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Our Sustainability Council

Owl-Talk. Student Led Groups. Episode: 2. 

We invite you to enjoy our latest podcast.

A lively, inspiring and heartfelt conversation with students, Elles and Lore, our sustainability committee chairs and Ms. van Lemmen our head of sustainability.

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Our Sustainability Committee Chairs ... 

sustainability chairs


After the success of ISH's first sustainability festival, two of our grade 8 students looked  at each other with wide-eyed excitement  when Ms. van Lemmen started talking about  an ISH sustainability committee. 

Those two inspired environmentalists were  Lore and Elles. They not only joined the  committee, but they also became the  sustainability committee chairs!  

Now in grade 10 these two energetic and  committed young women continue to chair  the committee. 

We think you'll agree when you join the chat  that we're lucky to have such caring  champions of sustainability at ISH 

Currently, the ISH sustainability committee consists of 28 students. The committee facilitates Service as Action opportunities for these and many more students within our wider student community.

Our chairs are committed to creating space for everyone to be involved. This includes students, teachers and parents who want to contribute in some way, or simply to share their ideas towards sustainability at ISH. 

Some of the committe's projects include workshops, air filtering plants, plant watering and the 'bee' project.

green team presentation


We asked Elles and Lore what they enjoy most about leading this committee ... 

"There are so many different amazing projects that we get to be a part of as leaders from the council. It's the variety of our roles that make being chairs so exciting. We lead the council in school and help them bring their projects to life, we look for connections with communities and individuals outside of school and try to spread awareness across students in the school. Most of all, sustainability has become something we truly believe in and we want to take part in creating a greener future. Leading the council is our way to offer the school a greener education and most importantly develop as individuals as well, both in sustainable knowledge and in our leadership skills." 

The challenges … 

Of course, in any environment there are challenges. When discussing theirs, these dynamic young leaders express an impressive wisdom and a collaborative and adaptive leadership approach. 

"Facilitating this committee has come with its challenges, but this is also what makes leading it so fun. We are constantly adapting and learning, the sustainability council is new in the school, and it has taken some time to get accumulated. We have struggled to come up with the right projects to work on and how to approach making the school more sustainable. The best way to overcome these challenges seemed to be asking for help. Lore and I lead the council, but we don't make all the decisions alone. We give the members of the council as much freedom as possible because we have noticed that when we do so the most original ideas and projects come up. When it comes to a large issue such as climate change, we believe it's important to tackle it together. Not just because we have more of an impact together but also because the more people get involved, the more they start taking individual action as well."   

library plant


What some of our student members had to say …

We asked some of our younger students who have participated in the sustainability committee about their experiences. 

"My involvement in the sustainability committee has taught me how to spread awareness about sustainability and also how to be more sustainable."  

"Being in the sustainability committee has helped me to become more aware of what was going on in the world around me and what I can do to help."   

Some words from Ms. van Lemmen, our passionate and creative head of sustainability at ISH ... 

We asked Ms. van Lemmen was there a moment when she took a deep breath, and her warm heart warmed a little more ... 

"Yes - when I saw the entries for the Green Future Awards. I didn't think we would get so much interest, but we did! This was down to the amazing work of the committee members and chairs promoting the award around the school.  But, also in general I am extremely proud of all the students who are involved and their motivation. The students are all so driven and committed! They come up with creative projects and have kept this going throughout 2 lockdowns." 

green future awards

'Saving Coral Reefs' was one of our entries from an MYP ocean ambassador for the Green Future awards! 

Perhaps you’re a student who’s thinking of getting involved in sustainability and joining the ISH sustainability committee ... 

 We asked our young leaders if they have any advice for you ... 

"We are always so happy when other students show interest in the sustainability council, and we welcome everybody who wants to take part. It's our main goal to spread awareness of climate change amongst all students and eventually even get everyone involved in the development of a greener school and future. If you are interested in the sustainability council, we encourage you to send us an email or talk to us at school. we are always open to your ideas or participation." 

One final message from Elles and Lore ...  

"If there is one message, we want to give the students at the ISH it's that doing your part to create a more sustainable future doesn't have to be difficult. Any small adaptation in your daily routine to live a more sustainable live is much appreciated. There are big systematic changes that you can take a part in but also small individual changes have an impact. Educate yourself, learn about climate change and think about what you would like to do to play your part in tackling this crisis. The most effective solution to climate change is one where everyone gets involved." 


** Bee project tip from the podcast - get your garden a lavender plant!