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Think Differently ... Live Differently

November 16, 2015

During assembly on Monday, November 16, Christopher Hinshaw (history) talked about his 14,000 mile-trek through 26 states to explore what other educational institutions are doing to reduce their carbon footprints, increase their energy efficiency and reduce the waste they generate. Though long committed to this effort personally, Hinshaw was recently named Burroughs' first director of sustainability and decided to take a half-year sabbatical last spring to discover best practices nationwide.

The centerpiece of his presentation was a series of photos, demonstrating growing and visible interest among schools — public, private, elementary, secondary and post-secondary — in sustainability-focused curriculum, campus development and campus practices. From solar panels and windmills, to car sharing and bike co-ops, to the "slow food" movement, Hinshaw found what he expected: a switch in a mind set in which thinking differently resulted in acting differently. While some schools have modest initiatives, he also visited sites where 75 percent of the energy is generated through solar power, where 50 percent of the food eaten on campus is grown on campus and where there is quite literally zero waste.

During his introduction of Hinshaw, Mr. Abbott said that Burroughs has historically been interested in the environment, but our commitment has become more intentional, including LEED-certified construction; expanded environmental science curriculum; on-campus gardens, bee hives, bio-retention ponds and composting; and the position of director of sustainability — one of the first in the nation at the secondary level — to coordinate and enhance our efforts.