Friday, April 18, 2014

A year of living joyously

Almost one year to the day I rolled up to this school... and everything changed.

I was still working at NUVO and Indiana Living Green at the time, was loving my work, my workmates, but was increasingly urgent regarding our climate predicament and what to do about it.

I was invited to CFI #2, an IPS school situated downtown and by the time I walked out, I knew what I needed to do: Find a way to work, full time, with kids on climate issues and sustainability actions.

A couple months later, that wish magically came true.

This is what the school looked like today when I arrived.

What's that, you want to get a closer look at the bike rack?

My bike is feeling pretty cool, nestled between these festive bikes. Unless, of course, my bike is feeling rather wan and embarrassed.

Once inside, these greets my eye:

Here is a school that doesn't want to let anything go to waste. In fact, CFI #2 has a great relationship with The Can Lady, who will come and pick up these cans and return with money for the school. Cha-Ching!

Two elementary classes gathered in the media center (for my generation, it's called "the library"), some 40 or so kids. They were kind, attentive and had great input. This one student, Allan, got up and took over my presentation with a description of greenhouse gas pollution's impact on the atmosphere:

Awesome job, Allan. Next, the kids are making the motions of a jet stream made wobbly by the melting Arctic sea:

Here is Darcy explaining the positive feedback loop of Arctic melt:

Students show off the greens they're growing:

Here is their aquaponics set up, designed and monitored by the students:

Students at CFI #2 are savvy about all types of composting, too:

All in all, it was a lovely visit and a reminder to me how sophisticated Indiana students can be about waste, energy, food and recycling. These kids — and their terrific, supportive teachers and principal — inspire me, and should inspire us all, to be better stewards of the earth.

This time, cycling away from the school, I had no epiphany, in fact I didn't need one. I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.