Sustainability Spotlight: The Basics

By The Parent Sustainability Committee
Hopefully, you and your families are leading sustainable lives.  If you are just getting started, here are the three basics you can do to kick start your commitment to sustainability:

1. Carry a Reusable Water Bottle: Not only does this save you money, but it saves the earth from drowning in plastic. Every member of your family should have one and be in the habit of ALWAYS having it in one's bag or backpack.

2. Refuse Single Use To-Go Cups: Carry your own and ask your coffee shop to put your drink in it. It’s true that many coffee shops are using Covid as an excuse to not touch your reusable – even though we now know that Covid is not being transmitted by surfaces and reusable’s are safe.  If this is the case, ask for your coffee without the plastic lid and while you are still at the counter pour the coffee into your reusable and leave the disposable for them to throw out. This action will set a precedent - the more of us that do this the more we normalize reusables. If you are a regular at your coffee shop, talk to the owner or manager and ask them to start accepting reusables or support coffee shops that do.  Even better -  make your own coffee at home!

3. Carry A Reusable Bag – or 2 or 3!:  Plastic bags start out as fossil fuels and end up as deadly waste in landfills and the ocean. They are banned in NYC now but many stores still use them and the ban excludes takeout food. Do your part by always refusing a bag.

If you’ve already got the first three steps down, here are more ways to live sustainably:

 4. Pack a Cutlery Kit in Your Bag and Never Use  Plastic Straws or Utensils Again! You can easily combine this and the first three basics above in a personal ZeroWaste Kit. Add a reusable plastic or stainless steel container for leftovers/take away items to eliminate any need for single use disposables. 

 5. Skip Produce Bags at the Grocery Store – Carry them "naked" or use reusable bags.

 6. COMPOST! More on how to successfully compost in a future edition of the Sustainability Spotlight.

 7. Switch to Shampoo and Conditioner Bars or DIY Personal Care Products – no more plastic bottles!

 9. Eat Less Meat.

 10. Buy Less Stuff and Buy Second Hand.
If you are an MCS Parent or Faculty/Staff member and are interested in joining the MCS Sustainability Committee, please email

Sources: - follow Anne-Marie Bonneau on Instagram and Twitter too.

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