Happy Earth Day! Today billions of people around the world are coming together to raise environmental awareness. With disturbing statistics coming out almost daily about the state of our planet, it is important for all of us to do our part to help. This is often easier said than done when convenience and cost often impede our ability, or willpower, to make real change in our lives (read this blog post about ways to train your brain to change your habits).
As a summer camp in the beautiful state of Maine, we are very concerned with keeping the environment clean, as the natural beauty surrounding Vega defines who we are and what we do. We are fortunately to be on one of the cleanest lakes in Maine, which boasts some of the cleanest lakes in the US…and we want to keep it that way.
Furthermore, new research by scientists, psychologists and educators has found that getting kids out into nature is not only fun, but fundamentally necessary for healthy emotional and physical development (see here for more on this).
Did you know that Vega strives to embrace Earth Day every day? Here are some ways Vega helps keep our planet clean:
- uses only energy efficient bulbs;
- uses only low-flow/high-pressure shower heads to reduce water usage and waste;
- installed on-demand/tankless water heaters which are much more energy efficient;
- recycles all bottles and cans;
- recycles all office paper;
- recycles Dining Hall food waste with local farmers to use as compost and animal feed;
- uses organic and local item in the Dining Hall when possible;
- has planted an organic garden, which is used by Cook’s Corner, Vega’s culinary program;
- rents Prius’ to use as camp vehicles for the summer;
- holds Green Care Day once a summer when all lights stay off all day to save energy and increase environmental awareness;
- inspects boats entering Echo Lake at the public boat launch with cooperation with the Echo Lake Association to prevent invasive plant species from entering the lake;
- constructed loon, osprey and other bird nests and houses to maintain a healthy bird population;
- Vega campers planted blueberry bushes along Echo Lake to help filter ground water entering Echo Lake and the 30-mile watershed it is a part of;
- replaced disposable plates and flatware with the reusable kind.
Here are some new things we are implementing this summer:
- battery recycling bins in all the bunks;
- more recycling bins around camp and in the bunks;
Do you have ideas of how we can be even greener? What did you or your class do to celebrate Earth Day? We would love to hear from you!
Here’s to our one and only Earth!
Kyle and Emily