SAU No. 5
Superintendent James Morse
36 Coe Drive
Durham, NH 03824
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019
Media Contact: Kelsey Bode
Email: [email protected]
Oyster River Students Lead Charge to Study Single-Use Plastic Waste
DURHAM — A group of students are leading an initiative this school year to study the impact of single-use plastics at Oyster River Cooperative School District.
Approximately 20 student participants of the Oyster River High School Sustainability Club, guided by science teacher and club adviser Jon Bromley and Sustainability Coordinator Maggie Morrison, plan to spend the coming months collecting and weighing single-use plastics at Oyster River High School, and will also gather data about the sources and impacts of that plastic waste.
In an effort to influence district policies surrounding plastic use, the students will present their findings to the School Board next school year. The students also plan to develop an action plan to reduce plastic waste next fall.
“We want to make a presentation to the School Board that shows them this is an issue worth working through,” said Abbey Palmer, a senior and co-leader of the club.
“By educating people into realizing that changing your behavior may not be as extreme as they think it is, it would help elevate how much we can help the environment,” said Brunda Katikireddy, a senior student and co-leader of the club.
Although the plan is in its early stages, the club also plans to work with students at Oyster River Middle School, who are interested in conducting a similar plastic audit. Efforts also are additionally planned at Moharimet and Mast Way elementary schools to better understand the impacts of single-use plastic at each facility.
“The whole school district is committed to solving the single-use plastic problem,” Palmer said.
In addition to this year’s efforts to study single-use plastic consumption, Oyster River Cooperative School District has a variety of sustainable initiatives already in place, including a longstanding composting contract and recent investments in energy efficiency including LED lighting at Oyster River High School, Moharimet and Mast Way Elementary schools; new windows at both elementary schools; solar panels on the district’s maintenance building; HVAC system automation controls, energy efficient copiers and computers. The proposed middle school building project also seeks to include designs to reduce energy and operating costs.
“We’re deeply committed as a district to sustainability, and to see our students take this initiative upon themselves demonstrates the dedication they feel to preserve our environment and address potentially harmful habits our society has developed, such as single-plastic use,” Superintendent Morse said. “It’s a wonderful learning opportunity for all grade levels, and we look forward to learning more as the school year goes on.”