There are so many ways schools can go green. From proactive recycling programs, to carbon offsetting with tree gardens, to simply changing the kinds of lightbulbs used in the school. When I was studying in Europe this last year, my friend showed me his old elementary school that had installed solar panels on the roof of the building to help power the auditorium and cafeteria. I thought that was a pretty excellent idea.
Schools have many opportunities to go green but they typically don’t have the budget to do so. Washington State just passed an initiative to fund renewable energy sources in public schools. Without this state funding, the public school system would not have been able to afford this energy switch, even though in the long run it will save money. When schools are being built, they should be designed to allow maximum heat during the winter and cold during the summer. Schools also need to be insulated as well as possible so the use of excess energy is unnecessary.
A simple way to lessen the environmental impact schools have is to turn off lights when no one is in the room. All too often, lights are left on during gym, lunch, and even overnight. Computers should be turned off at the end of the day to help with electricity usage. School systems would save an immense amount of money annually if these practices were taken seriously by all.
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