SUSTAINABILITY

At Forsyth, we believe sustainability is building a knowledgeable, caring, and environmentally responsible campus community.

Education for sustainability is at the core of our learning environment, fostering leadership and action as we work toward a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

We accomplish this by: 

  • Embedding sustainability principles within our curriculum  
  • Cultivating a culture of hope through mindfulness, reciprocity, and reflection   
  • Promoting positive changes across our campus while reducing Forsyth’s impact on the environment through sustainability initiatives, programs, and practices

Forsyth Principles of Education for Sustainability (EFS):

  1. Global Citizenship
    We care for our community as global citizens and stewards of our environment. 
  2. Interconnectedness
    We acknowledge the connections among all living things and engage with nature to foster our sense of belonging and place.
  3. Cycles & Systems 
    We learn about our planet's cycles and natural systems across space and time.      
  4. Limits & Balance 
    We share the Earth and respect its limits.      
  5. Diversity, Equity & Fairness
    We uphold diversity, equity, and fairness as essential for sustainable solutions and community well-being.    
  6. Ability to Make a Difference 
    We have the ability, responsibility, and capacity to make a difference.

Missouri Green Schools

Missouri Green Schools is a joint program of the Missouri Gateway Green Building Council and the Missouri Environmental Education Association that supports growth through a continuous loop of tracking and advancing sustainability practices. Participating schools are honored annually at emerging, progressing, and advanced levels for their achievements across five levels of recognition. Criteria are rooted in best practices and scaffolded to support growth toward long-term, whole-school sustainability.

Level 2: Sprout schools are honored for goal setting, benchmarking, and tracking improvement toward the further advancement of green and healthy practices. Level 3: Seedling schools additionally document a sustainability-related achievement in at least one educational program. Level 4: Sapling schools additionally document the long term impacts of their conservation efforts over 1–3 years.

Forsyth received Sprout-level recognition in 2021, Seedling-level recognition in 2022, and Sapling-level recognition in 2023.

Whole-School Sustainability

During the 2023/24 school year, Forsyth faculty and staff participated in a professional development workshop series conducted by the Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center with the immediate objectives to:

  • Create a working definition of sustainability for the Forsyth School community
  • Draft principles of education for sustainability (EFS)

And long-term goals to:

  • Incorporate the principles of EFS into Forsyth’s campus, curriculum, and culture
  • Demonstrate alignment between the principles of EFS and the practice on campus

Earth-Based Wisdom

New for the 2023/24 school year, Forsyth Grade 6 students participate in a guided Earth-Based Wisdom pilot certification program. Activities develop native plant-based ecological restoration skills within a framework of mindfulness. As participants explore key ecological concepts, they deepen their feelings for the earth, better understand their relationship to all life, and cultivate a healing capacity for nature and themselves.

Impact Challenge

New for the 2023/24 school year, Forsyth's weekly elective classes for Grades 5 and 6 allow students and teachers to delve deeper into specialty areas of interest. The recent Impact Challenge elective provided an opportunity for students to participate in the annual Impact Challenge at Principia School, where they presented about Forsyth's sustainability efforts on campus.

Phones for the Planet

New in 2024, 13 cell phones collected during Forsyth's January electronics recycling drive were recycled through 10 Billion Strong's Phones for the Planet program. Phones for the Planet is a circular economy initiative to reduce toxic e-waste, help protect critical habitat for animals, decrease the production of unnecessary new electronic devices, and bridge the digital divide.

Waste Ambassadors

During the 2022/23 school year, Go Green Forsyth established a Waste Ambassadors program for students in the Upper Division (Grades 3–6) to support and promote Forsyth’s composting and recycling efforts within and among the entire school community.

Trash or Treasure

The Waste Ambassadors led the entire Forsyth community in a candy wrapper recycling drive after Halloween in 2022 and 2023 in conjunction with the Rubicon Trash or Treasure Program. In 2022, 1.75 pounds of candy wrappers were collected; in 2023, the collection rose to 3.4 pounds—a 94% increase!

Operation Food Search Food Drive

In spring 2024, the Waste Ambassadors led the entire Forsyth community in a food drive in partnership with Operation Food Search. OFS is a hunger relief organization that provides free food, nutrition education, and innovative programs proven to reduce food insecurity.

History of Annual Initiatives