The “Bring A Bottle” Challenge
In addition to many other establishments this year, Gilmour has brought a new organization to the school: Green Leadership Council. The Green Leadership Council, or the GLC, is a student-led organization striving for a more eco-friendly campus at Gilmour. To kick off the new school year, the GLC held a school-wide challenge to reduce plastic waste during Community block.
This challenge was titled the “Bring a Bottle Challenge,” where every student was asked to bring a reusable water bottle instead of using the plastic bottled waters offered at lunch. If 80% of the school brought a reusable bottle, then a comfy day would be the reward. According to the GLC tally, 84% of the school refrained from using plastic water bottles during the school day. Usually, the garbage bins are overflowing by the end of Community block; fortunately, the challenge cut down on waste. Although this event only lasted a week, it proved that Gilmour can and will be transformed into a “greener” school.
The committee council’s mission is to promote environmentally-conscious habits and most importantly, maintain them.
Creating A Student-Wide Movement
Emma Lesko (`20), the president of the GLC, has always had a passion for the environment and wanted to bring her passion to the Academy. “Earth is the one thing all of us have in common,” Lesko said. “It is our responsibility to take care of it. If we start on a small scale at a local school community, our actions will create a larger movement on a greater scale.” In relation to Gilmour’s 2019-20 theme of inclusiveness, the Green Leadership Council is sending the student body an all-encompassing message: climate activism is a communal effort as every person shares this Earth.
Clara Morgan (‘22) said, “If we want to be citizens of the world, we have to start taking action at an early age. If we want to make a change, we need to create a movement that can contribute to one on a global scale.” The members of GLC intend to unify the school as well as mold a student body that prioritizes saving the very planet that allows us to exist.
The Significance of a Student-Based Initiative
Continually, the Green Leadership is a student-run organization, and creating eco-friendly habits on campus is not an easy job. Sra. Alemdar, Spanish teacher and GLC moderator believes that this student-run council is “empowering.” When reflecting on the significance of a student-based initiative, Sra. Alemdar mentioned that students taking the lead to transform the school community is important, but taking a step farther is the true goal. “The council is capable of incredible things, and in this student-run organization, they decide what that will be.” she said.
Plans for the Future
The Green Leadership Council is not planning on being an ordinary “club”; they have big plans for Gilmour. For example, the team is currently writing a proposal for composting and overall waste-reduction around campus. The proposal will be presented to the Head of School, Mrs. Kathy Kenny. The presentation requires a solid amount of funding from the school. The GLC hopes to make a lasting impact. Clara Morgan (‘22) emphasized that “this is something that affects everyone; you can’t opt-out. I wish that Gilmour would acknowledge its footprint on the Earth and that these climate troubles will one day catch up to everyone.”