ASM and Global Issues Network recently co-hosted a two-day conference timed to coincide with the COP22. The ASM-GIN conference provided a forum for highlighting issues of sustainability (climate change, alternative energy, recycling, water use, etc.) to our students and guests from visiting schools. The conference offered interested upper school students a chance to plan activities and presentations on a variety of topics for their peers and younger students. Our upper school students also benefitted from a diverse schedule of outside speakers that included visiting students from Bali, Peru and the U.S, as well as professionals working in related domains. Our younger students also benefitted from a wide variety of activities held in their classrooms on day one of the conference.
Thanks in part to the generous contribution of seven ASM families and collaboration with the local Academie Régionale d’Éducation et de Formation, we were able to make our conference more inclusive by offering participation to over 60 local public school students and teachers from the Marrakesh-Safi region. The GIN Conference was a true collaborative effort between ASM students, faculty and staff, and parents, in conjunction with our guests and guest speakers.
Feedback about the conference has been very positive; the ASM-GIN Conference was very enriching for all participants! Although it is possible that we will not be able to gauge its full impact for some time, we know that the conference encouraged participants to get involved in their communities, reduce their impact on the environment, and reflect on how their personal actions can affect the future of humanity on this planet.
As a result of the conference, a new initiative has been undertaken at ASM. We have signed an agreement with a Rabat-based organization called E-Recycling, founded and run by RAS student, Camil Chaari. We are pleased to announce the ASM will now serve as a collection point for e-waste donated by the ASM community. E-waste donations will be recycled by the following certified recyclers: Association Al Jisr, which collects IT waste for reuse as a donation to public schools or for recycling, and Revialis, which recycles ink printer cartridges and gives them a second life.
We are the ninth school to join this initiative, which is also currently implemented at 8 companies, 20 embassies in Rabat, and 3 departments of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We encourage community members to donate the following items, which may be dropped off in the E-Recyling bin in ASM’s front lobby: dead batteries, burnt out lightbulbs, empty printer cartridges and un-working computers, printers, mobile phones, keyboards, power cords and screens.
Lastly, prior to the conference, students in all grades helped collect 2,720 water bottles throughout school to raise awareness of our consumption of single-use plastic. Those bottles became “Watergate”, a series of archways welcoming visitors to our school during the ASM-GIN conference. Those 2,720 bottles, collected in only 18 days, represent a daily average of 151 single-use plastic bottles used and purchased at an approximate cost of 13,600 Dh. This data encouraged the school to purchase water fountains which are now located in our upper and lower schools. We encourage all students to bring reusable bottles that can be refilled throughout the school day – without the additional monetary cost to families or the cost of plastic waste to the environment!