Since its opening in 2011, Boston Green Academy has been educating Boston’s future sustainability leaders. In celebration of Earth Month we’re highlighting the work of past Greenovate Award winners; Boston Green Academy won in 2013. Read more about Boston Green Academy’s Green Enrichment electives for middle school students.
The Green Enrichment elective was created for 6th-8th graders as part of Boston Green Academy’s mission to prepare students to lead in the sustainability of our community and world. Split into four areas of focus (climate change, energy, gardening and nutrition, and waste reduction), students cycle through each unit exploring how each topic contributes to environmental sustainability. The power of this elective is in the project based learning model followed by the challenge to make connections from what is learned in class to the real world. These connections are strengthened daily through BGA’s active call to action for students to incorporate sustainability into their daily school routines.
The cafeteria and outdoor garden classroom are two of the major spaces where comprehensive education in the areas of waste reduction and gardening and nutrition are closely followed by a collective effort to build environmental sustainability. BGA is the only BPS school with a composting initiative in the cafeteria that reduces trash produced in the lunchroom by encouraging students to sort their waste. The motto is ‘make compost, not landfills.’ Food waste and organic matter is redirected to the compost bins, recyclables and clean trays to the recycling bin, untouched food to ‘Share the Table’ space where someone else might pick it up, and anything unsalvageable then becomes waste. Most of the compost is sent off site via Save That Stuff, but a small portion is processed by students and used in the school’s very own garden. Students maintain a small-scale compost pile and study its connection to organic food production in an urban setting, a process they can mimic at home.
BGA’s success in diverting organics is not only seen in half empty trash bins and a healthy garden, their success is measured and tracked daily to reflect the true impact the school makes in a day. In less than 10 weeks the Middle School deviated 55 bags of compost from landfills; that is two 60-gallon bins of organic matter weekly in addition to the ten 60-gallon recycling bins the school tops off every week from recycling taking place in the classrooms.
To learn more about Boston Green Academy and the work they do to check out their website!