The Clean Water Task Force has been focusing on reinvigorating the Learning Lab portion of the Clean Water for Life Project, which lost momentum during the pandemic. The task portion of the project that lost momentum during the pandemic. The task force has made improvements in the physical space, including upgrading the electric system, to allow students to use the lab to learn about the photovoltaic and water systems. A new Learning Lab Advisory Committee has been formed as well. In November 2023, groups from Mount Notre Dame High School and Chaminade Julienne High School will be on site for orientation sessions. Over the winter they will begin to design experiments which they will put into practice in the spring. 

What's next: The Clean Water Task Force will host STEM groups in the spring that will learn about the photovoltaic and water filtration systems. They will connect with students in SNDdeN schools in Nigeria and the DRC.

The Fossil Fuel Task Force has been involved in conversations concerning the grounds at Mount Notre Dame. We have engaged the advice of a horticultural professional who walked the grounds and identified many invasive species. She has made suggestions for native plants that can be planted instead. These native plants require less maintenance, thus requiring less fossil fuels to maintain. In addition, native plants can draw more CO2 out of the air. 

What's next: The Fossil Fuel Task Force will advise on the spring native plants. Native plants require less use of gas-powered tools as well as fewer fertilizers and weed killing chemicals. We are exploring other ideas of reducing our carbon footprint as well.

The Plastics Advocacy Sub-committee is focusing on educating our SNDdeN community and building a grass roots group to call for the banning of plastic shopping bags at retail outlets in Ohio. This is one of the biggest impact areas in regard to plastic pollution. We recently had a Letter to the Editor writing party to help re-start the conversation locally, and have connected with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati who are also writing letters. To date, two of those letters have been printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer. The conversation has begun!

What's next: The Plastics Task Force will continue to identify ways we can reduce and eliminate plastics on campus. Our advocacy subcommittee will continue to partner with other groups to advocate for the end to plastic bag use in Ohio.