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Going green: A school-wide affair

By: Sara Allen

Having an assembly to inform studnets, teachers and staff memebrs about going green is the first important step for the school to help the enviroment. Photo courtesy of Google images

Not only can you make the decision to go green for yourself, but you can help to encourage others to do the same, including your school. The Department of Energy found that schools across the US spend over six billion dollars a year on energy. That cost is more than all the money schools spend on textbooks and computers in a year combined.

The first step schools need to accomplish to go green is to educate the students about the effects our lifestyles have on the environment. Have an assembly to inform every student, teacher and staff member about the change. One very easy way to start saving energy is to turn off classroom lights when they are not necessary. Also, remember to unplug any electronic device when it is not in use. Since there are a lot of lights in a school, switch the normal bulbs to energy efficient bulbs. This will save at least 17 percent of the energy that normal light bulbs use.

Start a “Green Club.” This is an organization for students to come together to brainstorm ideas to help the school become greener. They also partake in community service projects to help clean up the campus, town and state.

Have the school promote other forms of transportation instead of cars. Granted, not everyone can walk or ride a bike to school because they live more than a few miles away. Let the school pick one or two days a month where students can’t drive themselves to school. On those days, students have to ride the bus, carpool, bike, skateboard or walk to and from school so there are less cars on the road adding to pollution.

Most schools have older computers, fax and copy machines, there are now energy efficient models. They may be a bit more expensive, but they will save money in the long run as well as energy. Instead of letting the computer go to the screen-saver when it is not being used, turn the computer to the power-saver mode. Also, plug computers and their speakers, mice, etc. into Smart Power Strips. These power strips are able to sense when a computer is shut down and will cut off the power to its peripherals as well.

There are many other ways schools can go green. Talk to your teachers, principal, friends or student council about what your school can do to help. Start a Green Club to raise awareness. Try convincing teachers to have class outside so the lights can stay off for that class period, not only do you get to enjoy the fall weather, but you also save your school energy and money.

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