Not all schools make environmental sustainability a priority, but it is at the forefront of our school’s agenda.
“In my 10 years here I’ve never seen us take a step backwards in our green initiatives,” Chief Financial Officer Mary Rodino says.
While our school is far from carbon neutral and certainly not the most energy efficient building in Evanston, sustainability is still taken into consideration wherever and whenever it can be.
“When we do something we always look for a way to contribute to a green initiative,” Rodino says.
Six years ago a rainwater collection system was installed while remodeling the athletic fields behind the building. This system makes these fields completely self sustaining, meaning they water themselves using recycled rainwater.
“Any way to save water is a big deal in Evanston, especially because our water is some of the most expensive along the North Shore,” Head of Operations Clarence Gregory says.
Gregory also explained other ways that the school is saving on water including motion sensors on sinks, automatic urinal flushers and timers on the pool showers.
Also, the school is currently in the middle of a multi-year light sustainability project.
“It is an ongoing process to replace all school lights with energy efficient T8 LED tubes,” Gregory says.
The future of sustainability is also looking bright.
“We talk about a potential wind turbine in the REEL Lab along with a geothermal installation,” Rodino says. The REEL Lab is the specialized classroom for the Environmental Science class located behind Lazier Field.
The school is discussing the installation, and while two donors are on board, they still need to get zoning permission before proceeding with the project. They hope to start next spring or summer. The turbine would generate enough power to take the reel lab completely off the grid.
“I want renewable energy in our school because our world is running out of fossil fuels. We need to find an alternative,” senior Teddy Walker says.
As fossil fuels and natural gasses run dry our society, and our school, will need to adapt to use different sources of energy. But by looking at the steps our school has already taken to go green, students should be assured that ETHS will continue to do everything it can to be the greenest school it can be.