I caught Public Radio International’s Living on Earth program Saturday morning and felt reassured to hear about a new generation of environmentalists.
The story that caught my attention was on the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), which recently “announced the three winning high schools for the Sustainable Energy Award, sponsored by Samsung: Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, Erie, Pa.; Boston Latin School, Boston, Mass.; and Secondary Academy for Success, Bothell, Wash.”
The judges found that the three schools “demonstrated a school-wide effort to achieve energy savings through the creative and innovative use of technology. Each school will receive $10,000 to further their initiatives.”
For example, in 2008, an environmental group at Boston Latin “conducted an energy audit of the school with help from the local utility NSTAR. Improving on the score of 59 out of 100 meant a strong energy efficiency initiative. The school turned off the lights in vending machines after school, lowered the hot water temperature, and replaced hundreds of light bulbs in the auditorium ceiling with more energy-efficient bulbs. …
“The school has had two fundraisers that generated more than $12,000 to support their initiative. With help from the Facilities Department of the Boston Public Schools, the school implemented a $75,000 lighting retrofit that saves 200,000 kWh and $33,000 a year. The school also installed a 28-panel PV array on its roof through a partnership with the City of Boston’s energy department and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. The system displays real-time data on electricity generated, and the school is putting this data online for study by other students.”
One thing that stands out is the effort to involve a lot of students, not just a small green group. Making the effort broader should help it expand. More here.
Photograph: National Environmental Education Foundation
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