Let’s talk sustainability

Lorrin Johnson, Editor-in-Chief

All students can remember the countless lunchtime presentations in elementary and middle school on recycling, the posters that indicated what went in each bin, and that one kid who would incessantly throw his plastic water bottles into the trash can rather than the recycling bin.
Well the talk about waste didn’t end after middle school. Liberty’s Sustainability Ambassadors, led by district sustainability consultant Peter Donaldson, are partnering with experts from around the state to present “SustainabilityTALKS: Designing a Zero Waste Society” on March 31.
“In our third year doing the talks we are running four sections of SustainabilityTALKS throughout the school day,” principal Josh Almy said. “We have different speakers from around the state during each session, and it will be filmed by the same videographer as last year.”
The talk about zero waste isn’t going to be limited to the recycling and composting. The lineup for the talks includes “Greening Sports Stadiums,” “Sustainable Sandwich Shop Business Strategy,” and “Urban Death Project: Composting Our Loved Ones.” Each topic will be presented by a different expert. The experts come from a wide range of careers— including three student speakers from Liberty— but all are well-versed in the realm of zero waste.
“My topic is “The Circular Economy,” senior James Ricks said. “This concept runs on the idea that you have an economy that is entirely self-sufficient. We are centuries away from anything resembling a circular economy, but understanding the principles behind it— understanding that we can have an entirely zero-waste economy— is important for people to understand.”
The topics are intended to educate the Liberty community about issues we are facing today when it comes to waste and to present solutions that are being developed to face these issues.
“Even though these issues aren’t always in the news, they are still issues and they matter to us,” senior Vincy Fok said.
Attendance at SustainabilityTALKS is projected to be the largest out of all three years they have been held.
“There is a lot going on in the realm of sustainability and environmentalism that people just aren’t aware of. We are going to be working with these concepts for the next 100 years no matter what profession you’re in,” Ricks said. “It wouldn’t make sense not to attend.”