BY KELLY SWAN | October 5, 2016
With a long tradition of educating students about environmental challenges that the world faces, St. Bonaventure has established itself as an institution committed to environmental responsibility. The school has installed water bottle filling stations, reducing the waste from disposable water bottles. Recycling and composting are a normal part of the school day, with both recycling and composting bins located in cafeterias. Compost materials make their way to the school garden where students plant and harvest vegetables for donation to a local food bank. The school also has a Farm 2 Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) salad bar that operates twice per week. In season, a local farm provides produce for the school’s lunch program. F2CC educates students about where and how their food is grown and helps to develop a relationship with the farmers who grow it.
“The St. Bon’s community is excited to be a part of the Ignatian Carbon Challenge to help make our school even more sustainable,” shares Krista Cardwell, Director of Advancement. “The Ignatian Carbon Challenge has allowed us to review what we are currently doing at the school and brainstorm new ways to deal with [environmental] challenges.”
The school is prioritizing a new partnership that strengthens these efforts—“For a New Earth”, a group that has developed an eco-literacy program for schools. “Our teachers are working with this group to incorporate the language of the Laudato Si’ and ‘integral ecology’ into our curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 12,” explains Cardwell. “At the end of the year the students will participate in an event with the theme ‘Caring for Our Common Home’ to help spread Pope Francis’s message to the wider community.”
The Ignatian Carbon Challenge invites high schools–both on an individual and institutional level–to address climate change and environmental justice through a series of monthly challenges. To draw attention to specific efforts of participating schools and individuals, ISN will post periodic stories highlighting ways in which challenges are being completed throughout the Ignatian network.
Kelly Swan is communications director for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. She is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University. Kelly has done work related to parish social ministry, child and family advocacy, community education and organizing, and magazine publishing in both West Virginia and northern New Jersey. She lives in the Cleveland, Ohio area with her husband and four children.