Next week, three sophomores and one junior from Idyllwild Arts Academy will join me in flying to Denver, Colo., for the Second Annual Green Schools International Conference, Feb. 27 to 29. It’s safe to say that these students are just a tad excited, having proved their readiness and willingness to assist in bringing green changes to our school through written essays.
Idyllwild Arts Academy (IAA) has substantial outside lighting requirements for visibility and safety. Students, faculty and visitors are often out in darker hours, going to and from dorms and the dining hall, the library and various art studios, or attending on-campus performances and recitals. To assure these needs, IAA has an annual utility bill totaling more than a half million dollars. Consequently, the school has a strong incentive to undertake a sustainability program. So, outside lighting is one of many areas we have been looking at. Plus, many of us have outside lighting needs at home.
At Idyllwild Arts Academy, we have begun to implement sustainable practices in many aspects of our campus life. Some of the greatest successes have occurred in our dining hall. We’ve become deliberate in sourcing our food locally, seasonally and in pursuit of organic produce. We have moved forward in establishing relationships with local farmers who can provide fresh, humanely raised and chemical free meat, poultry and eggs.