Schools conservation programs go greener

July 1, 2011

By Tim Pfarr

best online viagra forum viagra

Newcastle Elementary School, McKnight Middle School and Liberty High School each stepped up a level in the King County Green Schools program in May. Newcastle Elementary obtained level two certification in the program, McKnight obtained level one certification and Liberty obtained level three certification, said Dale Alekel, King County program manager for recycling and environmental services.

Students at McKnight Middle School helped the school obtain level one certification. The school doubled its recycling rate in one year to obtain the certification.

Students at McKnight Middle School helped the school obtain level one certification. The school doubled its recycling rate in one year to obtain the certification. Contributed

Schools focus on recycling, waste reduction and hazardous materials management to reach level one certification. Level two schools are required to also take up energy conservation practices, and level three schools are required to take up water conservation practices, according to Green School’s website.

To reach the level two certification, students and staff members at Newcastle Elementary — with the leadership of third-grade teacher Kathy Keegan — worked to shut off lights in rooms that were not being used and posted signs throughout the school encouraging others to do so.

Also, at the end of each week, students began conducting sweeps of the school to ensure all computers were shut down and monitors turned off. Staff members similarly checked to ensure all blinds were closed and thermostats turned down.

The school’s technology specialist also checked every computer to ensure it had updated energy and software settings, according to the school’s success story from Green Schools.

“The level two recognition is a great thing, and the students and staff have worked hard on changing behaviors in order to accomplish that goal,” Newcastle Elementary Principal Marla Newton said, adding that the accomplishment would not have been possible without Keegan’s help.

“Encouraging the students and staff to participate is a reminder of just how simple it really is to conserve,” she said. “When you are conscious of what choices you are making, it is not too hard to change behavior, and the impact is huge.

Students at McKnight — led by science teacher Carlie Jonas — doubled the school’s recycling rates in one year. Students also created science projects focusing on implementation of sustainable systems in the school, created fashionable clothing out of old clothes, designed hydro-electric systems and constructed a community garden, according to the school’s success story from Green Schools.

Furthermore, students and staff at McKnight worked together with the district’s food services department to plan a sustainable lunch day, during which the lunch menu consisted predominately of non-processed, local and organic food.

Students also organized a zero-waste lunch challenge.

“The King County Green Schools Program provided organization and tools that empowered McKnight’s students to step up and take responsibility for increasing McKnight’s recycling rate,” Jonas said in a news release.

Liberty opted to complete level three requirements before completing those for level two. To reach the level three status, the school partnered with Friends of the Cedar River Watershed to bring a storm water system curriculum to the school, according to the school’s success story from Green Schools.

Students are also participating in the Watershed Report Leadership Team, through which student leaders represent the school district and community by researching sustainability trends and reporting findings to local officials and lawmakers. Furthermore, students are helping design a rain garden as part of the modernization and sustainability plan for the school.

Bookmark and Share
Other Stories of Interest: , , ,

Comments

Got something to say?

Before you comment, please note:

  • These comments are moderated.
  • Comments should be relevant to the topic at hand and contribute to its discussion.
  • Personal attacks and/or excessive profanity will not be tolerated and such comments will not be approved.
  • This is not your personal chat room or forum, so please stay on topic.