Interview with Megan Hillier, president of the BFIS Going Green Club
The Going Green Club was created in 2018 by BFIS students, parents, and teachers. Since then the club has successfully achieved many goals and today BFIS is an eco-friendly school awarded with the Green Flag from the Eco-School organization.
The school has reduced paper consumption by 35%, banned single-use plastic, reduced cafeteria food waste, installed proper recycling bins all over, installed 90 solar panels, implemented meatless Wednesdays, and educated the whole school community about recycling and sustainable consumption.
Today, the Going Green Club has approximately 40 members, most of whom are BFIS Middle and High School students. They don’t get relaxed by their successes, on the contrary, they feel more energized than ever to continue working as a team to create an even more eco-friendly and sustainable environment in our campus.
Megan Hillier, a Grade 11 student, is the President of the Club and she kindly agreed to be interviewed by the Going Green Communications Committee.
Q. Why did you decide to join the BFIS Going Green Club?
A. Ever since I was a little girl, my dad always educated me on the climate crisis and inspired me to do my best to help towards the cause. I started with small changes such as turning off lights and reducing my meat consumption but when I found out that the school had a Going Green club, I saw the opportunity to make a bigger difference within a larger community.
Q. How long have you been a member of the Club?
A. I have been part of the club for almost 3 years.
Q. Did you decide to be the President or were you nominated?
A. When I heard that there was an opportunity to become the president of the Going Green club, I decided to put myself forward. I had always been concerned about the issues regarding climate change and I was keen to try and do as much as I could to help the school become as eco-friendly as possible.
Q. What aspect of the Club is the most interesting to you?
In my opinion, the most interesting and important aspect of the club is helping students, faculty, and members of the school community understand the problems and solutions of the climate crisis. I believe that it is important for people to know that climate change isn’t an issue that only governments or scientists can fix, it is one that we, as a society, can also help solve.
Q. What do you think you can learn as a member and as a President of the Club?
Climate change will be one of the pivotal issues of our generation therefore it is very important that everyone understands how it will affect the world we live in and the future of governments, businesses, and communities.
We learn how to educate ourselves and others about the causes of climate change and actions we can take as individuals and as a school.
Q. What type of skills do you think you are developing in this Club?
The Going Green club is a great place to learn how to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of participants and develop practical management skills.
Q. What is the hardest thing for you as a member of this club?
I would say the hardest thing is trying to keep the club interesting and allowing members to contribute in the way they want. Running any club is challenging and making sure everyone is engaged and learning can sometimes be hard.
Q. What is the main thing that this club requires from students?
Enthusiasm and Commitment. The club meets once a week on Thursdays during the high school lunchtime in one of the BFIS science classrooms. We particularly value members that are passionate and keen to participate in our projects.
Q. What are the objectives of the club for the current school year
The main objective of the club this year is to focus on waste. We want to educate students and staff on ways to lower their carbon footprint. For example, we will be promoting the benefits of the compost bins that we are planning to install in the cafeteria. We are also working on setting up an eco-schools committee that would include admin, teachers, parents, and students.
Q. How many students are in the Club?
There are currently 37 students, including myself, Ms. Scavoto, the Science teacher, and Ms. Rodríguez, from the BFIS Communication department. The Club is the action group of the BFIS Eco-Committee, integrated by students, parents, teachers, and members of the leadership team.
The goal of the Eco-Committee at BFIS is to ensure the school is committed to Learning for Sustainability and is actively working on its yearly school-wide sustainability goal necessary to maintain the Green Flag designation.
Q. What are the main initiatives the Club is working on at this moment?
The club is divided into 5 different committees, each in charge of different aspects of the club. These are:
1. Communications Committee
2. Food waste
4. Zero Waste Group
5. Water waste
Q. In 5 years, what do you hope sustainability will look like at BFIS?
I’d like to see BFIS set a good example to other schools in Barcelona by being certified as a carbon-neutral school.