Climate Action in the times of COVID was not easy, but group organizers Abigail Cole ‘21 and Gracie Roe ‘21 persevered along with their faculty advisor Dr. Mumford. The group was forced to take their action online and had surprisingly good results.
“With COVID it’s just been so hard,” explained Abigail. “We had a brainstorming meeting at the beginning of the year about what students were interested in us doing. We had weekly meetings on Zoom and decided that one of the main things we could do was try to keep the school informed about climate change and sustainability through announcements and emails to get the school aware and engaged.”
That strategy worked. Abigail sent out emails with information to reduce shipping waste on packages from Amazon (see below) and almost immediately the composition of boxes at the loading dock changed. “It’s been really cool to see that since we started putting out these resources to the community the more people that are willing to run with these ideas,” says Abigail. The group shared information to upcycle old shoes through Nike and got an overwhelmingly positive response.
With these positive initiatives the group embarked on a more ambitious project to launch an online thrift store. "Jessica Shi ‘23 came to us with the idea because at the end of the year there is always so much stuff that gets left behind. We thought Instagram would be an easy way to share what stuff is available on campus.” After seeking the appropriate school approval, the group launched the Instagram account @holdy_thrift_shop and once again immediately had a positive response with posts in their first month. Instead of sending individual school-wide emails about textbooks, clothes, and dorm items that are available, students can easily find stuff they want or need while scrolling through their Instagram feed. Next year they hope to see this initiative grow.
Both group leaders Gracie Roe and Abigail Cole are off to college next year and are handing the group over to the capable hands of Phoebe Fisher ‘23. They have lots of hopes and dreams for the school to continue to grow its sustainability initiatives. “We already have the solar array and biomass plants,” says Abigail. “Next year we hope the group will continue to work on reducing food waste and start sourcing more food from farms, expanding out composting on campus, and hopefully start a school garden, and working toward Holderness being more net-zero.”
Here’s how you can change your amazon packaging to degradable materials:
- Open your Amazon account and go to help/customer service
- Click on Contact Us
- Use the Chat option
- On chat, request to make all future orders plastic-free with minimal packaging and when absolutely necessary use only degradable packaging materials like paper.
- End the chat and your preferences will be saved to your account!
Want more? Check out some other links The Climate Action Group shared with the school this year: