WEST HARTFORD — Small armies of the planet’s caretakers took to the gardens, lawns and major thoroughfares in West Hartford around the Kingswood Oxford campus to clean up the area in celebration of Earth Day, recently. The Kingswood Oxford students, wearing pink to represent the coral reefs, white for the Arctic and blue for the oceans, are committed to investing in the health of the planet and are taking action.
The Earth Day celebrations were the brainchild of KO’s Green Team with the steady guidance of Upper School science teacher Lisa Bailey. Mckenzie Piehl, one of the leaders of the Green Team who spearheaded the day’s events said, “I want to bring awareness of humans impact on the environment and for our community to be more conscious of our footprint. One person can make a difference. We need to be mindful of our actions. The work doesn’t stop here.”
Various groups from the Upper School and Middle School rotated throughout several well-planned activities from tending to the community garden to watching an eye-opening documentary about the Anthropocene era, an epoch marked by humans’ negative impact on the earth’s resources. Thousands of years ago, there existed a balance between nature and man. Today, humans will determine nature’s survival so there is an imperative to protect biodiversity and create more stability and sustainability.
Even the trivia game, Kahoot, centered around the knowledge of humans’ environmental impact. What accounts for 20 percent of the U.S.’s electricity consumption? Lighting. What percentage of electricity is used by a home when a product is turned off? 75 percent. Remarkably, in a given year, a family of four wastes enough water brushing teeth to fill an above ground pool. Those are staggering statistics that we can and need to lower.
Sage Dining Services, the school’s purveyors of all things tasty, added to the mix by serving Earth Day cookies frosted with our blue and green globe. Two vendors and KO alums that the school uses shared information about their local and sustainable companies during lunch. The Farmer’s Cow, where the school obtains milk and eggs, is a group of six Connecticut family-owned farms.
They are dedicated to putting a face on Connecticut agriculture. Sardilli Produce displayed colorful beets and other vegetables grown locally.
The afternoon was capped off with an inventive fashion show or “trashion show” in which the students fabricated clothing from plastic water bottles, Dunkin’ Donut styrofoam cups, newspapers or trash bags. Wyverns displayed their creativity and high energy.
Kingswood Oxford students are fighting for the future of the planet and having a great time while doing it.
Now, don’t forget to shut the lights off when you leave the room.
For more information visit www.kingswoodoxford.org.