PEOPLE, PLANET, PROFIT: Enderun’s Breakthrough Sustainability Initiatives
By Celine Allarey, Enderun INK
Students Take Action
Enderun’s CARE stands for a Community that spreads Awareness and Respect for the Environment, a co-curricular student initiative supporting Enderun’s Sustainability Program. CARE seeks to “inform the people and engage students through its socially responsible endeavors,” says President, Pat Valencia.
The Green Initiative
Last August 23, 2016, Enderun CARE held a Fruit Tree Planting as their inaugural event last semester. Once bearing fruit, these trees will benefit all, especially our campus kitchens and food and hospitality projects.
The mission is to start a green initiative and change campus culture: trash segregation campaign, E-waste collection, aquaponics, and turning food waste into compost — all geared towards achieving the goal of making Enderun a sustainable campus.
“For easier access, we will be putting segregated trash bins around school for: biodegradable, general waste, and non-biodegradable” Pat further explained. “We’re going to color code the bins and put a big sign with pictures. It’s already starting in the kitchens, but the practice itself is starting in our office.”
Larissa Baloy, Enderun CARE’s Vice President, added “This was actually a need that was never addressed. Office staff were very interested and many quite relieved. In less than 30 minutes, we were able to collect two boxes of papers, piled up there for a really long time.”
The College also has to be aware of and careful about E-waste. Pat explains: “Electronic devices have metals that are toxic to the soil. So we will collect wires, remote controls, CDs, headphones, and any electronic junk, and then bring it to a shop where it will be properly disposed of.”
Compost from excess food
For a culinary institute, there is a large amount of food waste on campus, mainly in the cafeteria, the largest food production source. With the help of Earth Ventures, we have started converting our food waste into compost. The compost then becomes an educational tool for the Sustainability classes.”
One of our fascinating experiments is aquaponics, a method for growing herbs only in water, without any soil. Pat explains that this experiment can be seen in the “colorful bins at the side of the CA building where herb roots are growing in the water as replacement for soil.”
Enderun CARE is supports many sustainability projects on the campus, but also partners with institutions outside the campus. During Titan’s Week last September 19-23, the organization tied up with MNL Growkits and Bambike to bring environmental awareness closer to home. Fun and clean ecology on a purely bamboo bike!
Furthermore, “We plan to partner with Habitat For Humanity as a campus chapter, to focus on helping the poor. The idea is to build a home and prepare livelihood projects so as to help sustain their living. Once we get to start here in Enderun, we’ll reach out to people in need outside as well,” Larissa said.
Integrating Sustainability in the Classroom
While the efforts of Enderun CARE are ongoing, free electives such as Principles of Sustainability are open to students from other courses.
“We noticed that the Sustainability course made way for the students to be more knowledgeable and more aware,” Larissa narrated. In the course of the past semester, a few Enderun students also took sustainability to a whole new level by creating their own eco-friendly centerpiece for their Banquets class.
Why Now? Later may be too late!
“Saving the world for future generations – and a big part of that is teaching the younger generation how they can take better care of their world” — That is what sustainability is all about.
Through the collaborative efforts of the Sustainability and Environmental Studies Department, and the entire Enderun community, these initiatives are clearly paving the way for today’s generation to plant seeds of a brighter tomorrow for generations to come.