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Fordham Prep Plans to Become Zero Waste School by 2024 with New Green Initiative

Fordham Prep Plans to Become Zero Waste School by 2024 with New Green Initiative
new waste bins with receptacles for regular trash, empty bottles and cans, and compost.

As part of the Green Initiative, new waste bins were installed in the cafeteria at Fordham Preparatory School with receptacles for regular trash, empty bottles and cans, and compost.  

Fordham Preparatory School begins the 2021-22 school year embracing the Society of Jesuits’ Universal Apostolic Preference of collaborating for the care of our common home in full throttle. 

The school established a committee focused on environmental sustainability in 2019, and soon after adopted the “EcoRam” as their official mascot. The committee worked hard throughout that first year and continued to brainstorm ways to make the school more environmentally friendly amidst the pandemic and hybrid learning structure.

Now that all students and staff have returned to in-person classes, Fordham Prep is implementing a variety of changes as part of their Green Initiative. The initiative aims to move the school toward zero waste, which is a goal they hope to accomplish by 2024.

One major change that students will have to adjust to is using reusable water bottles.

ecoram reusable bottle

Reusable water bottles supplied by Fordham Prep feature a green EcoRam logo.

The school no longer sells bottled water from its vending machines. Instead, all students were supplied with a reusable water bottle, which sports the EcoRam logo and Fordham Prep branding, during orientation for the new school year. Water bottles can be refilled throughout the building at hands-free water filling stations, which dispense chilled H₂O. In the next few years, the school plans to eliminate bottles completely with refill stations for soft drinks and compostable refill cups. 

In addition, classrooms, office areas, and common spaces throughout the building are now equipped with special recycling bins for paper, empty plastic bottles and cans, and a third for regular trash. Bins in the area where students eat lunch and the faculty lounge include receptacles for compost as well.

compostable fork

Utensils in eating areas at Fordham Prep are marked with the word “Compostable” on the handle as a reminder that they can be placed in the compost bin.

“Improved segregation of waste will help us to achieve our goal of zero waste,” says Brian Carney, Fordham Prep’s Vice President for Mission Integration and Planning. To help facilitate the use of new and improved waste bins, sophomore, junior, and senior students can volunteer to become EcoRams that assist in ensuring items are placed in the correct receptacles during lunch periods. Parents of Fordham Prep students are also welcome to volunteer.

Fordham Prep’s TV club (FPTV) created an ‘80s-style PSA video to help introduce the new Green Initiative to the student body.

“I believe that anybody in the Fordham Prep community would be willing and ready to help out in our efforts to foster a more sustainable school environment,” says Ryan Irving, a student from the school’s TV club (FPTV). He, along with his fellow classmates Augustine Daudu and Colin Van Hoek, created a public service announcement video to help acquaint students with the new Green Initiative. 

“As a Jesuit high school, it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to solve the inescapable environmental issues that we are facing for the greater good of all people,” Irving continued. “Our Green Initiative is not ending fires or repopulating endangered species, but it is a small step forward that will influence every member of our community into actively working for the protection of our Earth. If being in a brief informative video might help with that profound goal, I was more than ready to do my part.”

But it doesn’t end there—Fordham Prep’s Green Initiative plans to go beyond reusing and recycling. “We are eager to find additional ways to utilize our fourth-floor greenhouse, as well as implement other initiatives related to energy and building operations,” Carney adds. 

The school is looking forward to collaborating with students, faculty, and staff to continue finding new ways to be more sustainable. 

To learn more about the Prep’s sustainability initiatives, please visit