At Mandala School on Main Street in East Aurora, all of the students and teachers are trying to be friendlier to the Earth. We try to minimize the trash by taking it back home. This makes us more conscientious about being wasteful.
Actually, very little trash comes in. We have reusable containers for lunch like stainless steel trays and our own mugs. We even take our own silverware, ceramic bowls and mugs when we go camping. Leftover food goes in the compost.
There is an automatic thermostat to turn the temperature down to 55ºF when we are not here and all of our lights are LED. The new addition is highly insulated and piped for radiant floor heating.
When we buy organic flour for our bread making we buy 25# bags, because it comes in a paper bag. Our computer paper is made from sugar cane stalks.
What more we could do at school:
We are working to be 100% electric for heating and hot water by switching to a heat pump. The goal is to be carbon-free within one year. The insulation and weatherstripping in the old part of the house should be improved.
How to be more sustainable at home:
Very soon electric cars and charging stations will be more available. When families need a new car, go electric!
Here are some ideas to be friendlier to the Earth:
-Eat less red meat, like beef, pork, goat, lamb, etc.
-Eat more sustainable meats, like fish, chicken and turkey.
-Read instead of watching TV or being on a phone or computer to save energy.
-Turn off lights when you are not using them.
-Take short showers instead of baths.
-Use reusable containers instead of plastic bags.
-Compost kitchen scraps.
-Buy second-hand clothing from Goodwill, Amvets and the Salvation Army.
-Walk or ride bicycles when possible.
-Eat plant-based meals.
-Don’t use animal-tested products.
-Use reusable water bottles
-Use public transportation
Why try to be more sustainable? If we work together now, we can decrease greenhouse gasses to slow or reverse global climate change. As Jackson says, “If we destroy the Earth, where are we going to live?”
Aurorans for Climate and Environmental Sense (ACES) is a citizen group started in 2012 to support the East Aurora Village Climate Smart initiative. Its mission is to engage all residents of greater East Aurora to help East Aurora become a Climate Smart Community through education, planning, and action. For more information, email Aces.EastAurora@gmail.com or find the group on Facebook @aceseastaurora, Instagram @aces.ea, or online at AcesEastAurora.org. This column was prepared for ACES by Mandala students Sarah, Ria, Katelyn, Kody and Jackson
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