King County Green Schools Program Honors Seven Schools for Resource Conservation
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Posted by: Lindsay Kittleson
King County Green Schools Program honors seven schools for resource conservation
Seven schools earned recognition in February for their successful conservation practices from the King County Green Schools Program, which helps individual schools and even entire school districts cut waste and save resources.
"Students and staff at these schools have embraced waste reduction, recycling, and other conservation actions, with assistance from the County’s Green Schools Program,” said Dale Alekel, program manager.
King County Green Schools Program has three levels which involve students and staff in learning about and practicing conservation of natural resources. Alekel said most schools cut operating expenses by initiating waste reduction and recycling practices and reducing energy and water use.
The program has served a growing number of schools each year, from 100 schools participating in 2009-10 to 197 schools participating in the 2013-14 school year. The program also assists school districts, with 12 districts currently participating.
Two schools completed Level One of the program this school year by expanding recycling practices and focusing on waste reduction strategies such as decreasing paper use.
Another five schools have completed Level Two this school year by engaging in energy conservation practices, such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms and setting thermostats at 68-70 degrees, while one school has completed Level Three by learning about and engaging in water conservation and pollution prevention actions.
To date, 173 schools throughout King County have been recognized as Level One Green Schools. Of those schools, 98 have been recognized as Level Two Green Schools and 55 as Level Three Green Schools.
Level One - Waste Reduction and Recycling (WRR)
• Three Cedars Waldorf School (private school, Bellevue) formed a Green Team, conducted education about waste reduction and recycling, and completed actions to reduce, reuse and recycle. The school is maintaining a recycling rate of 70 percent.
Level Two - Energy Conservation and WRR
In addition to actions listed below, these five schools maintained their Level One waste reduction and recycling practices and educated their school communities on how to conserve energy.
• Lakeland Hills Elementary School (Auburn School District) completed both Level One and Level Two actions. The school reached a recycling rate of 64 percent, conducts Waste-Free Wednesday campaigns in its cafeteria and student "waste detectives” spot check classrooms and educate their peers about recycling. Energy Star equipment is used at the school and the student Green Club created a pledge to encourage energy conservation.
• Cascade Ridge Elementary School (Issaquah School District) incorporates energy conservation lessons into its fifth grade curriculum. The school has decreased its overall energy use each year since 2010.
• In Challenger Elementary School (Issaquah School District), designated student Power Rangers turn off classroom lights and computers at the end of the school day or when rooms are unoccupied. To encourage energy conservation, teachers use a conservation pledge in their classrooms.
• At Endeavour Elementary School (Issaquah School District), staff members use natural light when possible, close classroom blinds, and turn off computers each night.
• Green River Montessori School (private school, Auburn) staff members conserve energy by using task lighting when possible and consolidating after-school activities into one area.
Level Three - Water Conservation, Energy Conservation, and WRR
• Pine Lake Middle School (Issaquah School District) received a rainwater collection and drip irrigation system for its school gardens from Cascade Water Alliance. The school promoted water conservation actions through morning and staff meeting announcements, and placed signs provided by the Green Schools Program near school faucets reminding users to turn off faucets when not in use and to report leaks. In addition, Pine Lake reached a 75 percent recycling rate.
King County Green Schools Program provides hands-on assistance, recycling containers and signs, a website, www.kingcounty.gov/GreenSchools
, with helpful tools and resources, and the ongoing support schools need to engage students and staff in conservation actions.
King County also offers support for student green teams and an elementary school assembly program and classroom workshops that teach students about conservation.