How Green Is Your School?

With school and fall now in full swing, its time for an update and examination of what your schools are doing to ‘go green’! Here are some updates from around the country, as well as some questions to ask your school district and schools to see if they are meeting expectations and forging ahead to both educate and exemplify environment friendly places of learning.

What does your school do with paper? How does your school value paper? Does it use recycled paper and teach students to properly dispose of and use effectively paper in the classroom? An article at SF Gate says, “”In America every year, we throw away approximately 1 billion trees’ worth of paper,” Moore said. “Schools are a good chunk of that.”  Schools go through tests, quizzes, homework, practice sheets, art paper, napkins, toilet paper, towels, and many other kinds of paper products. Make sure your school is striving to recycle and use paper in a green way.

What about science experiments? How about the lab rats and science experiments that go on at school and at Universities around the country? How are they working to protect the environment and do experiments in a green way. The University of California-Irvine has developed a coalition seeking to solve that probelm. “We have 1,041 fume hoods all over campus,” says Courtney Gill, lead intern for the program. “Their purpose is to cycle out the fumes scientists create when working with various pieces of lab equipment. But when they’re left open, the fume hoods continue cycling out all the air in the air-conditioned labs, wasting a lot of energy.” Check out UC-Irvine to learn more about the steps they are taking to make their science departments green.

Wind Powered Schools. Schools across the country are starting to use wind power to drive their lights and energy systems. The Department of Energy has begun constructing and using wind power across the country to make schools run more efficiently.

LEED Inspection and Rating. The LEED is an inspection and certificate program that evaluates schools, “Based on the LEED for New Construction rating system…it addresses issues such as classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention and environmental site assessment…Green schools are healthy for students, teachers and the environment. Built right, green schools are productive learning environments with ample natural light, high-quality acoustics and air that is safe to breathe.  The U.S. Building Council is a great resource for school officials and parents in examining your schools and district to see if they might be eligible for inspection and certification.

With the cold winter months looming, energy consumption will rise. Talk to your local school board and officials and find out what they are doing to protect our environment and save energy during this winter.

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