- THE MAGAZINE
Earth Day Network today launched the Green Schools Leadership Center (www.earthday.org/education), a comprehensive online platform that will advance the green schools movement nationwide. The Green Schools site will support the rapidly growing green schools market with a broad range of tools and resources that can be used to address six major opportunities to improve and modernize America’s K-12 schools: greening school facilities, dramatically improving school food, upgrading school transportation, increasing recreation opportunities and outdoor education; and promoting environmental literacy as well as civic and community engagement. The site provides a comprehensive library of resources, including curriculum and best practice as well as an opportunity to network with the leading experts and practitioners in the field.
“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, citizens and workforce, and our Green School Leadership Center is designed to help students and their fellow educators to participate as citizens, scientists, educators and business leaders in a greener world,” stated Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. “Earth Day Network is proud to support schools’ efforts to embrace green technology, energy efficiency, healthy food, civic and environmental literacy. Our goal is to help the next generation to prepare for the jobs of the future and to understand and solve complex environmental challenges.”
On average, a green school utilizes 33 percent less energy, 32 percent less water, and reduces waste by 74 percent when compared to a traditionally built school building. These savings alone can average $100,000 annually — enough to hire two new teachers, buy 250 new computers or purchase 5,000 new textbooks. Green schools can also reduce the following pollutants on an annual basis: 1,200 lbs of nitrogen oxide (NOx) — a principal component of smog, 1,300 lbs of sulfur dioxide (SO2) — a principal cause of acid rain, and 585,000 lbs of carbon dioxide (CO2) — the principal greenhouse gas. New studies in the U.S. indicate that green school students are performing better academically and are healthier and happier.
“Earth Day Network looks forward to utilizing our new Green Schools Leadership Center to help schools reduce their energy use; improve the overall educational process; and lead healthier lives,” said Sean S. Miller, Education Director at Earth Day Network.
The Green Schools Leadership Center is the first comprehensive green schools site. Its interactive, online platform prepares teachers, students, parents, and other stakeholders to lead the effort to green all facets of school life. The Center will also provide resources and tools to schools seeking to win the new Green Ribbon Schools award. The Green Ribbon Schools award, recently announced by the U.S. Department of Education, rewards schools that demonstrate significant progress towards increasing energy efficiency and other measures of sustainability and improving the overall health of students and staff.