Middle School Sustainability Club: Nurturing Tomorrow's Green Leaders
The Middle School Sustainability Club at the American School of The Hague (ASH) is a student-led initiative committed to fostering a greener and more sustainable school environment. Through various projects and activities, students are not only encouraged to think critically about environmental issues but also to take tangible actions that contribute to a greener world - starting with our school and community.
As an eco-school, ASH is part of a program committed to providing students with the necessary resources and spaces to empower them to take the lead in sustainability efforts and in creating impact, while inviting them to discover their values, interests, and talents. Our 10th anniversary of becoming an eco-school is bound to be celebrated in 2026.
This year, the club was dedicated to identifying students' passions within the field of sustainability. Topics such as the climate crisis, animal welfare, plastic usage, dietary choices, fast fashion, and eco-friendly packaging have ignited vibrant discussions and inspired projects throughout the year. For example, they set up a stand at the International Festival to raise awareness about sustainability issues and organized a clothing swap event to highlight the damaging effects of fast fashion and promote more sustainable clothing practices. Some participated in conferences like the Global Issues Network (GIN) conference, where they discussed global challenges and shared their ideas on sustainability with peers from other schools. During Earth Week, they organized various planting and trash-picking activities to nurture green spaces within our school grounds.
One of the key areas of exploration this year has been recycling and plastic use. Students have investigated the life cycle of plastic products; every stage from fabrication and delivery to disposal. This deep dive has helped students understand the root causes of plastic pollution, and develop insights into the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in the production and disposal of plastic products. “ We have to make sure we’re recycling better. We use a lot of cans, napkins, and single-use packaging but it doesn’t get recycled correctly. But ultimately we need to look at the root cause for why we make decisions. We are all responsible.” - Carolina and Matthew, Sustainability Club members.
In the year ahead, the club aims to expand by conducting an eco-scan of the school. This ambitious project will involve evaluating the school's current sustainability practices and identifying areas where additional actions can be taken to improve. With the oldest middle schoolers in the club moving on to High School after the summer, there is a new ambition to forge stronger connections and alliances with the High School sustainability team. By building these bridges, the Middle School Sustainability Club hopes to create a more impactful sustainability movement within the school.
The Middle School Sustainability Club at ASH is more than just a club. It is a vibrant community of young students dedicated to making a difference. By exploring their passions and taking action, students are learning valuable lessons about sustainability and leadership. Their efforts make ASH a greener school but also prepare them to be thoughtful and responsible citizens of the planet.
Kate shared: “When you have a house, you have to put love and care into it so it keeps standing. We need to do the same for the planet. We can’t keep the planet healthy if we only take and don't give back…we have to continue planting trees, investing in developing our natural areas”.