Here at The Island School, the campus is the classroom. A series of systems and design principles allow our students and our community members to actually live what they learn.
On campus, we use a technology called Campis Cloud, which tracks our energy production and consumption as well as our water collection and usage on a daily basis. We collect rainwater in cisterns below our classrooms and dorms, fulfilling all of our water needs from cooking to showering. Our waste water is then directed back to the gardens in the center of our campus, which grow lush with natural fertilizer before returning the water to the ground. Beside these “poo-poo gardens” lies the dining hall, which sources as many of its fruits, vegetables, and meats from local Eleutheran farms as possible, including tomatoes from down the road, eggs from our very own chickens in the farm on campus, and lettuce from our aquaponics grow-beds. Aquaponics is a system which uses fish waste to fertilize plants, then cycles the water that passes through these plants back to the fish. It can be implemented on any scale, and it sustains both a vegetarian and pescatarian diet. You can learn more about aquaponics here. It is tremendously important for our students to take part in the harvesting of the foods that feed our community members, as it provides the unique perspective of production that we as consumers don’t often see in our daily lives.
Outside of our food and water usage, our team at the Center for Sustainable Development uses invasive casuarina trees to build new furniture for on-campus housing. They also collect used vegetable oil from cruise ships that pass through the island to be converted into diesel fuel which run our school vans. Furthermore, a new project on campus involves the melting down of our plastic waste to be converted back into usable diesel fuel. Learn more about this exciting project here!
Ultimately, these systems and processes foster compassion within our students and community members. Every day, each individual witnesses or contributes to sustainable practices that keep this campus functioning the way it does. They learn to place value in their environment and to take pride in the ways in which they protect it. It is a unique place that allows for that kind of learning, and we are proud to offer it here at The Island School.