by Karin Beck
At Tilden School our physical site was selected with the idea of decreasing our ecological footprint. As such, we rent our classroom space from an organization that only needs its classrooms on weekends, thus creating a multi-use model. We have no intention of purchasing or building our own structure.
For P.E., recess, and off-site lessons, we use local parks and community centers, again utilizing preexisting sites.
Modes of transportation include walking and King County Metro Transit. Once more, we use what has already been established, and do not intend to purchase vans, buses, or the like.
There is no cafeteria or lunch service at Tilden School. Every day students, faculty, and staff bring their lunches and eat together in the classrooms or at a park. This significantly decreases food waste, as everyone is eating food they prefer. And on those few occasions when a child does not care to eat a lunch item, that food item is repacked in the child’s lunch bag to go home, not discarded.
Of course, there are many other ways faculty, staff, and students conserve energy and materials, such as shutting off lights, running copies on scratch paper, and using castoff materials for hands-on lessons, models, and projects.
All of these greener practices not only help our planet, but also keep costs down; therefore, we are able to offer a rich curriculum and small class size for a comparatively affordable tuition rate.