Earth Day and Changing Habits at ACS-Beirut

"It will take the best in each of us to make the best world for all of us."

Last year and for the first year, we have celebrated Earth Day at ACS.  Earth Day falls on April 22 every year but because the 22nd is during the holiday, we decided to celebrate it on the 19th.  All community members were asked to wear green on that day (the program that was sent to the community is attached along with pictures).

The celebration was launched with a school-wide (yes, even offices!) Earth Hour simulation at 9:00.  If you remember, Earth Hour was an international event that occurred on March 26 at 8:30.  The main purpose of this simulation was to bring awareness re climate change, get active in actually reducing consumption, and reflect on what we take for granted and what we could actually change in our daily habits. 

During this mock Earth Hour, the school's electrical consumption went down by 80.6%!!!  This was followed in High School with a general assembly in the Gym lead by IB Chemistry teacher Dania Maaliki Tarabishi and hosted by IB students Jeneen, Dany and Shezza.  There were various presentations by guest speakers and/or students.  A water resource engineer, discussed water challenges.  A representative from the Society of Protection of Nature in Lebanon, discussed threats to birds' migration.  Students from various levels discussed wind mills, problems with plastics, biodegradable plastics, and some gave simple tips on how to go green.  ACS green actions and steps were shared with the audience. 

The presentations ended with a short movie from the local ANA MA BKEB campaign, followed by an environmental fun and educational jeopardy game lead by IB Y2 Chemistry students.

This event was a culmination to so many activities that had occurred before April 19.  These included Earth Day; emails with quotations, information shared with the ACS community (the compilation of these emails is attached); Daily Bulletin Announcement & info on the international Earth Hour on (the compilation of these is attached); Earth Day at the American Community School of Beirut (ACS); Environmental videos to view during advisory sessions; striking info or good practices campaign lead by IB Y2 students Jeneen & Dany. (They have made it a point NOT to use paper but to use any recycled items for their campaigns. Jeneen has collected all the leaves from a tree that was being cut nearby.  She also made the recycled paper at home and they both cut pictures from magazines; Environmental activities in Early Years classes lead by IB Y2 students Jeneen Dany, Rayan, Nour, Souhail & Thomas; Environmental presentations in Elementary School classes lead by LB 11 students Omar, Maya, Marwa, Rayanl, and Gheeda.

The hope was that after all the activities that have occurred during that month and on April 19 specifically, all involved would understand the importance of this celebration and remember that we all have to work for our Planet, our only and unique planet, each and every day.  In fact, each day is Earth Day: "If each of us were to improve just one thing the world would be transformed."

While this awareness campaign was occurring, green actions were occurring at ACS:

  • ES and EY principals gave all of their staff porcelain coffee cups before the winter holiday with a request to no longer use plastic or paper cups at ACS. No more plastic coffee cups at Head of Department and High School faculty meetings.
  • No more small plastic coffee cups at ACS
  • Cleaning crew changes the garbage plastic bags in classes and offices only once a week as opposed to each day, but still emptying all bins daily in one unique plastic bag.
  • ACS Go Green group has started (Bilal & Reem). The group is working on getting permanent recycling bins, a program for battery recycling, and the project of placing rocks in WCs tanks to reduce the water consumption.
  • Switched to water coolers in the gym and athletic fields. Disposable water bottles were stopped. Individuals are to bring their own water bottle to PE lessons and practices.
  • ACS Carnival with Green theme last May.
  • Under study: large recycling bins next to garbage bins in courtyards for plastic; high water consumption WC tanks changed in some toilets; quality and price of paper or biodegradable plastic cups to replace all other plastic cups at ACS (in the nurses' offices, plastic cups were replaced by biodegradable ones as of September 2011); quality and price of biodegradable bags to replace all trash bags at ACS; the use of good local agendas made from recycled paper for 2012-13; implementation of no disposable water bottles - replace with aluminium bottles.





I'd like you to give me links to websites with information on the different celebrations that are carried out in both places or if you can, just post the information here.
It's not necessary that the information is about Earth Day this year. It can be old too.



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