Students embrace sustainable living at school

A sustainable school in India teaches eco-habits and other important life skills to its learners.

SECMOL, the Students Educational and Cultural Movement school runs on an unconventional teaching model that encourages students to tackle real-life problems like living with climate change. The school building and day-to-day operations follow a sustainable philosophy that is passed on to the children.

Thanks to its clay and mud construction, the school building is temperature-regulated, making the interior naturally cool in summer and warm in winter. The campus faces southwards to get the most of the natural sunlight, which helps dry their winter vegetable supply that is stored in an especially designed glass room.

Solar panels provide power for heating during the winter and when the sunlight is weak, they rely on their pre-charged solar battery stock. In the kitchen, a large mirror is positioned to reflect direct sunlight onto large water containers, heating the water. Biogas is used for cooking.

SECMOL also teaches sustainable waste management through the compost-toilet system at the school. The toilets, which require no water to function, are a smart way of conserving water in the water-scarce region of Ladakh and are a source of fertile compost. The waste collects in a chamber, decomposes over a year and is used as fertiliser on the school vegetable farm.