The new sustainability course The Green Umbrella Learning Lab met for the first time this past Fall. Mr. Bre Miller and Doctor Robinson made this class because of their passion for sustainability. One of their goals in making this course was to allow students more time to dedicate themselves to environmental issues. In particular the students focus on making Exeter more sustainable. The Green Umbrella Learning Lab got its name from the Green Umbrella Board, a group of teachers who are passionate about environmental issues. The Learning Lab is the student version of this board and is the only class of its kind offered at Exeter.
The class is mostly made up of students who are club heads of the environmental clubs on campus. In the class, students split up into small groups and choose a project to dedicate their term to. They started by brainstorming ideas and blending their other interests with their passion for sustainability. They spend the rest of the term working on their ideas; the goal is to finish by the end of the term or at least have one step of the project done. The class formed four groups each with a different project. The first group’s idea is to create a thrift store in a building behind the bookstore. This thrift store will be a reestablishment of the Exeter Exchange, a place where people can donate items and other students can choose from the donated items for free. The goal of this project is to combat consumerism on campus and make the thrift store more of a “hub” on campus. The next group is working with the athletics department to make EA more environmentally sustainable. This group has talked with Student Council to ask them to change the way they distribute bandanas and beaded necklaces for EA. They want to make it so there is less waste and littering of resources. The third group is working on designing a reusable pizza box. They hope to implement it into dorm grills and local pizza shops. The final group is working with PO to solve an issue of breaking down boxes so that they can be recycled and reducing waste coming from PO. One approach they have for this is to ask to get “package pooling” so that less packaging is used when shipping packages. There are multiple exciting projects coming from this class and it is sure to have many more exciting projects in the future.
Source: Lily Friedland