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Are They Greener On the Other Side? Part 2: Northfield-Mount Hermon
frederica rockwood 11 features editor
December 15, 2009

Sierra Dickey ’11, a student Eco-leader at Northfield Mount Hermon, spends more than four hours a week planning projects to both raise awareness and improve sustainability on campus. One day this past month, she made a presentation to the school with fellow Eco-Leaders about heating systems. With pictures and statistics, they walked students “step by step through the heating system.” Later that afternoon, she met with NMH’s communications department to discuss the publication of a “sustainability journal.”

All Eco-Leaders at NMH show this same commitment to environmental programs at their school within a single day. Each is required to spend at least four hours of “eco-work” a week to plan and work on projects. One of these leaders’ recent undertakings involved retrieving from recycling bins clean paper that had single-sided printing. These sheets were bound together into booklets and sold for a dollar each as “Sustainable Scribbles.”

With the Green Cup Challenge, Task Force for Sustainability, and numerous other programs, NMH has helped set high-efficiency standards for other schools as well.

One individual helping to decrease NMH’s environmental impact is Becca Leslie, a biology teacher at NMH since 2002.

Ms. Leslie co-founded the Green Cup Challenge in 2005, when only NMH, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the Lawrenceville School competed.

NMH won the first Green Cup Challenge by reducing its total energy consumption by 20.23%. Now, the challenge involves over 150 schools worldwide.

NMH Math Department Chair Dick Peller reflected, “NMH allows the opportunity to live and work in a beautiful part of the world, in which the natural environment is cherished and preserved.”