The plan is to reduce the school’s ecological footprints, make the school ­environment healthier and get the whole community thinking about problems the island faces.

It’s a huge project for Greenrock and it is the charity’s hope that Elliot will become “the first of many” green schools in Bermuda.

The aim of the pilot ­project at Elliot Primary School is to:

  • Reduce the energy use and carbon footprint of the school.
  • To increase the awareness of the way individuals’ behaviour affects their environment for staff, students and parents.
  • To create a template that can be used by other Bermuda schools, and which can be used by Greenrock as the basis of a ‘Green School Accredi­tation’ programme.

The three components of the project are growing up green, curriculum and ­facilities. For each of the components Greenrock has formed a team of experts to provide the planning and background knowledge.

For the ‘growing up green’ component, children will be taught to accept ­individual responsibility so that they are linked to their environment and sustainable living. Children will be part of the decision-making process to make them ­responsible for their own actions.

The school’s curriculum will be adapted to “connect students to the environment.” The “environmental content” of all lessons will be increased.

Healthier environment

And the environmental impact of the school building and grounds will be ­reduced to create a healthier environment. It is said that a green school building is conductive to learning while saving energy, ­resources and money.

The team is working closely with LEED certified professionals (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) who will look at reducing energy use, ­improving indoor air quality and ventilation and ­introducing renewable ­energy sources.

Making use of natural light is said to make it more comfortable for students to learn and cleaning the inside air will cut down on sick days.

LEED was designed by the U.S. Green Building Council to ensure the operation and facilities of existing buildings are operating to a green standard.

The only other LEED ­certified buildings in Bermuda are Victoria Place and HSBC on Front Street.

Just as importantly, the Green Schools project is seen as a long-term project that will introduce ­students, teachers and the wider community to the concept of an environmental management system. It is Greenrock’s hope that it will eventually “change the mindset” of Bermuda.

The Green Schools ­project will officially be launched in September when Ministry of Education staff review the facilities and curriculum and identify changes that need to be made.

Detailed plans and changes will be made over that academic year, then from June 2011 the team will work to introduce similar policies at other schools on the island.

However work has been going on behind the scene since last summer.

Many members of the team came together last week to plant a Guava tree to thank the school’s current ­students for their “hard work and encouragement”. The tree planting took place during the school’s graduation day to recognize the graduating class of 2010. It was donated by Omari Dill of Unity and ­Edible Landscaping and Agriculture Consultants as part of a worldwide tree-planting event to mark the 20th anniversary of Earth University in Costa Rica.

About 50 trees have so far been planted as part of Bermuda’s contribution to the ‘EARTH Plants The ­Future’ event.

Green buildings

Dr. Judith Landsberg, who is the Greenrock management committee member responsible for green buildings, said: “We wanted to plant a tree as the children have been so excited about everything we’re ­doing.

“The kids have really ­embraced what we are ­doing and have been keen to get involved.”

Dr. Landsberg explained that the Greener Schools project “spreads far outside Elliot into the wider ­community.”

Denaye Hinds, who works for the Minister of Works and Engineering as a graduate engineer, said she felt “extremely honoured” to be involved in the project as a former student of Elliot Primary School.

She said: “It’s a wonderful way to ensure children will take pride in the way they live and grow up caring for their environment.

“It will make them environmentally aware.”

Ms Hinds has recently ­returned to Bermuda after founding a environmental literacy children’s business called GreenBean in Miami.

She said: “It’s very important that children see sense as they will be the ones making the policies on the island in the future.

“We’re teaching them in a fun and exciting way that it’s very important for them to take care of the island.”

As reported by the Bermuda Sun, Elliot ­already has a strong environment programme. ­Students grow their own fruit and vegetables in their garden, they are encouraged to recycle and bring in litter-free lunches.

The Green Schools project is looking for ­corporate and individual sponsors who can provide funding, materials or labour for the project.

For more information about the Green Schools project visit Greenrock at

Greenrock team
  • Dr. Judith Landsberg (Greenrock) — background in education, project management and physics.
  • Eimeir Johnston (OBMI Architects) — LEED AP, interior designer and project manager, BSID member.
  • Kirsteen White (OBMI Architects) — LEED AP, interior designer and project manager, BSID member.
  • Selange Gitschner (Hiscox) — LEED AP, interior designer and project manager, BSID member.
  • Denaye Hinds (Minister of Works and Engineering) —Environment engineer and consultant.
  • Sakeena Talbot — Eliot Primary PTA, Office manager at Victoria Place, LEED certified building.

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