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Green school conversation recap

May 30, 2008

Green School Conversation Recap

On Friday morning, 18 people met in Michael Anderson’s classroom to share their interest in, and on-going projects concerning making Highlands an even more eco-friendly school.

In attendance were PTA members, EcoMoms, parent volunteers, Green Team representatives, Principal Peter Hodne and teachers: Lori Racek, Gerri Schinkle, Lisa Jacobs, Dan Baier, Katie Oberle, Michael Anderson, and Mike Seaman.

Green projects were shared: Katie Oberle’s, dream of an outdoor “discovery garden” with art, music and natural elements for children to manipulate, create, learn and play outdoors; the PTA’s openness to alternative green fund raising that may be equally lucrative and replace former fund raisers that are less than eco-friendly. Mike Seaman has been tracking the energy consumption of the school building since 2001, installed weather station study and a vertical axis wind turbine, rooftop mounted, to off-set Highlands energy with a clean, renewable wind source. The turbine could be a hands-on learning opportunity. An EcoMoms and parent-led project of 4 pilot project classrooms focused on zero waste consumption practices. Other topics included: pesticide free school grounds, and non-toxic, all natural cleaning practices throughout the school, using our pond as as an ecological study on pollution affects on our environment, sugar free celebrations, farm to school organic lunch options, safe “bike to school” routes and paths, car pooling encouraged, zero waste lunch, no plastics pledge, sustainability or “leave no trace” concept in all we do as a community.

The final conversation was how all of the issues are interconnected, and global thinking, shopping, and educating have replaced the “me” ideology of previous years. Kids Against Hunger and our dependence on oil and how they are related issues. The blue movement is a phrase in the environmental community that means to go beyond green, and include a global mindset with everything you do, buy, teach or sell.

The Story of Stuff is a 20 minute YouTube video that is suitable for the whole family to view. It is an excellent illustration of individual action, and the full extent of its far reaching global impact.

The next Green School Initiative gathering will be on the evening of Thursday, June 26 from 7-9. From 7-8 social, and 8-9 will be a green school vision party. Refer to the 4 pillars of a green school from the Green School Initiative website

Invitation to follow.

Summer reading suggestions: The Toxic Sandbox by Libby McDonald, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, Big Green Purse: Use your spending power to create a cleaner, greener world by Diane MacEachern, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver


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Welcome to Green Highlands


If you would like to join in the green school conversation, please log on to and get a password, and we will make you an administrator. This is open to anyone who would like to be actively engaged in moving the Highlands greening process forward.

Green School Initiative is one resource we looked over.

Thanks everybody for keeping the conversation moving.

…Up next, gathering on Thursday June 26 from 7-9. From 7-8 will be catching up, wine and social and then from 8-9 will be focused on developing a green school vision and strategic plan working within the 4 pillars of a green school framework. How can individual projects intersect or come together to support each other and ensure that their is a community-wide interconnection.

What resources are needed? What makes sense to build upon as the 3 main projects or focuses of the Highland communities time, resources and talents? A 3-5 year plan.

Come up with a green school To Do List compiled and responsibilities delegated appropriately. A 5 year plan.

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