A special faculty retreat was held on Feb. 9 to promote sustainability principles and practices among Harker faculty. The event – organized by Harker’s Sustainability Committee – featured talks and activities related to Harker’s future plans to reduce waste and emissions, and actions that can be taken by the entire community to help Harker realize its sustainability goals via the curriculum and more effective use of school resources as well as personal habits. Attendees also had their choice of a variety of morning activities, including yoga, meditation and a vintage clothing swap.
In an effort to make the retreat a “zero waste” event, all decorations were made from recycled or recyclable materials. Spider plants were placed in biodegradable pots, and the attendees’ name tags were printed on recycled paper, each containing wildflower seeds for planting after the event. Attendees all brought their own receptacles for water, coffee or other drinks, and arrived by bicycle, carpooling or taking public transportation. Food for the event was also locally sourced and organic, with options such as the Impossible Burger, a plant-based burger that mimics the taste and texture of meat.
A morning keynote was delivered by historian and author Jeff Biggers, who wrote about how his family’s homestead was lost to strip-mining in 2014’s “Reckoning at Eagle Creek.” Now leading the Climate Narrative Project, a multidisciplinary approach to finding climate change solutions, Biggers gave a multimedia presentation titled “Ecopolis,” which offered a future of vision Harker and San Jose as regenerative places and how they might appear with enacted sustainability policies. Upper school music teacher and trumpeter Dave Hart, along with drummer Jason Lewis and pianist Malcolm Campbell, provided musical accompaniment during the presentation.