BSM takes on large-scale sustainability projects

Part 2 of 2 in reporting on BSM’s sustainability efforts.


Megan Cornell

Posters are mounted above the trash and organics bins to aid students in sorting their waste.

Megan Cornell, Staff Writer

Mr. Ryan Werdon, BSM choir director and creator of BSM’s new Sustainability Club, is not the only member of the BSM community to institute a sustainability initiative. This summer, maintenance staff member Brian Aubrey completed a project to install LED lighting at BSM.

This lighting project switched all the lights in the school from fluorescent/incandescent lighting to sustainable LEDs. LED lights are an advantageous way to go green because they are also cost-effective. BSM is able to get back about 20% of the cost of installation in rebates, and they save on their monthly energy bill. “It is about a 58% percent saving on energy, which is substantial,” Aubrey said.

Along with lighting, the maintenance staff also tackled a sustainable air project. The new air conditioning system is motion sensored––the system saves energy by turning off when the building is empty. A project to conserve BSM’s water supply is also underway. “We are working on reduction of water; more efficient toilets and faucets,” Aubrey said.

Taher, the lunch service at BSM, is taking steps to encourage composting and recycling. In prior years, Taher has used silverware to avoid waste. Due to CDC guidelines this year, Taher has had to step away from silverware and switch over to plastic utensils. This has led to a few issues; many students assume that these utensils are recyclable. However, throwing these utensils in the trash contaminates the recycling bin in a classic example of wish cycling. To warn students of the dangers of wish cycling, posters have been mounted above the compost, recycling, and trash bins to aid students in properly disposing of their waste. “It would be very helpful for people to take the time to put it in the right [bin],” Lynch said.

These initiatives have helped BSM take strides in saving the planet, and they align well with the school’s values. Pope Francis calls Catholics to use what they have been given to make the world a better place. Caring for the climate is a key component of helping the world; Pope Francis released Laudato sí’, an educational book educating Catholics on the importance of taking care of the Earth. In this book, the Pope calls for “swift and unified action,” a message Werdon echoed when creating his sustainability initiative. “It is a part of the holistic education, and also in many of the teachings our school adheres to. It just encompasses the mission and the responsibility of the school,” Werdon said.

Through these projects, BSM is taking up the Pope’s call for sustainability and helping to protect the environment against climate change.