in embracing change to become a greener school. Little by little we are making headway, perhaps not as rapidly as some would like to see, but change is difficult for most people, adults and students alike. Becoming a greener school will take the courage and cooperation of students, faculty and administrators.
We on ESAC are committed to continuing to initiate new habits, and we believe we will have the backing of the administration as we forge ahead towards positive, green lifestyle changes as a whole community.