Carbon Footprint Revealed! What’s next?

Total emissions and approaches to reducing them

We have the report from Green Places, and it shows that DA generated 3,532 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2021-22. It’s the answer to a big, important question, yet it generates so many new questions! Some of them were addressed in a presentation on December 19 by Alyssa Walker, the Sustainability Manager for Green Places, and the students in DA’s Environmental Sustainability in Action course. See what the audience of students, teachers, administrators, trustees, and parents saw that day! (The program is copied below).

The Back Story

How did students arrive at the content they shared December 19?

Having turned over data to Green Places (there’s a description of that process here), the new challenge to the Environmental Sustainability in Action class was to creatively apply their skills and knowledge to

  • garner community attention to the findings of Green Places
  • help people understand the extent of our carbon emissions and the sources of them
  • help people understand their significance for the future (and present)
  • stoke the desire to take action

The students chose to form three groups. One focused on developing data visualizations for DA’s current and future (much reduced) carbon emissions. Their approach was framed by the 2018 IPCC report and influenced by Andri Snaer Magnuson’s essay “The God in the Steam Engine” (it’s in On Time and Water, which can be checked out from the DA Upper School library).

Another group decided to make a short film about DA today and DA 2030. Influenced by Katharine Hayhoe and a field trip to Part and Parcel, they aimed to make change visible and seem doable. Their work reflected a lot of discussion in the course about the need to keep our spirits up and approach change with a sense of hope.

A third group took on the challenge of planning a unique event in the history of the school. The “Sustain-In” will harness the creativity and determination of the DA community to develop strategies for reducing our carbon emissions. How will we meet the IPCC goal of halving emissions by 2030 and eliminating them by 2050? Nobody knows yet, but we’ll know a lot more after this overnight event February 23-24.

Here’s the program for the December 19 presentation: