Interest in Green Schools High, Despite Economy

132 people. 80+ school staff. 40+ educational institutions represented. This was the crowd that showed up for “No-Cost Ways to Green Your School” on October 28th.

With over 130 people in attendance, networking opportunities were abundant!

With over 130 people in attendance, networking opportunities were abundant!

I have to admit, I was a little surprised. One persistent myth the Green Schools committee runs into is that a green school must be an expensive school. In a time of tight belts and reduced budgets, would school administrators and educators take time off to investigate green? I mean, we didn’t even send out any print invitations.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. As was thoroughly covered on the 28th, “greening” an existing school offers opportunities to save money, improve student performance, and reduce absenteeism. What’s not to like about reducing utility costs while improving student health and test scores?

Cindy Bambini, our keynote speaker, did an excellent job providing schools with no-cost ways to start down the “green road”. She provided a comprehensive roadmap that walked attendees through establishing a sustainability policy, a green team, various green campaigns, and a recognition process for success stories. All of this was tied to a core resource: LEED for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance. Anyone interested in the presentations and resources offered on the 28th can find them on the Green Schools event page.

Cindy Bambini addresses "No Cost Ways to Green Your School"

Cindy Bambini addresses "No Cost Ways to Green Your School"

The real measure of school staff enthusiasm for green, however, wasn’t the number of attendees. It was the content and energy of the Q&A session.

  • “Let me tell you about our native plant landscaping and curricula efforts…” (The College School)
  • “We’ve started a LEED project(s) in our district…” (Ritenour, Parkway, and University City School Districts)
  • “We transitioned to a green cleaning program, and it didn’t cost us a dime extra…” (Crossroads College Preparatory School)
Display boards from local schools highlighting their green efforts

Display boards from local schools highlighting their green efforts

And on, and on, and on. This doesn’t even get into the beautiful posters showcasing green efforts at schools throughout St. Louis. Or the tours our host led through Crossroads College Prep’s new science wing addition, that’s seeking LEED Platinum certification. All of this got me to thinking about our committee’s mission statement, “Green schools for every child within a generation?” I think we can.

– Submitted by Michael Levinson, Chair of the Green Schools Committee, and an analyst at Energy Solutions, Inc. To get involved with the Green Schools Committee, please email him.

View More:  Green Schools

Comments are closed.