Greening Lemberg

David in front of dish bin

It is vital to begin environmental education and exploration at an early age to instill in children a curiosity, personal connection and responsibility for the Earth. The daily practices and habits that can make this education concrete and relevant to their lives are equally important.

The Lemberg Children's Center on campus provides a rich outlet for such environmental education. Although educationally and creatively progressive, it has not been as environmentally conscious as it can be.


In order to comply with sanitary regulations, pre-schools generate a lot of waste. Many required practices—such as wearing disposable gloves when serving food, or drying hands with paper towels after using the bathroom—create this waste. Although some of the toughest challenges are driven by regulations and cannot be changed, some practices are based on habit.

Three boys looking at leaves

We identified the following areas for improvement: organic waste, wasted resources, air pollution and a lack of ongoing education about sustainable practices. We assessed the potential for change in Lemberg's institutional technologies and practices and in the curriculum, and worked with the center's directors to implement alternatives with the goal of creating a healthier and more sustainable environment for the kids and staff.

Recycling Poster

We reduced some of Lemberg's resource waste and use of toxic substances by replacing paper towels with microfiber towels, and by substituting Orange Force cleaner Oasis 137 for bleach. We introduced composting and implemented a staff training agenda and environmental activities with the children.

We also created a simple, kid-friendly recycling poster (at right) that will be displayed near the recycling bins in Lemberg and around campus.

Team Members

Hannah Wellish and Mairin O'Donnell