The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Sustainability at T.C.

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The DASH bus has become a consistent mode of transportation for many T.C. students.

By The Loraxes, STEM Guest Writers

Beginning this school year, T.C. Williams High School students can ride the DASH bus free of charge with a student identification card. Though sustainability wasn’t the primary reason for this agreement, it has helped to reinforce T.C.’s “green” identity through its encouragement of riding the bus seven days per week. However, while T.C. is generally sustainable, it has work to do in regard to its carbon footprint.

T.C. Sustainability teacher and Garden Club advisor, Patrick Earle, says that T.C. sources its food unsustainably, acquiring its food from distant suppliers as opposed to local ones. However, there are practical reasons for this inadequacy, such as the school size, which is the largest in VA at 3,764 students plus approximately 1,000 at the Minnie Howard campus.

Sourcing locally would require coordination with local farms and money that the school and School Board does not have, according to Mr. Earle. Also, local food is not a reliable enough food source to be realistically used at T.C. In place of fresh, local food, T.C. mostly deals with pre-prepared food that requires minimal prep due to the large student body and its cheap cost.

Fifty-eight percent of students in the ACPS district are eligible for free and reduced lunches. The school food aspect of the state budget greatly depends on federal money to supplement it. The amount T.C. can pay for food is very limited and must be in bulk.

Mr. Earle attempted to integrate veggie burgers into the cafeteria’s lunch menu, but had little success. He had planned to buy 20 to 40 per day, but the school could not because it would be too expensive. Vermont has a statewide program to source food locally in its schools, while Virginia has no such program. Nevertheless, Mr. Earle hopes to support nutritious lifestyles and healthy eating choices by having organizing a tasting of the sweet potatoes from the T.C. garden. 

T.C. should continue to build on the progress made by the DASH bus agreement by tackling the issue of local food in the cafeteria.

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Sustainability at T.C.