The students at West Hollow Middle School in Long Island, USA, are serious about environmental issues. The school collects and recycles plastic bottles and paper, has installed reusable water bottle filling stations, has opted for paperless instruction, and plans to launch a farm-to-table project to supply local food pantries with fresh produce.
Now West Hollow has taken its commitment to sustainability even further by taking the UN's Climate Neutral Now pledge, to measure the school's greenhouse gas emissions, reduce what it can and offset the rest using certified emission reductions.
"By broadening the horizons of students at an early age, we can establish a culture in which climate neutrality becomes a norm instead of an exception," said West Hollow science teacher Chris Regini. "The Climate Neutral Now pledge has not only offered this opportunity to our students, but has ignited an enthusiasm that is an inspiration to behold."
West Hollow is not stopping there. The school has produced a full curriculum for teachers to raise awareness among students and launched a school-wide campaign to get faculty and students to actively reduce the school's carbon footprint and their carbon footprints at home.
"Addressing climate change requires the collaboration of every single individual," said Niclas Svenningsen, Manager of Global Climate Action at UN Climate Change. "Educational institutions are key to raising awareness among younger generations, and through them, raising awareness in the whole community.
"Schools like West Hollow can contribute by addressing their own operational footprint; but, they can help us achieve even more through the interaction they have with their communities," said Mr. Svenningsen. "We welcome West Hollow and hope that many others will follow their example."
West Hollow Middle School joins two other schools - one in the USA and one in Mexico - in taking the Climate Neutral Now pledge, adding to the long list of organizations and companies, small and large, including global brands, that have pledged to measure their emissions, reduce what they can and offset the rest.