Huybrechts initiates a green scene

As part of a concerted school-wide effort to maximize the efficiency of energy and resources on both campuses, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts announced plans last month to implement a series of environmentally-conscious policies, collectively known as “H-W Green.”

“I believe that most of the time, most of us try to be environmentally conscious…but we could be doing much more,” Huybrechts wrote in an e-mail to faculty Sept. 18. “This year I’d like us to do much more: to become more intentional about lowering our impact on the environment, and to begin making green practices an integral part of daily operation at H-W.”

“We’re going to take a look at how we at school can be greener and perhaps how we can educate our students about principles related to conservation,” she added in an interview last week.

Middle school performing arts teacher Carrie Green and upper school math teacher Kent Palmer will be leading the “H-W Green” initiative on their respective campuses.

Huybrechts has yet to declare any specific components of “H-W Green” beyond its leaders.

“From my point of view there are no specific plans. There are all sorts of ideas already,” she said, citing the potential elimination of paper plates and plastic utensils from the cafeteria as an example.

The creation of a committee of faculty members, Prefects and student volunteers to spearhead “H-W Green” has also been tentatively discussed, Huybrechts said.

One of the committee’s goals would be to educate and raise awareness among the student body on the necessity and benefits of sustainable living, Prefect Kate Liebman ’09 said.

Potential ideas include selling reusable water bottles for student use and adding an eco-friendly element to this year’s Semiformal, Liebman said.

Huybrechts said she anticipates that “H-W Green” will eventually have a significant positive impact on the school’s policies and their environmental consequences.

“Rather than wait a whole year and make some recommendations at the end of the year, I would like us just to become greener tomorrow, if possible,” she said. “There are so many people involved in this, so many people who are interested that I anticipate some real changes in the school.”