June 29, 2011
Want to Green Your DC School? Win $130,000!
With budget deficits affecting school districts across the country, every dollar saved counts and greening your school is one of the quickest ways to save money (we’re talking thousands of dollars a year!). The non-profit organization Global Green USA, the DC Environmental Network's fiscal agent, is hosting a Green School Makeover Competition with a $65,000 prize to “green” the winning school (plus approximately $65,000 of in-kind technical assistance). It’s a no-brainer. Here’s how it works. You simply go to the Competition website at http://tinyurl.com/greenschoolcontest and tell Global Green how you plan to green your school (make sure the principal and/or facilities manager signs off, too!) and follow the instructions for submitting an application.
In the United States, we spend more on school energy bills than we do for student textbooks and computers combined. Why? Because too many of our schools waste energy on out-dated, dirty boilers for heat and lights that are kept on all day because teachers cover east/west facing windows with dense blinds rather than solar shades that allow for natural light. Billions and billions of dollars are wasted on utility bills every year! Sadly, too many of our kids attend school in classrooms with no daylight, and stuffy, moldy air made worse by toxic cleaning supplies. It’s crazy.
A green school, on the other hand, is one that is designed, built, renovated or operated in a resource-efficient and ecological manner. It uses proper ventilation and green, non-VOC building materials, which results in fewer sick days, increased teacher retention and better student attendance. Studies have shown that student test scores go up by 25% in classrooms with natural daylight and fresh air. Once a school is “greened,” operating costs for energy and water can be reduced by as much as 40% and funds can be channeled back into retaining top quality teachers, textbooks, computers and other essentials. The coolest part for kids, though, are things like the addition of an outdoor classroom or garden where kids can explore solar energy, water, plant and soil cycles in a living environment.
With so many school programs on the chopping block, this opportunity to add something to our schools comes at the perfect time. Check out the official Competition website at http://tinyurl.com/greenschoolcontest and be sure to enter before the September 30th deadline. It’s a chance to do right for our kids and our planet. What could be better than that?
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DCEN United States/Serbia Webinar:
- George Hawkins, General Manager, DC Water
- Srdjan Stankovic, Supernatural, Serbian envrionmental organization (call participant)
- Chris Weiss, Director, DC Environmental Network
Join us June 30th at 9:00 for a free webinar. George Hawkins, General Manager of the largest wastewater treatment plan in the United States will highlight the first in a series of webinars on river restoration issues to be held in the coming year. George will focus on plans to fix the District's infrastructure to curb the amount of raw sewage and polluted stormwater that enter our rivers each year.
Sign-Up for the Free Webinar!
What will make this webinar series special will be the participation of environmental NGOs and others from both the United States and Serbia.
Much like Washington, DC, the city of Belgrade has two rivers, the Sava and the Danube, that run through their neighborhoods and define the health and character of their urban environment. Environmental NGOs in both countries are asking the same questions about what strategies can we use to restore our waterways and protect the health of all of our citizens. George has a lot to say about wastewater treatment plants, information of interest to many environmental NGOs in Serbia.
This webinar is an opportunity to start a diologue, share information and insights and get to know some amazing environmental activists from both countries.
Our next webinar, coming in July, will be on efforts to restore the Danube River in the Balkans.
Sign-Up for the Free Webinar!
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