It was refreshing to hear the message that Craig Harley, ranger from the Plainsboro Preserve had to share on May 29 at the Plainsboro Public Library.

He spoke at the Sustainability Seminar organized by the Community Problem Solving team from High School North.

Avoiding the depletion of natural resources was the core message that Harley shared with a group of over 25 community members and students through stories of growing up in West Virginia.

The story that resonated most with me was how he was taught by his grandfather to harvest morel mushrooms by collecting them in onion bags—bags with tiny holes so that spores would scatter as he walked, and thereby ensure future growth of mushrooms along the forest path.

The common thread in his stories was how various people in his early life showed him how to conserve and respect the abundant resources nature had provided. At the heart of any sustainability initiative are simple tasks that each and every one of us could engage in to make a huge impact on our environment!

According to Haley Poquette, the AP Biology teacher from High School North, CMPS students were the first group among all schools in the district to initiate a vermicompost initiative in the classroom—the use of worms to create compost from a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste.

Poquette said that this project was the first step in the school’s efforts to win the Bronze Sustainability Award.

Anushka Iyer and Ishani Ranjan, two of the students from the CMPS team also shared a presentation about their gLEAFul recycling project and various efforts that they have undertaken during the school year to create a recycling culture in their school and at home.

The presentations underscored to us all that reduce, reuse and recycle are not merely a slogan but a way of life that we can practice and teach our children both at home and school.

— Raj Vora, Lawrence Township