Students heat their cabins and their shower water with wood fires. Turning off the lights when no one is in the room is a stated expectation. But Midland does much more than conserve. Much of its produce is grown on the school’s large organic garden, tended by faculty and students. And much of its grass-fed beef comes from school pastures. Students and instructor Lise Goddard will be presenting a workshop and sharing their experiences on Friday, October 19 at the Central Coast Bioneers Conference.

Every year since, its 10th grade chemistry students have worked alongside a solar electrician to install a 3-kW PV system that meets another 3% of the campus’s electricity use. The Midland Model – 3% per year- demonstrates the viability of taking cumulatively consequential steps toward grid neutrality over a generation.

In 2011, Midland also incorporated a wind workshop led by Midland alumnus Mathias Craig, founder of blueEnergy, an installer of community-supported wind turbines and water filtration systems in Nicaragua. Students learned how to build a small-scale wind generator from raw materials – hand-carved blades, rotors, powerful magnets, and copper coils. Putting theory to practice shows students that this work is something they can do, rather than simply watching professionals do it. More important, this proactive project offers an antidote to being paralyzed by the scale of global climate destabilization.

In 2009, Midland School received a 2009 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, and was the only school among 15 organizations honored at the Governor’s Global Climate Summit 2 in Los Angeles.

The Midland School workshop, presented by the students and their instructor, Lise Goddard, is one of 15 workshops, 13 plenaries, 5 field trips, a seed exchange, Food & Farming Celebration Green Chef cook-off and dance, yoga sessions, and music at the Central Coast Bioneers Conference for Monterey, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. The event is an annual three-day solutions-focused gathering that brings together a diverse audience to create deep and positive change in their communities. The conference summons environmental, industry and social justice innovators all working to catalyze a movement to heal our world. This year’s conference runs from October 19th through 21st at the Monday Club in San Luis Obispo. For more information or to register, click here. Tickets are also available at AtMODsphere, 1119 Chorro Street, San Luis Obispo.


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