Education News offers a summary of recent “Local Leaders in Sustainability” report by the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council showing how greening schools is not only eco-friendly but saves districts money! One example given is school system in Mississippi saving $23,000 in energy costs in the past year by participating in the Tennessee Valley Authority Green School Initiative (a program called Green Power Switch which produces electricity from renewable sources).
The report explains the benefits of greening schools, explains roles local/state/federal can play to go green, as well as providing ideas and action plans to green schools.Green school improve student health, decrease absenteeism, improve student performances, keep teacher retention, can be used as a teaching tool, bring community together, save money by using less water and electricity, increase property values, and do not cost more than conventional schools!
One of the best things of the report are the Model Advocate and Profile of a Green School sections – real world examples of advocates for greening school, such as Mayor Riley of Charleston SC who believes so strongly in this endeavor he promote a now existing a one-cent sales tax to support green school construction! And Profiles of Green Schools like River Crest Elementary School in Hudson, WI - a green school constructed below the cost of a conventional school! The end of the report offers suggestion such as connecting with your local USGBC Chapter, creating a green school task force, hosting a green school summit, creating a green school challenge, hire a green school fellow, create a green energy school policy or green cleaning policy, tour other green schools, and info on lots of groups to check out.