The White Mountain School Sustainability Club is active in investigating and proposing ways that we can grow our community and live more sustainably. As a school with a rich history in sustainability studies (WMS was the first high school in the country to form a dedicated sustainability studies academic department), it isn’t surprising to see our sustainability studies students organizing fund raising events, building prototypes for solar-powered lighting elements, and presenting their work and research to the community during Morning Meetings.
This Monday, the club presented its findings from research into the school’s food sources. The work centered on proposing ways that the community can grow to depend more on locally-sourced produce and meats (the dining hall is already sourcing much of its dairy supplies from local sources) rather than food that travels longer distances and creates a larger carbon footprint on its way to WMS.
Maria Cartagena ’18 said, “I think the work that we’re trying to do in Sustainability Club will benefit us as not only a school but also as a community in many ways. In the class room, we talk and learn about the importance of where our food comes from but I think it’s time for us to lead by example. Getting more locally sourced food is going to benefit the local economy, our health and the environment. The money we spend on food is going to stay in the community, we’re going to be eating fresh fruits and vegetables and since we’re so close to farm land, there’s going to be a significant difference in the amount of fuel needed to transport our food. Plus, we’ll eventually form connections with local farmers and expand our community. I’m really excited about this project and hope it all works out.”
Renee Blacken, Sustainability Studies Chair and science faculty said, “Recognizing the impact our food choices have on our personal health and the health of the environment and local economy, students have organized an initiative to begin partnering with farmers to bring more local produce and meat into our dining hall. They have been working with our kitchen staff and business office to determine the feasibility of such a program, and interviewing local farmers to determine type and quantity of offerings. As a school with a strong commitment to sustainability, with our own organic garden that supplies the food for our fall Harvest Dinner, this is a logical next step for us. Students in the Sustainability Club presented the project idea at a recent morning meeting and received positive feedback from students and faculty alike. In the following days, conversations about where our food comes from were happening in classes and in the halls. The Club is soliciting feedback from the WMS community in the form of discussion boards posted in our great hall. We hope to include as many people in the conversation as possible! We are excited to be talking about and acting upon ideas that will help us shape the future of food at WMS!”