The Two Sides of Carlisle

Meg Tate ’23, Guest Columnist

Carlisle, Pennsylvania has two vastly different sides of its educational community.  One being Dickinson College and the other being the Carlisle Area School District.  Although there are a few members of my Carlisle High School graduating class that are also attending Dickinson, it should be more well known within the community what is going on.  The startling issue is that CASD does not even recycle while Dickinson is a world leader in sustainability.

Recycling is a very simple way that the school district could improve their own sustainability ways throughout the elementary, middle and high schools.  Both middle schools in the District, Lamberton and Wilson, were certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) after their recent renovation in 2014.  After being a student at the middle school throughout the renovation and having a year in the renovated school, I witnessed what was actually happening within the school.  The school is very capable of being sustainable, but they do not enforce it.  

The school design utilizes an immense amount of natural lighting that saves power which is extremely helpful, but there are more ways for the school to get the students involved in making the community a better, more sustainable place.  All trash and waste go to one place within the school district, the landfill.  No high school student or younger is educated in what should go where when there are separate types of trash.  Because this is occurring, the composting and recycling bins are worthless at the CASD schools. 

However, they could easily be turned into a worthy system throughout the district buildings with the simple education of the CASD students.  This could be done easily by the Dickinson community.  Dickinson is ranked number one in the nation for sustainability, this means that students here are entirely capable of bridging this gap between the education and sustainability of Dickinson to the Carlisle students.  This act would get the Dickinson students involved in the local community and help them create a better future.  

If we educate at a younger age starting in elementary school, the kids will be more interested in learning and will increase the proper use of the sustainably designed middle schools.  The middle schools are expected to be saving 45% of the school energy costs per year.  The CASD is attempting to earn the gold and platinum certification at each middle school.  Getting the Dickinson community involved in CASD to educate the students in what they can do better would create a better Carlisle community in general.