ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Greening an English Program

Next (Student Orientation)

In the summer of 2006, environmental responsibility became a priority of the Hawaii English Language Program (HELP), an intensive English program on the campus of the University of Hawaii. HELP’s director asked me to green the program after reading a paper (references) I wrote on being an environmentally responsible program administrator. At the time, I was an instructor at HELP. I asked an environmental educator for assistance, and together we undertook the project. HELP’s director was also extremely supportive of our ideas, and reorganized aspects of the program to implement awareness raising activities and eco-friendly practices.

Below, are links to pages describing the different aspects of our project in more detail. In addition, I discuss the student orientation and food purchasing on podcast #5 and the activities we created on podcast #6. We also published a paper in IATEFL’s GISIG newsletter on the project.


  • Student Orientation – We created a two hour orientation program introducing students to some of the environmentally friendly options for food, shopping and recycling in the local community.
  • Activities – We created a variety of environmentally-themed extracurricular activities.
  • Food, Plates and Utensils – We found a more eco-friendly caterer and stopped using disposable plates and utensils.
  • Other Changes – We attempted to be more responsible with our resource use and waste disposal.
  • Difficulties – Despite the efforts and support of the administration and staff, we encountered some obstacles along the way.