Every child deserves a learning environment that’s safe, healthy, free of harmful toxins and optimal for learning. Unfortunately, many schools across the country are subjecting children to unhealthy classrooms with poor lighting and inefficient energy usage, which costs most schools more money than they spend on books and computers. Global Green USA is working to change this by helping to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn in a healthier, greener school. Global Green USA’s Green School Makeover Competition, as presented by Pureology, gives you the chance to help a school in your area by nominating it for a Green School Makeover. Here’s how it works:
Between March 1st and September 30th 2011, enter your school for a chance to win a green school makeover. Go to http://tinyurl.com/greenschoolcontest to enter your school and learn more.
In December 2011, Global Green will announce one grand prize winner to receive $65,000 to renovate their school, plus approximately $65,000 of in-kind technical assistance, and fourschools will each receive $2,500 towards their green school renovations.
With a green school makeover, the possibilities are endless:
A SCHOOL GARDEN – A 5,000 square foot plot can be transformed into a fruit and vegetable garden, an insect garden, a compost garden, or just a general planter area. Students can explore the solar energy, water, plant and soil cycles on a daily basis to truly experience a living system. By investigating the many aspects of gardening and agriculture in a garden, students benefit from knowledge in scientific methodology, math and measurement skills, and appreciation for the balance of nature.
WATER CONSERVATION – Water saving bathroom fixtures and low sink aerators can help preserve water. Install a Living Machine, a diversity of microorganisms which treats wastewater before returning it to the watershed, which is gentler on the environment and provides a learning resource for students.
GREEN ROOF – Capture water and cool down buildings by planting densely packed plants on classroom roofs.
INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY UPGRADES – Reduce asthma and other respiratory triggers by replacing current indoor materials with formaldehyde-free acoustical ceiling tiles made from newsprint, recycled-content carpet with low VOC emissions and adhesives, thermal insulation made from recycled glass, and more.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY UPGRADES – Install new Energy Star HVAC systems, replace all incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency, and more.
A green school, also known as a high performance school, is a community facility that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner. Green schools protect occupant health, provide a productive learning environment, connect students to the natural world, increase average daily attendance, reduce operating costs, improve teacher satisfaction and retention, and reduce overall impact to the environment.
Green schools lessen the impact of building construction on the environment and set an example for future generations that environmental quality is essential to our long-term well being. They also have benefits in several key performance areas:
Protect Student and Teacher Health – Schools designed with attention to proper ventilation, material selection, acoustical quality and other indoor environmental factors, can expect improved student and teacher health and higher attendance;
Better Student Performance – Attention to site planning and adequate daylighting can heighten student performance by as much as 25%;
Lower Operating Costs – Operating costs for energy and water can be reduced by 20% to 40%, allowing more money to be used for teacher salaries, textbooks and computers;
Provide a Unique Educational Opportunity – When advanced technology and design in new schools are made visible, buildings can become teaching tools and important features of science, math, and environmental curriculum.