Sustainability




Greenhouse - our own organic greenhouse


Our own school organic greenhouse, which makes up one side of our central courtyard, or Brahmasthan, produces an abundance of organic vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers.  Students learn the essentials of growing the plants, which are then used by the greenhouse teachers to teach about sustainable cooking and sensible nutrition. Our greenhouse also operates a modest sized CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture) that provides some produce to the local community, which supports further activities of the greenhouse.

We want our students and CSA members to enjoy healthy, delicious food. The quality of food contributes vitally to their health and well-being, and the school is committed to providing only the highest quality, organically grown fresh food, free of pesticides, and other harmful toxins.

Permaculture – mimicking relationships found in Nature


In 2004 the School greenhouse won the Organic Silver Award from the Rodale Institute for the permaculture style of garden in the greenhouse.

The courtyard surrounding the greenhouse is filled with a variety of trees, shrubs, grasses, and herbs that are planted by students and greenhouse staff that mimic the natural designs of Nature. Under the guidance of their teachers, the students begin to understand how they could design their own environments and build increasingly self-sufficient human settlements.

Organic Food in the Curriculum – understanding healthy principals of organic food production


The greenhouse also gives our students an opportunity to gain a firsthand understanding about the application of healthy farming principles and organic food production. Our science teachers, together with our greenhouse gardeners, have developed a curriculum that gives the students practical experience in the greenhouse to more fully understand these important principles instead of just reading and learning about them in a classroom.

Maharishi School greenhouse is a key feature of our School life, which gives our students a lively understanding of one of the most important aspects of life—the food we eat.

Maharishi School Goes Solar – learning how to cooperate with Nature


In January 2006, a 1.1 kilowatt solar electric power system was installed in Maharishi School’s courtyard, funded by a $15,000 Solar 4 R Schools grant from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) of Portland, Oregon.

The project also implements a renewable energy curriculum “Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and Renewable Energy” for Middle and Upper School students to educate them on the specifics and benefits of solar electric (photovoltaic) power. This curriculum covers such subjects as Carbon and Energy Generation; Carbon Dioxide, Global Warming, and the BEF CO2 Calculator; Calculating Carbon Emissions from Electricity and Heating; Calculating Household Carbon Emissions from Air and Auto Travel; Understanding and Reducing Carbon Emissions; and Calculating the Affect of Temperature and Solar Energy on Household Electricity and Heating. Students will learn to interpret and use our own school’s solar data and to read an electricity meter.

In a solar exhibit in the School entryway, a computer monitor displays the current electrical output of the system as well as current weather factors (the amount and temperature of solar radiation that determine the amount of energy being produced). This presentation will help students, faculty, and visitors better understand how solar electricity is generated.

Maharishi School’s web page at the BEF website can be accessed at: http://www.b-e-f.org/renewables/maharishi.shtm.

The BEF website will display the amount of electricity being generated by the system and current weather factors.

Funding for the Solar 4 R Schools projects is provided by the Vote for Change Renewable Energy Project artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, REM, and Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam guitarist). The Bonneville Environmental Foundation manages the projects on behalf of the artists.

More information on these projects can be found at: 
http://www.b-e-f.org/renewables/index.shtm#ss.

Reducing Maharishi School’s Energy Needs


This solar panel installation in Maharishi School’s courtyard is a first step in reducing the School’s dependence on non-renewable energy. Our goal is to create a larger array of solar panels at the School like the one pictured here.

By donating to the solar project, you will significantly increase your donation’s value by saving Maharishi School’s future energy costs. You will also reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere that come from burning carbon fuels to make electricity. We would be most appreciative and grateful for your donation towards creating this new state-of-the-art energy system for the School. Thank you. Click here to donate online. http://donation.msae.us