As many of you know the Green Schools 2019 Conference just took place and Natural Pod was a proud participate, exhibitor and sponsor of the event. Bridgitte Alomes, our CEO, and team were there, as always they were hugely excited by everything that is happening in the Green Schools movement and were immensely inspired by the other thought leaders present. These annual conferences are also an amazing opportunity for women to speak out about important green issues, be heard and connect with their like minded female peers.
There were many take-aways from the conference as its the only national event held in the US that brings all the leaders and players together that are involved in making green schools a reality. But two particularly game changing elements stood out:
One is the rise of the ‘Student Activist’. Almost every school has a student leader that is powerfully advocating for environmental change within their school and beyond. That means changing the cultural across every authority level within a school to make it greener, healthier and more energy and resource efficient. These student voices are really speaking out and gaining traction in effecting meaningful change for future generations. As existing educators and thought leaders now is the time to consider how can we support these young people to pave the way to creating awareness and action within the school system and amongst their peers.
The second interesting development within the Green School’s movement is relatively new; ‘Biomimicry’ which is being used to inform the architectural design of schools. But what is biomimicry? – ‘Biomimicry is learning from and then emulating nature’s forms, processes, and ecosystems to create more sustainable designs.’ As an example, within a school environment this could mean that when a new school is being constructed; that the very land and its ecosystem that the school is being built on would inform the architectural design to make it the most resourceful, environmentally sustainable and energy efficient building it can be. In addition to creating a very green school, this informed design process then also allows and encourages ‘Place-Based Learning’ with the students. For example, energy saving facts can be placed around the school to create teachable moments that focus on environmental stewardship.
Here’s an example from Royal Bay Secondary school in BC, Canada.
Environmental Education can also be promoted when directly discussing existing materials within your school learning environment: Asking questions such as “where did the very desk you’re working at come from? who made it? what about the other furniture? what will happen to it when it reaches the end of its useful life?”
These are the sustainability questions that are at the heart of Natural Pod’s work. From the beginning we’ve had a deep commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. We truly care about our materials, where they come from, who crafted them and what else they can be. All our wood products are made with FSC-certified materials and are ethically manufactured on Vancouver Island in Canada. We provide a product that is not only long lasting, but also recyclable and 100% compostable at the end of its life cycle.
This is why we are such huge supporters of the green schools movement and the work the Green Schools National Network is doing.