Congratulations to the Green Team at Saint Andrew's School in Boca Raton, FL, for being named a Palm Beach County "Green School of Excellence." This is the highest level of recognition a school can attain in the program.
The co-ed, K-12 boarding school also received a second place award for the 2011 program, in which 49 Palm Beach County schools participated. The honor comes with a $1,000 cash prize, which the school will use to purchase a composting drum for the school garden, which is managed by SAGE Dining Services, the school's dining service provider.
The Green School Recognition Program recognizes public and private schools that promote a culture of sustainability within their school environment. In announcing the award, the judges noted that Saint Andrew’s has reduced the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of the students, faculty and staff by using products that contain no VOCs and no added formaldehyde.
Saint Andrew's also harvests rainwater from the roof to reduce consumption in high-volume areas, such as rest rooms. This also reduces the generation of wastewater and potable water demand by 50 percent, while increasing the local aquifer recharge.
The use of solar tube and vertical light clerestory panels brings natural light deep into the spaces and helps with energy costs. Fluorescent fixtures turn off or dim as supplemented by the natural light. The school community has realized, the judges observed, that being environmentally conscious is not just a one-time decision, but a continuing process.
SAGE plays an important role in supporting campus-wide sustainability efforts at Saint Andrew's School. The middle and upper schools went trayless at mealtime three years ago. SAGE food service director Ross Gelb oversees the campus garden, which began as a pilot last year with five beds. This year's yield included mixed greens, romaine, three varieties of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, three kinds of beans, honeydew and watermelon.
This summer, the garden will expand to 12 to 15 beds, says Gelb, offering even greater opportunities for student learning.