School walks the talk on new encyclical’s call to take care of environment, ‘our common home’
IN RESPONSE to Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Ateneo de Iloilo-Santa Maria Catholic School has invested on structural makeovers that aim to significantly reduce the school’s carbon footprint. This includes the installation of the light-emitting-diode (LED) televisions, retrofitting of the building roof, replacement of the lighting system, and the integration of hydrophonics in the curriculum.
“One year after the promulgation of Laudato Si, the school, for its part, has already made strides—crusading for proper waste disposal and campaigning for the conservation of resources,” Senior High school associate principal Dr. Herman Lagon said, adding, “this, however, must be sustained and should cascade over all members of the community.”
“Thus, the school, through the leadership of Fr. Joseph Haw, is now taking the lead in continuously responding to the call of Laudato Si, even if it means investing much on resources and effort. For example, using LED devices may be expensive, but will eventually lessen our consumption of electricity. In similar reason that we spend much in changing the design of our roofing so we can catch more rain water for use.”
The LED televisions are known to have far lesser carbon footprints than that of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) multimedia projectors. Like LED bulbs as against CFL lighting, it has an energy use efficiency of 90% which is ten times better than its LCD counterpart.
“With the Grades 8, 9, and 11 classrooms equipped with LED TV sets, and the Grades 1 and 10 classrooms with projectors, ADI can now say that it does not have audio-visual rooms anymore, as there is no need for such,” said high school principal Rosario Dordas, adding, “all classrooms, as well as our computer and science laboratories are now energy-friendly multi-media rooms.”
Meanwhile, the roof of the school, having had face-lifting last summer, now looks v-shaped with a water catcher in its vertex. The rain water it collects is then transported to a catch basin situated in the school gymnasium area. The water is then used for cleaning and watering of plants.
The school also plans to integrate hydrophonics in its research and science classes. Three green houses are about to be installed in the back portion of the school for this purpose. Under the care of the office of the Campus Ministry and Social Involvement Office, the school’s Environment Committee, and the Physical Plant Office, the vegetation to be planted in the green houses shall be observed, nurtured, harvested, and studied upon by students for their performance tasks.
Fr. Haw, for his part, said: “As a community, we still need to be consistent with our efforts. Even though there are responses like these, all will be useless if students will not follow the cause by heart. Our actions and responses must be purposive. We must all have conscious and concrete effort in saving the environment.”
Laudato Si is the second encyclical of Pope Francis, in which he calls all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action for the sake of our environment.”/Ripples by: Christine Marie Nulada