Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What do the Oscars, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the ISB International Food Fair have in common?

They all went green!
We may not be as big as the Olympics, but the IFF is making efforts to reduce its eco footprint. How? Well, we hope to have NO disposables if possible. IFF will use the Green Panthers dishes instead of disposable ones to reduce waste and we will have recycling bins for cans and bottles.

What else makes this event green?

The Green Panthers will be there with adult and student members helping out in many areas.
• We will have tables to collect the used dishes. This year there is no deposit, but please return your dishes anyway to help us out. Remember they are not gifts and cannot be taken away.
• We will have Eco-games with cool prizes.
• We will perform some funny, but informative skits.
• We will sell 3 new versions of Green Panther organic t-shirts. Yes, we have small sizes this year!
• We might even have organic rice, milk, and yogurt and more!

If you would like to help us by volunteering please contact Kerry at

How can you make this event even greener?

• Try to use only one plate at the IFF. This will reduce how often we have to wash the dishes and reduce the quantity of water and detergent used for the event.

• Bring your own Tupperware in case you want to take some food home with you.

• Think about how you are getting to this event. Would it be possible to pick up a neighbor and go together in 1 vehicle instead of 2? This would cut down on traffic and carbon emissions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Scoop on Organic Dairy Products at ISB

MANY people have been asking for additional details on the organic dairy products now available at ISB. Here is the low-down.

The farm is called Dairy Home and the website is: The site is primarily in Thai but we are in Thailand. We can all find a friend to help us figure it out, right? The owner's name is Khun Pruitti Kerdchoochuen and he can be reached at

Aside from ISB, Dairy Home's organic products are available at Villa and Foodland. All animals on the farm receive an organic diet and the farm also follows free range practices (i.e. they are not kept in pens all day. There is no clear certification program in Thailand for organic farmers, so Khun Pruitti follows the guidelines of European and North American regulatory agencies.

The dairy also has a store on the farm itself if you ever want to visit and check it out.

All those appliances you think you turned OFF

Getting savvy about standby power
By Noah Buhayar, Fellow, Rocky Mountain Institute ( | Posted Fri Nov 2, 2007 2:47pm PDT

Ever wonder how much electricity your household appliances use when they're supposedly off—in "standby" or "ready" mode? Think of the clock on your microwave, your DVD player that's on but not playing a movie, or the little sensor on the bottom of your TV that waits for a signal from your remote control.
It turns out that these "vampire" loads are gradually sucking away power—a lot of power.
An estimated 13 percent of household electricity use, according to a recent study published by the California Energy Commission, is from appliances in low-power mode (which is to say, not performing any of their primary functions).
Standby mode, the least amount of energy an appliance can use without powering down, is just one example. Many appliances have multiple low-power modes.
A DVD player, for instance, may have both a standby and sleep mode. Computers, as well, often save power by shutting down one or more components without turning completely off.
What it costs
The costs of these low-power modes are enormous. Standby power alone accounts for 5 of that 13 percent of household electricity use.
In 2000, a group of researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimated that each year Americans spend about $4 billion just on standby power.
Generating that electricity puts roughly 27 million tons of CO2-equivalent emissions into the atmosphere (more than 3.7 million cars' worth) every year.
While the amount of low-power mode energy required by most new appliances is going down, the number of appliances (from washing machines to air conditioners) with continual power needs is increasing—eclipsing those savings. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that standby power could consume as much as 20 percent of household electricity by 2010.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Royal Photography Contest

Under the patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand, Greenpeace Southeast Asia and the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand are sponsoring "Endangered Water, Endangered Lives," a photo contest intended to bring people together to celebrate and protect our important freshwater sources. Thailand, though blessed with large fresh water resources, faces many threats to its rivers and lakes. Photography provides a powerful medium to raise awareness of urgent need to protect one of Thailand's most precious resources.

About the photo contest.

Under the title “Endangered Water, Endangered Lives”, the photographs must feature freshwater and freshwater sources in Thailand, taken from January 1, 2007 to November 31, 2007. Examples are lakes, rivers, streams, springs, tap water, etc. Photos should convey how freshwater is important to people / the environment (‘celebrating water’), or how clean water is being threatened by sources of pollution (‘water at threat’). Marine water (seas, oceans) are not considered.

Submission of entries: September 21 to November 31, 2007

Target Groups
1. Photographers
2. Thai Youths
3. General Public
4. All these categories mean ISB STUDENTS!!

For full details about the contest, please go to

Greenquest -Featured Site

Take some time to check out Greenquest. This British site features new developments in sustainable business and farming practices. Most importantly it includes tips on what each of us can do to reduce our impacts on the environment. There are sections, amongst many others, for teachers, business people, students, families and gardeners. There is even a specific section on THAILAND and the many positive changes that have occurred here over the past few years.

As all of us know, the journey out of the environmental mess we are in is one of small steps. Greenquest provides many ideas about how to start.

Check out the site: Contact Greenquest directly if you have information to share or questions by emailing

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bobby's Introduces Organic Dairy Products

This week Bobby's, the Middle and High School cafeteria began offering organic dairy products for the first time. This first for ISB is the result of a lot of hard work and planning to ensure quality, safe products.

As you probably know (but we'll summarize anyway), organic dairy products come from cow that have not received hormones, antibiotics or genetically modified food. All of the former are used to maximize milk production but have side-effects on animal health. Traces are also frequently found in the dairy products humans consume and thereby impact the health and well-being of consumers. Organic ensures you get milk, not milk with hormones and prescription antibiotics.

This step not only helps ISB students and faculty, but it also gives a boost to the production of organic dairy foods in Thailand. This is currently a small market and an outlet like ISB encourages other farmers to switch to sustainable methods of production.

Thanks to Bobby and all the people who worked to make this happen.


1. It's healthy. Organic food tends to contain higher levels of vitamin C, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and chromium. It is safe, nutritious, unadulterated food.
2. Organic food doesn't contain food additives that can cause health problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis,migraines and hyperactivity.
3. 3. It avoids pesticides. More than 400 chemical pesticides are routinely used in conventional farming and residues are often present in non-organic food.
4. It is environmentally friendly and doesn’t pollute our fresh water with runoff from pesticides.
5. It is produced without GMOs or drugs to the animals
6. It is against animal cruelty. Animals live on fields not in cages.
7. It is produced without antibiotics and growth-promoting drugs
8. It reduces dependence on non-renewable resources
9. There has not been a case of BSE (Mad Cow Disease) in any herd that has been in full organic management since before 1985.
10.It relies on a modern and scientific understanding of ecology and soil science, while also depending on traditional methods of crop rotations to ensure fertility and weed and pest control
11.It's good for wildlife and the environment. Organic farming is better for wildlife, causes lower pollution from sprays, produces less carbon dioxide - the main global warming gas -and less dangerous wastes.
12.It's flavorful. Many people prefer organic food because they say it tastes better.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Elementary Student Council

The Elementary School has a new student council organized into action groups. Grade 5 students identified four key areas for action, and the environment (Green Panthers) was front and centre. In their first two meetings, the new elementary Green Panthers came up with a flurry of proposals and will be working on several issues related to Halloween in Nichada to start.

Future projects will include energy and water conservation measures at ISB and ways to reduce waste in the elementary school.

To echo the sentiments of the student council, please take a look at the following poem from Nadya Rauch, a grade 2 student.

A Tree is Nice

A tree is nice because it seems to
Keep you company when you’re alone.
It gives you a better view, too,
So you can see all of the other beautiful trees.
Trees are nice to play on.
Trees give you lots of juicy fruits.
In the fall, play with all of its colorful leaves!
On a hot summer day, stop at a tree and have a picnic.

Water it each day.

A tree is nice because it gives all of it’s beauty just to you and all of it’s beautiful colors just to you.
Trees are your friend, you see, all in your backyard just for you.
All of its beauty into your life!
All of your care in your tree.
If you listen into the wind you will hear your tree say
Thank you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Munch and Music

The ISB Student Council has taken one more step in the green direction by voting not to use disposable plates, cups or cutlery for their annual Munch and Music event. The event, a two hour showcase for student music and dance, is a huge fundraising opportunity for the many student organizations at ISB. Students recognized that last year's event generated a lot of waste from disposable plates and cups and decided to take action this year.

The Green Panthers' decision to purchase a huge set of utensils and plates for school events is paying off. The plates have been used at school events already and are reserved for Munch and Music and the International Food Fair. The reduced waste benefits us all (as does the reduced aggravation from trying to eat with plastic knives and forks).

Thanks to Student Council for making this commitment.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Green Panther Newsdesk

Green Panther News Desk

ISB gets greener and greener every week. Some highlights of recent green news stories…

Partnership Opportunity for ISB and the Bill Clinton Foundation
The Bill Clinton Foundation recently approached ISB and several other Bangkok schools about a potential partnership with very green overtones. While the full details of the proposal will be revealed at a special meeting on 16 October, early information is that the Foundation will fully fund an environmental retrofit of the entire school (lighting, cooling, insulation etc.). Repayment of these upfront costs will be through savings from the school’s reduced consumption of energy.

More details will follow next week’s meeting. Keep your fingers crossed.

Grade 2 Goes Organic

This year, as part of their study of plants in Science, the Grade 2 students at ISB are growing vegetables in organic gardens. Over a dozen small plots line the jogging path near the fence on the far side of the parking lot. Student teams planted carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, spinach and other vegetables in the hopes that before our December holiday, their classes will be able to harvest vegetables and share a salad they have grown themselves.

Not only will students gain valuable information about plants as they follow their crops from seed to table, but they will also reap the rewards that come to those who take time to care for the earth that sustains us.

In our community, much of the food our children see is either commercially prepared, or packaged in cardboard and plastic. It is easy to forget that our food comes not from
Villa, but from the ground. Just a few generations ago, a majority of earth's inhabitants nourished themselves, at least in part, with food they had grown themselves or animals they raised for that purpose. Now that nearly half of the planet’s inhabitants live in cities, a growing number of children cannot identify the origins of the food they eat because their food is wrapped in plastic on a Styrofoam
tray, vacuum-sealed, or boxed with a colorful label. In order to combat this trend, a recent article on nutrition in the New York Times Magazine gave this simple advice for good health: if your grandparents didn’t eat, you probably shouldn’t either. You know that rules out Pringles.

We can only take better care of our earth if we learn about it - what it needs, how it works, and how to carefully manage what it has to offer. Congratulations to Grade 2 for taking this concrete step. Work the garden, enjoy the food.

Visitors are welcome to view the gardens, and volunteer gardeners are
encouraged to ask the second grade teachers how they can help. Contact Caryn Macky,, for more information about the gardens or Kerry Dyke,, for ways you can support earth care at ISB.

Green Panther Birth Announcement

The Elementary Green Panthers are born! The newly established elementary student council is organized into four action groups and the Green Panthers were front and centre. Their first meeting is on the 25th. You will definitely hear more.

Friday, September 28, 2007

No More Cup Waste

Students from our MS Environmental Stewardship class has made another step forward in "greening" up our campus. The Life in the Middle student news blog has posted a letter detailing the plan to get rid of all the disposable plastic cups that are used for drinks and then thrown away. They will be replaced by REUSABLE plastic cups that can be washed and brought back out the next day.
If we want our school to be more environmentally friendly, then we are going to have to make some serious changes in the actions that we take part in. This is the reason why we are going to change the disposable cups in the cafeteria into reusable cups. This is much more environmentally friendly because it will drastically cut down on our daily waste. However, once we have the new cups we need your help to make this work. Please do not take the cups home for yourself and make sure they are returned to the cafeteria staff. We hope you support our cause.
Well done to the students and we are looking forward to more initiatives like this one!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

ISB Varsity Boys Soccer Team goes Carbon Free

Traveling is a part of any sports team and at ISB we sometimes go even a little further. The soccer team will travel to Singapore and KL for matches this season. It would be better for the environment if we didn’t go on these flights at all, however, the teams would not be so happy about that. Therefore, the team did the next best thing; they took steps to offset their carbon emissions for these flights. Working with the PATT foundation they planted trees to soak up and store that carbon. No one is saying this is the perfect solution, but if you are going to take that flight anyway, then at least this helps.

Comments from Coach Rob Heath were:

"The PATT staff did a wonderful job facilitating a perfect win-win scenario for the International School Bangkok Boys Soccer team last Saturday. To offset the carbon we will be emitting on our flights to Tournaments in Singapore and KL, each player paid 400 baht towards the cost of planting 55 trees at the Sri Nakorn Kuan Khan Park. We had a great day out in a beautiful green space very close to the city centre, and we all felt like we had done a little towards making our air cleaner and the world greener. It was great to get our hands dirty and to feel a personal relationship with the young trees as we carefully placed them in the holes and filled in the soil around them."

You can also offset your own flights, your car or yourself if you like. Just visit the PATT site: for more information.

If you were in charge, what would you do?

So you think it is easy saving the world.

Let’s see how you do running your own city. Chevron has a site about the environment and it has a very cool game that let’s you run the city’s energy. Every decision you make affects the environment and the economy. Can you help your city prosper while keeping it green? Give it a shot and see how you do. What is your best score?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Shop and Invest Green

Here's a great new website that suggests what you the consumer can do to help positively impact climate change (or at least less negatively).

Check it out.

Monday, June 4, 2007

ISB Students create the Green Bag

In Sunday, June 3rd's Bangkok Post, three ISB students, Phantila Phataraparasit, 13, Tiffany Vanichviroon, 13, and Phiravit Phataraprasit, 11 were featured in an article for their creation of the 'Green Bag' in association with the Gourmet Markets of Siam Paragon and Emporium.

Now, home furnishing chain Habitat has adopted an adorable idea from three young schoolchildren at the International School of Bangkok, by inviting green-hearted fashionistas to shop in style while showing their responsibility towards the environment by using a natural canvas bag, called the "Green Bag". The bag has been created to encourage shoppers to refrain from using environmentally unfriendly plastic bags.

"As a part of a school competition to see who could come up with the best project to help lessen the effects of global warming, the three young students, Phantila Phataraparasit, 13, Tiffany Vanichviroon, 13, and Phiravit Phataraprasit, 11, were brave enough to present their ideas to the executives of Siam Paragon and Emporium's Gourmet Market, who took up the challenge and made it happen," said Brent D. Smith, chief marketing officer of Habitat Thailand. "This project gives people a choice as to whether to participate in the reduction of their carbon footprint by saying 'No' to plastic."
The bags are available in five designs at Habitat stores and at ISB for 100 baht each.

The students' recognition is well-deserved and ISB is very proud of their efforts.

Everyone can make a difference!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Close to Home - A Thai village under water

BBC NEWS Asia-Pacific The village that was swallowed by the sea

This BBC News artcile describes the plight of a Thai village just an hour south of Bangkok. Environmentalists claim that the erosion is probably "some of the worst in the world."

Climate change has resulted in more intense waves and rougher seas during the monsoon period," he said. "The average height of waves used to be between one and 1.5 metres, but now it has increased to between two and four metres high.
While locals have tried natural solutions like the planting of mangrove trees which typically encourage sediment, the saplings haven't taken because the waves are too big and the trees just get wiped out.

Dr Thanawat's solution? Concrete wave-breakers built 500 meters out. But the solution is only a study.

The question is, what can be done long term?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Earth Week & Fair

On April 23-27 ISB celebrated earth week. Each day had different themes all related to making people more environmentally aware and giving them opportunities to take eco action.

On Friday we had the Earth Fair and had over 20 companies and NGO’s at the event. We also had 10 student projects. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to each of you who participated in this event. The day was a huge success with about one thousand students going to the event and being actively engaged in learning about environmental issues and solutions.

Earth Fair Participants. Click to enlarge

We also have a photo gallery up of the fair.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Go With Da Fro

Plant a Tree Today is an UK Charity organization with offices in Thailand. As their name suggests they are particularly focused on addressing climate change in a proactive way by planting trees to offset carbon footprints.

At Plant A Tree Today we can't completely reverse the effects of deforestation and global warming, but we can discover how planting trees can help to combat climate change, provide sustainable economic development for developing countries and poor rural communities, and reduce the effects of natural disasters. We can make a difference.

Chris, a representative from PATT, unveiled their new campaign at ISB's Earth Fair. The new video clip features the talents of the Rapping Professor and shares the message of tree planting and positively combatting climate change. We have posted this video on our school site as well.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

No Idling at ISB

One of our accomplishments of the year was to implement the "No Idling" policy. Cars waiting in the parking lot must shut off their engines. This applies to the school buses as well, which were turning on their engines AND running air conditioning well before students were coming out to get on them.

This policy will significantly reduce emissions at ISB.

To see the poster in both English and Thai, click here.

For a poster of the image above, click here.

An Inconvenient Truth

The Green Panthers showcased the award winning documentary film, "An Inconvient Truth". As a result of showing this film with the entire MS and HS student body, students' awareness of global climate change was increased significantly.

Students wrote letters to former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore as a response to his film. The former Vice-President sent a response letter.

Future Plans

In the future we are hoping to do the following:
  • Have more of an impact in the cafeteria and add organic products, reduce waste, and use more eco certified labels
  • Work with Chevron to do an eco audit and measure ISB’s carbon footprint
  • Continue to build awareness and involve the extended community more
  • Form a partnership with Plant-a-tree-today and help ISB reduce and offset its carbon footprint
  • Possibly work with a company who makes biodegradable plastic out of tapioca.

Accomplishments of 2007

We are a group of environmentally conscious people made up of teachers, parents, and board members. Our aim to increase environmental awareness at ISB and more importantly, start making positive environmental changes to reduce the school’s Eco (carbon) footprint.

Green Panther goals are to improve ISB’s environmental performance by:
  • Activating environmental awareness, learning, and action
  • Analyzing consumption patterns and habits at ISB
  • Modeling responsible citizenship
  • Providing venues for meaningful social action
  • Reducing our impact on the environment

Some of the things the Green Panthers and ISB have done in 2006-2007 are:

  • School wide eco survey
  • Improved recycling center that collects batteries, tabs from cans, juice boxes, printer cartridges, and cell phone batteries
  • Have added very useful recycling containers throughout the school for bottles, cans, and paper
  • Blue box for each class for paper recycling
  • Reduced the plastic bag use in the cafeteria
  • Had a student logo contest
  • Stopped the use of paper cups for sports teams and helped encourage teams to use reusable water bottles
  • Reduced the amount of water bottles delivered because of a switch to water dispensers
  • Weekly eco tips in student bulletin
  • Weekend trip with 25 students to Khai Yai to work with Wildaid and learn about conservation
  • Had meetings with architect to ensure new building and campus design has the environment in mind
  • Bought 1000’s of dishes to use at events instead of disposable materials.Hosted environmental assemblies
  • Designed Green Panther t-shirts and stickers based on the student logos
  • Implemented a NO idling policy in the parking lot
  • We have shown the movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ to all of the middle school and the high school
  • This was built into curriculum and had amazing teacher support.We hosted Earth Week from April 23-27, culminating in a massive Earth Fair with several companies, NGO’s, organizations and students showing what they do for the environment

The Green Panthers Online!

The Green Panthers have joined the blogosphere!

The ISB Green Panthers are volunteers from the International School Bangkok faculty and community in Bangkok, Thailand. We strive to reduce the environmental impact of daily life at ISB as well as promote enviromental awareness throughout the school community about climate change, including ways that each of us can change to reduce our own carbon footprint.

We will be using this space to communicate news of upcoming events, advertise new events, and provide eco-tips for everyone to reduce their negative impact on the environment.

Subscribe to this RSS feed so that you are notified of all new posts as they happen!