This April is Waste Reduction Month at Middlesex. Common Sense, the environmental club, is working with several student groups on campus to host a variety of activities and events designed to raise awareness about the volume of waste we generate on a daily basis.
The fashion club is organizing a thrift store shopping trip in Davis Square paired with a clothing donation drive; the TED Talks club will show talks that focus on environmental issues; and, when the weather gets nice, Flik Dining Services hopes have a “zero waste barbecue” in which all leftovers and waste can be recycled or composted. Later in the month, students will have the chance to tour a local landfill.
The initiative will culminate with a Zero Waste Challenge: for one week, a group of students and faculty will carry plastic bags in which they will place all their non-recyclable or non-compostable trash.
Meanwhile, other sustainability initiatives on campus continue to thrive and grow. The community garden is in its second year; over the fall and winter, dedicated gardeners dug up rocks, spread compost, laid out new plots, created paths, and planted a winter crop of rye grass. This spring, upperclassmen who do not play a sport will have the opportunity to continue working in the garden. They will plant seedlings, set up an irrigation system, fortify the fence, and start weeding.
The school's on-campus composting program, which kicked off this fall, continues to grow as students collect nearly 40 pounds of kitchen scraps weekly from faculty homes. The heating system at Middlesex converted this past winter from No. 2 fuel oil-based to a decentralized natural gas-based system, reducing our carbon footprint by about 25%. Additionally, the School has replaced lighting in the Atkins Athletic Center with high efficiency fluorescent fixtures that use one-third less energy. The Middlesex community remains committed to sustainability efforts in all areas of campus life.
You can follow all of Common Sense's events, including Waste Reduction Month, on the club's Facebook page.