Sustainability & The Environment
- Environmental justice (EJ): "The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies." (epa.gov). Folks who are BIPOC and/ or living in poverty are much more likely to experience environmental injustice. Please note, this includes some of our students.
- Greenhouse Effect 101: "The greenhouse effect is a good thing. It warms the planet to its comfortable average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit and keeps life on earth, well, livable. Without it the world would be a frozen, uninhabitable place, more like Mars. The problem is, mankind’s voracious burning of fossil fuels for energy is artificially amping up the natural greenhouse effect. The result? An increase in global warming that is altering the planet’s climate systems in countless ways." (nrdc.org).
- Sustainability: “Sustainability is the balance between the environment, equity, and economy. Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (sustain.ucla.edu).
- Climate Change: "Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas." (un.org).
- Active Hope: "Active Hope is a practice. Like tai chi or gardening, it is something we do rather
than have. It is a process we can apply to any situation, and it involves three key steps. First, we take in a clear view of reality; second, we identify what we hope for in terms of the direction we’d like things to move in or the values we’d like to see expressed; and third, we take steps to move ourselves or our situation in that direction." (activehope.info).
Supporting Kids (And Yourself!) with Eco-Anxiety
Easy Ways to Reduce Your Footprint
- support your student in walking, biking, or scooting to school
- unsubscribe from physical mail that you do not want or need
- see something? say something! if you notice a company, store, organization, etc. making choices that could be more sustainable and eco-friendly, reach out and give feedback (for example, if your favorite face lotion comes in 4 layers of plastic, ask the why behind this, and gently encourage a switch.)
- practice mindfulness (when we slow down, we can make more Earth-loving choices)
- stop at a zero-waste store
- ensure that you are properly composting
- keep a Tupperware in your bag when you go out to eat so you can put leftovers in there
- get a to-go utensil set so you can ditch the plastic utensils
- let Mother Nature be your car wash
- before you go on a shopping trip, note what you can buy used rather than new
- when you spring clean, donate what you no longer want
- and so much more!
San Carlos School District Sustainability
- Each school has weekly compost pickup. We are working on a district-wide campaign to ensure that all students and staff understand proper composting.
- Several of our schools have gardens and environmental education is part of our curricula.
- We are partnering with Green Schoolyards for several of our schools to transition our concrete and asphalt into green, forest-like environments.
- Our upper elementary and middle school students attend Outdoor Education to get connected to each other and the environment.
- We utilize Safe Routes to School curricula in our education, and support students in walking, scooting, and biking to school.
- Several of our schools have environmental clubs that are doing amazing work, from recycle sorting to vegan bake sales.
- In late 2021/ early 2022, we partnered with Alta Vista Planning to complete Walk Audits at each of our school sites, to continue the process of making our school surroundings safer and more friendly to walkers and bikers.
- And more!
Ways to Get Involved
- Get outside and connected to nature! (San Carlos Parks, San Mateo Parks) The more you understand the benefits of nature, the more you will be willing to protect her.
- Explore Community Partners and Additional Resources:
Hear From Tierra Linda's Environmental Club!
TLEC (Tierra Linda Environmental Club), has been operating as a student-led club for the last three years. Projects we have completed include: creating a school-wide recycling program, making an Environmental Spirit Week, and presenting at elementary schools to spread awareness of environmental issues. April 22nd is this year's Earth Day, however, we should (and do) celebrate our Earth every day.
Here are some tips to share with all of you for a more sustainable environment:
A fun quiz to calculate the carbon footprint of your favorite foods:
Here is a document we made full of Youtube videos and channels that help you minimize waste in your school lunches or meals:
It is easy to feel overwhelmed about everything that is happening to the planet we call home. This website may help you deal with climate grief and eco-anxiety feelings:
Here are some ways to keep your home environmentally clean (and keep everyone healthy):
Get compostable compost recycle and trash bags. (Instead of the plastic ones)
Use reusable paper, plastic, cloth bags when shopping.
Use paper and/or glass, milk cartons.
Donate to green organizations.
Want to do more community-based activism, or do your students want to? Here are some organizations that you can join to make a difference!
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else would save it.”
Hear From Central Middle School's Environmental Club!
• Using bamboo straws when buying drinks (or no straws at all)
• Eat less meat. The production of meat is a huge reason why the world is warming up (it produces almost ⅓ of the world’s greenhouse gases)
• Upcycle (turn old things into new things), recycle (put recyclable items in the recycling bin), reduce (use less of products), and reuse (for example, using a grocery bag multiple times). Do these things as much as possible.
• Buy local, organic foods.
• Get solar panels! You can save your money (you don’t have to pay the energy company) and the environment.
• Get a cover for your pool (if you have one, of course). This helps retain the heat so that you don’t have to warm it up as much.