Last week Linda and I were at the luxurious Nonantum Resort for our Travelin’ Maine(rs) weekly newspaper column. And while we were there, a celebration of this year’s “Green Room Project” was held. A large turnout of students and parents gathered to hear the praise of Middle School teachers and Nonantum’s General Manager Tina Hewett-Gordon, for the student’s fascinating project. I particularly enjoyed a presentation by two of the 24 students who participated in the project this year. They demonstrated a great understanding of the techniques needed to create environmentally-friendly “green” rooms.
From lighting to bedding, furniture to tile flooring, the students design and create the room, using a fixed budget. And the rooms are impressive.
As Mary McCarthy, one of the teachers, noted, “The kids are artistic and so creative. They really know they can do amazing things through a combination of passion and hard work.” Good lessons, for sure. The students looked at previously designed rooms, researched prices, made shopping lists, and shopped for the necessary items. They learned how to work together and even designed a descriptive brochure and invitations to the celebration.
It didn’t all go according to plan, noted Tina, due to contractor delays, but the kids were resilient and got the job done. Another life’s lesson. “No one ever believes 8th graders designed the rooms,” said Tina.
The brochure included a section explaining, “Why We Bought What We Bought.”
Paint- Low V.O.C. paint to minimize chemicals for safer sleeping environment.
Rugs – Our rugs our 100% natural fiber; wool has wonderful environmental benefits.
Lighting – Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10X longer than conventional lightbulbs. We have tried to provide proper lighting for reading, desk work, and atmosphere.
Bedding – 100% organic fabrics. Bedding is purchased locally through Cuddle Down, a Maine company known for their quality.
Flooring – Flooring is stranded bamboo which means the bamboo is twisted and therefore stronger. Bamboo comes in beautiful color tones to enhance the room.
The brochure also noted that, “Functionality, sustainability, price, quality, and design all play into our decision making. We have a love of nature and our ocean location. We try to reflect that love of Kennebunkport in our work.”
The students who designed this year’s green rooms are: Mia Banglmaier, Nicole Bilodeau, Elona Bodwell, Taylor Brooks, Riley Cerebona, Julia Connolly, Tiernan Connor, Emma Enis, Parker Fairfield, Isabel Fontain, Grace Girard, Kaylee Gregoire, Charlotte Johnson, Claudia Kenneway, Soudalath Luanglath, Lily McMahon, Ellen Neale, Isabelle Okwuosa, Chloe Spendlenhour, Abigail Stevenson, Sarah Weaver, Isabelle Wiggins, Emma Westley, and Allisoan Wuerthner.
Congratulations to all, for a job very well done!
If you would like to read our travel column about Nonantum Resort, you can access it here.
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