Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth week is over

Thank you all for participating in Earth Week each day. There are many tickets in the raffle giving you a chance to win prizes.

300 Trees to Plant

NOTICE – Departure time has changed to 8:00 am

Depart from ISB 08:00 am
Arrive at beach: 11:00
Lunch at beach: 12:00/12:30
Presentation and

conservation center: 12:30

Tree planting: 14:30
Return: 16:00/16:30

Arrival at ISB: 19:30

We have over 60 people signed up to go. The trip is now closed

What you will need:

  • Sun cream and hat
  • Clothes to swim and clothes to get wet and dirty.
  • 3 pairs of old socks. You cannot wear shoes in the mud because they will come off. Socks are to protect your feet. Trust me on this one, you want the socks!
  • Spending money. We will cover the cost of the bus, trees, and equipment, but you will need to cover the cost of food (at a restaurant) and their might be a 30 baht beach charge.
  • Reusable water bottle – you will get thirsty.
  • Camera
  • Phone (in case we are coming back earlier or later)

Since this in an environmental trip, please keep that in mind and try to reduce your trash as much as possible. We will purposely NOT bring a trash bag. So anything you bring with you will also leave with you (Pack it in – Pack it out!)

Special thanks to HS student Howard Zhang for making this project happen.

Ban Plastic Bags in Thailand

It's becoming more and more obvious that banning plastics bags around the world is a good thing. We have started a list on Facebook to see if we can get 10,000 people to say 'Ban plastic bags in Thailand'.

Cutting back on plastic bags

BANGKOK: -- On the occasion of Earth Day yesterday, the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry launched a campaign to cut plastic-bag consumption in the country by at least 10 per cent. Currently, Thais dispose of 1,800 tonnes of used plastic bags every day.

"We are focusing on plastic bags because they pose a serious threat to the environment," Natural Resources and Environment Minister Suwit Khunkitti said. "If plastic-bag consumption is successfully reduced, carbon dioxide emissions will also drop."

Plastic does not compose on its own and with more than 40,000 tonnes of garbage collected every day, transportation to disposal facilities or landfills also gets expensive.

Suwit hopes the public will co-operate in the campaign, which runs until June 5.

"Plastic bags are a part of people's every day life, and they can make a difference right away," Suwit said.

The campaign has won participation from many businesses, including Foodlands, Villa Market, The Mall, Jusco, Siam Makro, Siam Paragon, Siam Centre, Carrefour, 7-Eleven, Robinson and Big C.

Suwit said his ministry was also planning to manufacture bio-plastic bags that can decompose naturally.

"Although bio-plastic bags cost more to produce, the government might introduce tax measures to help," he said, adding that the government was also adopting many measures to reduce global warming.

"We plan to reduce petrol consumption, increase green areas and introduce carbon labels," he said.

-- The Nation 2009-04-23

ISB 'really' goes green!

For 3-4 years now ISB has been improving environmentally by initiating projects to increase environmental awareness and action at school. We have made many little changes that have contributed to the goal. However, there was there was something missing. No matter how many little changes we made the school building itself was still very much an energy hog. That is all about to change. ISB will retrofit the building with energy efficient products. See the letter below that came from the ISB administration. On behalf of the Green Panthers I would like to thank the school for taking this action.

An Update on Our Efforts to Become a Greener School

1. CHANGE of LIGHTING and AIR-CO Equipment

Last year around this time we formed a partnership with an Energy Saving Company (Johnson Control, JC) and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to work together on a possible retrofitting of our buildings. As a first step we conducted an Energy Audit, with the goal of getting a thorough and detailed understanding of our energy consumption and to formulate recommendations for improvement.

After many months spent in reviewing and re-checking the audit results, choosing and testing the applicable products and negotiating contracts and prices, we have finally concluded 2 agreements last week, which will allow us to reduce CO2 emissions by 850,000 Kg per year (this is about 30% of the total amount of CO2 produced at School)

We’ll increase quality of life and comfort. We’ll reduce the negative effects of CO2 on the planet. Last, but not least, we’ll save money in the long run.

With a net investment of about 37 Million Baht, we estimate to save about 5 Million Baht a year. This means that the investment is paid back in about 7.5 years. The majority of the funds for this investment are loaned via a program sponsored by the Thai Ministry of Energy at interest rates substantially lower than market rates.

Except for the units installed during the building renovations of the last 2 years, we’ll replace all of the old, so-called split type units (the ones hanging below the ceilings in the classrooms) with 645 new energy efficient, modern, substantially more quiet , wall mounted units. If you would like to see them in action, please go to the Elementary School (room 113 Scott O’Neill’s Spanish classroom).

We’ll also change all of the 23 large central units (Offices, Chevron Theater, Rajendra Hall, Main Library etc) with new high efficiency units.

As part of the agreement with JC and CCI we will also change the lighting in the Main Library, for the main purpose of increasing the Lux level.

Another Company (Econo-Watd, Thai Energy Conservation Co.) will change all of the lights in the classrooms and corridors from old so-called T8 technology to the new energy efficient T5 technology.

Street lights, sport hall lights, sport field lights will not be changed at this time, since they are still reasonably efficient and the savings from replacement related to the needed investment do not make environmental-financial sense.

TIMING: the change of the lighting will start in a few weeks, while the change of the air-co will be done during the summer. The agreed deadline to have all of the work completed is July 31, 2009, so that we can be fully operational at the beginning of the school year 2009/10.

All of the planning is directed toward an as low as possible disruption of daily learning and working routines.


The construction proceeds in accordance to plan and we are on course with our target of achieving the LEED Gold Certificate (from the US Green Building Council). Energy models of our building in comparison with standard US buildings confirm that our building is a minimum of 29% more energy efficient. Needless to say that if our new building was to be compared with standard buildings in Bangkok the saving percentage would be much higher.


Last year we added about 144 bike parking places as an extension to the main entrance parking. This addition, although not crowded, proves that there has been a constant increase of bike use to get to school.

In an attempt to encourage more students, teachers and parents who live in the vicinity of the school to use their bike as means of transportation and in order to resolve the congestion in the Elementary bike parking area, we’ll extend during the summer the bike parking capacity with a construction similar to the one done last summer on the other side.

So our total bike parking capacity will go from 427 places 2 years ago and 571 this year to 715 by the beginning of August 2009.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What a month!!

Why has April been a good month for the environment at ISB?

Well, April 22 is Earth Day all over the world and plenty of people will do something for the planet. However, a lot will happen at ISB this week.

  1. We have a month long 'Power Down' event to save energy at school.
  2. April 20-24th we will celebrate Earth Week with several events
  3. ISB will install a 48 inch, energy efficient flat screen TV in the cafeteria to display photos, videos, and events about ISB students taking action for several global issues, such as poverty, environment, and education for all.
  4. We are planning a tree planting trip to offset carbon emissions from our school flights. Ok, this is actually on May 2, but you get the point.
  5. Biggest News... ISB is taking major steps to reduce its energy usage. The school has just announced in will retrofit the building to change to more efficient lights and air con.
In a statment from the director, ISB will
"reduce CO2 emissions by 850,000 Kg per year
(this is about 30% of the total amount of CO2 produced at School)
We’ll increase quality of life and comfort. We’ll reduce the negative effects of CO2 on the planet. Last, but not least, we’ll save money in the long run. With a net investment of about 37 Million Baht, we estimate to save about 5 Million Baht a year. This means that the investment is paid back in about 7.5 years."

This is exciting news and reason to celebrate.

Earth Week 2009

Earth Week is coming! This year we have scaled it back and simplified the activities due to some unforeseen events. However, it will still be interactive and effective. We have prizes to be won from a raffle and the only way to get tickets for the raffle is to participate. Each time you participate you get a ticket, thus, the more you participate, the more you increase your chances of winning.

Events 1-6 will occur each day during Earth Week (April 20-24)

1. Burn Calories; Not Oil

a. Walk, ride bike or take any way to school that does not burn oil.

b. We will have people waiting at all 3 gates. See them to get your ticket.

2. BYOB – Bring Your Own Bottle (water bottle that is).

a. Bring your own reusable water bottle each day. Come to the Green Panthers table set up in the cafeteria. Show us the bottle and get a ticket. Use a Green Panther water bottle and get two tickets.

3. Food For Thought:

a. Eat only vegetarian or organic food each day and get a ticket.

4. Buy a Tree

a. Each tree cost 40 baht. Green Panthers and others will plant trees on May 2nd in a location 3 hours south of Bangkok.

b. Each tree you buy is worth 2 tickets.

c. Sign up to join us too if you want.

5. Prove it to the planet

a. Take our list of things to try at home to help the planet. Prove to us that you did it and get a ticket. List will be on our table in the cafeteria during Earth Week.

b. Maybe you can prove it by taking a picture or video with your phone or camera. Please don’t print. Remember it has to be proof.

6. Super Shopper

a. Show us what you buy. If the products are eco friendly get a ticket. For example;

b. Shampoo that is not tested on animals, pencil made from recycled paper, solar charger for phone, organic products, phosphate free laundry detergent, non-toxic cleaning product; eco friendly paper, bring it all in a reusable eco bag and wear an organic shirt.

Reuse – Items to be donated to charity. (Tuesday, April 21st)

o Look through all that ‘junk’, see what you don’t need that might be more useful to someone else. Donate it to a charity.

o Sections will be set up in front near school drop off point for easy off loading.

§ Clothes

§ Toys

§ Books

§ Games

§ Sports equipment

o Note – You can actually donate all week, but we will only be there to give tickets on Tuesday.

Recycle – Wednesday April 22nd only (Earth Day).

o Bring in items to recycle. 1 ticket per bundle of items. 10 tickets maximum.

o Recycling bins will be brought to front of school near main office.

§ Plastic bottles (no glass)

§ Cans

§ Aluminum tabs

§ Newspapers

§ Magazines

§ Batteries

§ Tetra Pak (Juice boxes). Yes, we are recycling these again.

§ Printer cartridges

§ Cell phones and cell phone batteries

Eco Bag Eco-mmercial

Video about the harmful effects of plastic bags. It should promote using Central eco bags instead of plastic bags.
a. All entries will receive 1 ticket.
b. Winner will receive 5 tickets, plus win 5000 baht gift voucher at Central.
c. Video will play at Central Chaengwattana for 1 month.
d. Contest details required by Central so follow closely:
  • Video must be 60 seconds or less.
  • Must show Central logo at some point.
  • Must promote the Central eco bag. (This bag can also be used as a savings card)
  • More details on
e. Videos due to Mr. Dyke by April 20th. Winner picked on 22nd.