Seniors Kendall Rice & Sophie Rodner demonstrate composting in the dining hall.  

Students in Loomis Chaffee’s environmental sustainability programs have begun an awareness-raising campaign this week to encourage the school community to recommit to Earth-friendly behaviors — including composting in the dining hall — as Pelicans from far and wide arrive back on the Island for Fall Term 2.

Next week, the e-proctors will celebrate HALFy bEARTHday with a variety of fun activities marking the halfway point to next year’s Earth Day on April 22, 2021.

“It’s important that we renew our focus and continue the progress we’ve made in reducing the school’s carbon footprint,” said Marley Matlack, director of Loomis’ Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies, who explained that a comprehensive composting project begun in January was temporarily set aside while the school addressed immediate safety issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Beginning this week during lunch, local business partner Blue Earth Composting will restart food waste collection in the dining hall. The waste is made into an organic plant fertilizer rather than transported to landfills.

Pelican diners may put food waste, cardboard plates or containers, drink cups, and napkins into the clearly marked Blue Earth bins upon exiting the dining hall. Student environmental proctors, or e-proctors — will be on hand during lunch to offer assistance and encourage everyone to participate. If the lunchtime collection is successful, Marely said, the school will consider adding collections at breakfasts and dinners.

Connect to PDF of what can and cannot be composted in the dining hall. 

While composting raw food waste has been a part of Loomis’ agricultural program for several years, cooked or processed food, especially meats, dairy, and oils, require professional handling because of the risk of rotting. The original trial run of Loomis’ partnership with Blue Earth took place on campus in spring of 2019 as the culmination of a year-long Guided Environmental Research Project conducted by Julianna Lee ’19.

More information about HALFy bEARTHday activities will be available in the Daily Bulletin and on the Alvord Center’s Instagram @lcalvordcenter.

There are many ways for students to get involved in environmental programs, organizations, and clubs at Loomis. Connect to the Alvord Center webpage to learn more or stop into the center on the first floor of Katharine Brush Library.