Over the course of two days last week, Durham Academy marked a major milestone in its sustainability journey: the school’s first-ever Sustain-In, a schoolwide harnessing of brainpower to reduce DA’s environmental footprint.
The Sustain-In — which began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 23, and ended the morning of Friday, Feb. 24 — was split into two parts: family-friendly activities open to the entire Durham Academy community until 10 p.m., followed by a lock-in for Upper School students and chaperones until 7 a.m. the following morning.
Those attending the early evening portion — including students from Preschool to Upper School, parents, alumni, faculty and staff — were offered an introduction to the school’s carbon emissions report, which was generated by Raleigh-based startup Green Places in collaboration with Upper Schoolers in the Environmental Sustainability in Action course (learn more in their presentation on the findings in December). This effort is part of the overall SustainABLE DA Innovation Journey Fund project.
After that introduction, participants were offered the opportunity to join discussions about sustainability topics including biodiversity; cultural and behavioral norms; electricity; waste; and transportation (plus activities for young children). Members of the Upper School Sustainability Committee led the discussions and gathered ideas for the proposals that they worked on later in the evening.
During that overnight portion, Upper Schoolers developed 12 proposals for making Durham Academy a more environmentally sustainable institution and community. Representatives of Green Places are now helping to evaluate the proposals. Winning ideas will get a boost from $10,000 in seed funding donated by an anonymous donor.
For updates on the Sustain-In proposals competition and other sustainability efforts at Durham Academy, subscribe to the Living Sustainably blog.