Growing Up in Santa Cruz: Calling All Ideas, Waste-Free 2020 by Lisa Catterall

Growing Up in Santa Cruz, Green Living, “Calling All Ideas: Waste-Free 2020,” by Lisa Catterall.

Periodically our faculty comes together to review our school’s mission statement and our three pillars of Academic Excellence, Positive Character Development, and Creative Self Expression.

Often during our discussions, the idea of “environmental stewardship” as a fourth pillar arises. Whether it is a pillar of our school, a curriculum program crossing all ages, or a shared value infused throughout the community, it is something we strive to model for our students and children.

While reducing plastic waste is a very common goal in our homes and at our school, many of us deeply value the ability to bring our children joy during the celebrations of the holiday season. Simply put, it can be easy to forget our commitment to stewardship of the earth at this time of year. In 12 years of teaching thoughtful and curious kids at Mount Madonna School (MMS), I’ve noticed that they feel empowered when we model the environmental principles we’re asking them to learn, uphold, and disseminate.

This year, I’m thinking more about how to balance my students’ requests for holiday parties and activities with our school’s environmental principles. I’m thinking about how to bring joy into my home without plastic packaging, plastic ribbon, plastic food containers, and without being any part of the limited life cycle of a manufactured product. Read more

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