Green Schools: A Way for Districts to Save the Environment and Money

School districts are a huge business that employ millions of people and use tons and tons of resources. Most of the time, schools will waste precious materials and overuse valuable resources. They are aware of the problems, but it is difficult to change how much energy a 40 year old building uses. Green schools are being built in a way that helps them to be more energy and cost efficient. They rely on natural resources and recycling and conservation programs. Overall, green schools can help save the environment and their districts money in the long run.

Green Schools Are Designed to Save Energy

It is difficult to transform an old school into an energy efficient building. That is why the title of a green school is given to newer, more up to date buildings. Green schools are designed with energy efficiency in mind. The windows are placed in a way to maximize sunlight and special blinds are used to reflect the sun. Both of these help to move light towards solar panels that power the school. Instead of air conditioning, green schools use evaporation coolers which are cheaper, overall. Also, the lights are on automatic timers which shuts them off during certain parts of the day. Since utility bills are the second largest budget a school district has, saving money on energy is a huge win.

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Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Green schools take this clever saying to a whole new level. Many green schools use recycle banks which reward them for going above and beyond to recycle. They make sure there is clear signage to tell the children where and what to recycle and throw away. This helps manage waste from lunch and classroom activities. During lunch, green schools use reusable trays, utensils, and cups. Most of the time, compost is used in a school garden to help the plants grow. In order to save paper, green schools always print double-sided and send newsletters electronically. They also make sure to remove themselves from unwanted mailing lists and reward classrooms that produce less trash.

It Is a Well-Respected Title

A green school gets its title from building design, recycling practices, or both. One school might focus on recycling and reducing waste, whereas, another school might use natural resources. They can earn an official green school label from the Green Building Council. In order to earn this title, green schools must adhere to three goals. The three goals are: to reduce environmental impact, increase the health and well-being of students, and increase student understanding of environmental impact and sustainability.

Conclusion

School districts spend billions of dollars a year on utility bills and lose the same amount on wasted materials. Green schools use their special design to save energy and maximize natural resources. Recycling initiatives play a large role in green schools and have probably saved thousands of trees in the process! Although green schools are designed with the future in mind, older schools could learn a thing or two from them!      

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Bailey Longhurst
 

I am amazed every day by the beauty that this world provides for us and think it is important to preserve it! Taking care of ourselves and our earth is crucial and I want to help people discover new ways to do both. Publishing for Green and Growing is a unique way that I can get my message across, and I hope you all enjoy what we write about!

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