For the first Community Weekend of 2023, the Sustainability Committee alongside the Environmental Coheads took to the weekend’s activities with a green lens, as it coincided with Earth Day. All of the activities offered for students to participate in on Saturday, April 22 shared the common goal of partaking in environmentally sustainable ways of engaging with the Concord Academy community, and the greater Concord community as well.
One of the offered activities, biking to school, encouraged local day students to consider their everyday means of transportation to and from school. Current Environmental Cohead, Laila Mooraj ‘24 said, “We’ve wanted to do something with the boarder bikes for a long time, and we just decided that this was a way to encourage sustainable transportation anyways!” With the recent purchase of the two plug-in hybrid vans for general student transportation, the CA administration is already taking action to reduce the school’s vehicle-related carbon footprint, and this initiative certainly aligned with that push.
The Community Weekend also included a flea market, featuring student-donated clothes, accessories, and household items. Laila offered, “The flea market will open at about 10:00 am, and that will be [made up of] Chameleon Exchange stuff, and clothes that people bring. There will be anything ranging from kitchen supplies to clothes, or even old storage containers… Really anything people will give us. It’s just a kind of thrift store, but on campus.” As CA students continue to learn about the impacts of daily material consumption, and how the rise of fast fashion has created unsustainable trend cycles, initiatives like the Chameleon Exchange and the flea market encourage students to look to second-hand clothing options more often.
Aside from the on-campus activities this Community Weekend, CA collaborated with the nearby Umbrella Arts Center to join in on its own Earth Day celebrations. Student volunteers participated in a number of activities including helping families to build floats that get sent down the Sudbury river, carrying large animal-shaped puppets in their parade, face painting, as well as musical performances. All students that participated received a voucher that allows them to miss their recycling duty in the upcoming school year or claimed a piece of CA sustainability swag.
The combination of a Community Weekend with Earth Day celebrations was motivation and incentive for all students to continually become better acquainted with the ways that their daily habits and activities can be changed to have positive environmental impacts. As Laila stated, “We are trying to tap into all areas of sustainability and utilize our resources to bring about a greener CA!”