Greenwood High School in Bengaluru believes in providing all round development to its students. They make the students understand the value of cleanliness and hygiene along with protecting the environment by conserving energy. Under the able guidance of Aloysius D’Mello, the Principal, many initiatives have been undertaken to emphasis the importance of environment to the students.
It was a delayed and erratic monsoon causing water scarcity and over dependence on bore wells that led to Greenwood High starting a water conservation programme and a rain water harvesting initiative. The initiative started in June 2012. Tanks of varying capacity were installed across the 30 acre campus for effective rainwater collection. The students were sensitised to the importance of water conservation, and were encouraged to practise water economy. The campaign soon gained momentum and the students were not only conserving water but were spreading awareness on the importance of saving water. The water conservation programme had the students spreading awareness to the residential buildings in the vicinity of the school campus. Through this conservation programme, the school now saves about 2, 00,000 litres of water in a day. Kitchen water consumption has been reduced by 25%, water consumption in hostels has reduced by almost 50% and overall usage of water in the entire campus has gone down by 30%.
The same year, Greenwood High took the initiative and joined the Schneider Electric “GO GREEN” programme. The initiative had the entire middle school grades five and six participate enthusiastically in various programmes arranged to generate awareness on green habits like saving and preserving natural resources. The kids took a trip to a petrol bunk to flag off the programme. To spread awareness on energy conservation, the kids gave out information on the need to properly maintain a car to reduce petrol consumption and also lower air pollution.
The informed kids made efforts to reduce electricity bills at the school too. Electricity conservation methods were employed with all departments at the school being monitored for their performance. “A survey conducted showed a sharp decline in the electricity bills. The children still continued to enforce the conservation methods, with departments receiving ‘well done stickers’ for their efforts,” said D’Mello. In the Schneider Electric green program, Greenwood High emerged as a proud ‘GO GREEN’ School.
An audit showed that the school got straight A’s in land, air and water conservation.
The school also boosts of a vegetable patch, where the students grow vegetables, fruits and various flowering plants. “In 2010, the ICSE students of grade nine and ten requested to start gardening as a project for the Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) and Creative Action & Service (CAS). Soon, a patch of land was used to cultivate Okras, tomatoes, lentils, pumpkins, spinaches and many more healthy vegetables and fruits. To supplement the gardening project, a waste management initiative was also undertaken. All the organic waste from the canteen was collected and put in a pit to create vermi-compost. This vermi-compost provided nourishment to the vegetation grown by the students and added 2,40,000sqft. of landscaping within the campus. The practical approach to important issues like water and energy conservation along with waste management has provided the students with a learning environment that will bring consciousness about respecting the environment. It is also easier to explain the young students about the environmental factors so that it remains with them for the rest of their lives.
“We are running these programs as a continuous process and our students are seeing the benefits and implementing it in their community. We are connecting with various apartments, communities and corporate to make these initiatives reach the general public” said D’Mello.