December Spotlight on Service - Mr. Bowser, Shivani, and Mackenzie

This month’s Spotlight on Service shines on Mr. Chris Bowser with his Recycling Program and seniors Shivani and Mackenzie, student leaders of the Clean & Green Club. Eleventh grade Service Ambassadors Tommaso and Deniz spoke with them to learn more about our School’s environmental initiatives.

The Recycling Program

The Recycling Program has been running for 14 years at TASIS England, under Mr. Bowser’s guidance for much of that time. Mr. Bowser was motivated to lead the Recycling Program by what he learned from the former advisor of the program, a Biology and Environmental Science teacher, and by a desire to have a positive impact on school-wide recycling habits.

Each week, 13 Upper School students collect materials such as hard plastic, metal, glass, paper, and cardboard and deposit these in special recycling bins. The students’ service helps to meet our School’s needs for recycling, benefits our community and our planet, and emphasizes the small steps we can all take to help the environment.

Mr. Bowser says that it can be frustrating to see recycling and general waste being mixed up, and he reflects that the Recycling Program sets a positive example for others. For example, in the Lower School, teachers and students work together on activities about recycling, teaching children from a young age how to reduce our environmental footprint. Also, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many teachers have shifted to using online resources, which has cut down on paper usage and produces far less trash. The Recycling Program reminds us that we need to be mindful of the environment on a day-to-day basis and to educate each other to leave the world a better, cleaner place than we found it.

 The Clean & Green Club

The Clean & Green Club is another fantastic initiative dedicated to saving the environment. Recognizing increasing environmental issues of concern, such as worldwide pollution and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 12-year deadline to act on climate change, Shivani and Mackenzie were eager to create this club two years ago. The Clean & Green Club’s mission includes raising environmental awareness and educating those within the community on ways to practice sustainability and to be considerate of the impact we have on the environment.

For instance, Shivani and Mackenzie encourage us to reduce waste by replacing single-use plastic bottles with refillable bottles and by wearing reusable face masks. They state that it is also important to be mindful of what can and cannot be recycled and to cut down on the wasting of food, water, and electricity. Following sustainability in all areas in life, ranging from recycling in school to supporting second-hand shopping, there are changes we can all make to have a positive impact on the environment.

Looking forward to the Clean & Green Club’s initiatives for the rest of the school year, Shivani and Mackenzie plan to celebrate environmental days, to create a social media news board for weekly environmental updates, and to sponsor a socially-distant eco fashion show.

Advised by Ms. Brenda Clark, the Clean & Green Club meets each Tuesday from 12-12:25 p.m. in Lower Hall 8.  Students who would like to learn more about the club or to join are encouraged to attend a meeting in person or to contact Shivani or Mackenzie for a Zoom link.

Thank you to Mr. Bowser, Shivani, and Mackenzie, and to all of the Upper School students involved in the Recycling Program and the Clean & Green Club, for setting great examples and for raising awareness of how we can take action to protect our environment and achieve optimum sustainability in a cleaner, and greener, society.