Thursday, May 7, 2009

Good News from the Cafeteria

A while back the Q3 environmental class surveyed students to see how they felt about some possible environmental changes. Most of the results were encouraging, thus we followed up with a survey to the teachers/staff and then the parents. Again most results were encouraging. One of the changes was to switch to recycled/unbleached napkins. However, these napkins are more expensive and we asked people if they would donate money for this cause. More than 140 people said they would donate and I thank you all for your support, however the money is no longer needed. The cafeteria (Epicure) kindly agreed they would pick up the tab on this one since they believe in the cause and want to contribute to the environmental movement at ISB. We are also partnering up with a new business on this. You may have noticed the new smoothie stand at Villa called Twist. Well, their owner is also very aware of environmental issues and will have the same napkins.

It’s great to see other businesses getting on board and actively looking for solutions. Let’s give a big thanks to Cynthia U. from Epicure and Mike R. from Twist for making this happen. For the rest of us, let's make sure we do our part and listen to the message: Be part of the solution; take only what you need.

Saving Paper in the Library

5 years ago ISB delivered a blue box to every classroom and office to collect waste paper for recycling. This still continues today and although it is good to recycle, it is much better to just use less paper in the first place and then reuse what you can. The library is now taking measures to make this happen.
According to Stephen Lehmann the print/copy numbers at ISB has reduced 5% even though student numbers increased during that time. Mr. Lehmann also states that “Now in the MS/HS library students use their card to make photocopies and the money is deducted from their campus card account. For printing, if it color the student is charged to their card. If is black and white printing there is no charge but there is a monthly limit of 100 copies. When printing color or black and white the student has to go to the printer and release the job.” Doing this ensures the print jobs are always picked up. At the end of the day, any jobs that were printed and were not picked up are canceled.
According to some library staff, the amount of wasted paper before just piled up each day without being picked up and since these new measures have come in, there is little to no waste. Thus, the measures have not stopped students from printing when needed, but has reduced the amount of careless and unnecessary printing. In other words, they have to be more responsible and less wasteful.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Finalists for the Eco Bag Eco-mmercial

Central Shopping Centers are trying to reduce plastic bag use. ISB held a video contest to support this cause. The winner will win a 5000 baht gift voucher for the shopping center and have their video played at Central Chidlom for a month!

Here are the finalists. Which one would you pick?

Thanks to all those who entered the contest and especially Jacob J. and David S. for making the finals.

300 Trees Planted and a Trip to the Eco Center

On May 2nd, 2009, 60+ ISB students went to Sirindhorn International Environmental Park and planted 300 trees. We also had some time at the beach and checked out the environmental center.

Friday, May 1, 2009

30 Percent Greener

By Bill Gerritz

Many students, staff and parents have been working to make ISB a more environmentally friendly, greener school. Much of this work has been done by our Green Panthers. Recently, three additional efforts have also achieved success.

#1 --- We have signed a contract to renew the air conditioning and lighting systems in the school. The result will be a reduction in CO2 emissions of 850,000 Kg per year or about 30% of the total amount of CO2 produced at School. In a significant side benefit, the new air conditioners will be very quiet, a big deal for students and staff bothered by our noisy old ones.

The contract represents a four way partnership between ISB, Clinton Climate Initiative, Johnson Control and the Thai Ministry of Energy. The combination of low interest loans from the Ministry and energy savings will give us a payback period of about 7.5 years. All work will be completed by the end of July.

#2 ---Construction of our new Cultural Center proceeds in accordance to plan and we are on course with our target of achieving the LEED Gold Certificate (from the U.S. Green Building Council). Energy models of our building in comparison with standard U.S. buildings confirm that our building will be 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

#3 --- Last year we added about 144 bike parking places as an extension to the main entrance parking. In an attempt to encourage more students, teachers and parents who live in the vicinity of the school to use their bike as a means of transportation, and in order to resolve the congestion in the Elementary bike parking area, we’ll extend the bike parking capacity during the summer with a construction similar to the one done last summer on the other side. Our total bike parking capacity will go from 427 places 2 years ago and 571 places this year to 715 places by the beginning of August 2009.