The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. (Pope Benedict XVI)
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Academy embraces the opportunity to enhance the quality of life for future generations through environmental initiatives This voluntary effort encourages us to protect and conserve our God given natural resources.
Environmentally friendly practices have been implemented throughout our school. The following represents some of the “green” initiatives we currently have in place:
- A few years back a few teachers and students from our National Junior Honor Society noticed the great amount of paper being thrown away every day, they knew it was time to make a change. St. Francis de Sales has now been recycling its paper for many years. Each classroom, and office has at least one recycling bin, and there are bins in the gym, cafeteria, and special classrooms. To make students active participants in the recycling process, Mrs. AnneMarie Greene, started a student recycling collection team. During lunch on Mondays recycling collection students are assigned to collect and empty the recycling bins in specific rooms. We are pros at recycling our construction paper, catalogs, envelopes, scrap paper, and more, thanks to our NJHS.
- In a continued effort to introduce environmentally conscious practices, St. Francis de Sales purposefully replaced all fluorescent light bulbs with LED lights over the past calendar year. LED bulbs are considered “green” because they are more energy efficient and have a longer life than typical fluorescent bulbs, which makes them cost–efficient in the long run.
- Starting in the new year our school is trying to reduce our use of resources by going almost completely paperless. For many years our school’s weekly newsletter has been sent home via an email blast instead of being printed out and copied for all 560 students. Following the success of the emailed newsletter, our school started using the email blast to disseminate other information to parents, saving even more paper yet many times we also sent home a hard copy as well. Moving forward very few items will be sent out hard copy. The only time would be if a paper or form needs to be returned (permission slip, re-registration form, ticket order form, etc.) Due to this all families will need to make sure that they use our school website and check their emails for all information.
- Simple signs really do make a difference. Over the next month every room, bathroom, hallway, and lunchroom, will have reminders to students and teachers to turn off lights when they’re not using them.
- One of the biggest ways to reduce waste at our school is to try and not use as many disposable water bottles and other single-use containers. Starting with the next special lunch orders for the Winter and Spring we will no longer sell water bottles. Students are encouraged to use reusable water bottles moving forward.
- Finally, we are currently investigating installing hand dryers in all bathrooms. The amount to purchase and install 11 hand dryers is close to $10,000. St. Francis de Sales currently uses paper towels in all of the school restrooms and washing areas. Based on an average of 50 users per day in 11 units the annual operating cost of these paper towel dispensers is $4,015. If we replaced each of the paper towel dispensers with a carbon efficient hand dryer the annual use would be lowered to $107.64.
St. Francis de Sales will continue to implement additional “green” practices. Should you have any comments or questions regarding our commitment to the environment feel free to inquire with the administration.