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Green Youth Movement Cuts 4 million Pounds of CO2 Emissions

Our consumption of energy is one of the biggest environmental challenges we face today. How can we begin to really move the dial in our effort to protect our planet and its precious resources? Thanks to the targeted work of the Green Schools Alliance, we have seen that empowering tomorrow’s leaders at a young age creates innovative environmental solutions.

The Green Schools Alliance (GSA), 1 % for the Planet nonprofit partner, is a global network of schools working together to solve climate and conservation challenges. Uniquely created by schools, the Green Schools Alliance connects K-12 schools worldwide to address environmental sustainability in order to create a healthy, abundant, equitable, ecologically diverse world. With a significant global (environmental) impact, GSA’s network has reached more than 3,000 schools in 42 states and 25 countries representing more than 2 million students and is growing! GSA engages all members of the school community (students, faculty and administrators) to work collaboratively, and learn from one another, across generations. Find out more about the Green Schools Alliance by watching their video, “Who We Are”.

The Green Schools Alliance’s programs integrate education and action to address all aspects of sustainability. The Green Cup Challenge (Energy, Recycling and Water) and the Student Climate & Conservation Congress (Sc3) and Sc3 Corps, provide their participants with skillsets crucial for tomorrow’s environmental leaders. GSA also supports its Peer-to-Peer network of schools guiding schools through a website that enables member schools to share their climate and sustainability progress with other schools worldwide.

One of the Green Schools Alliance’s most well-known and well-respected programs is its Green Cup Energy Challenge (GCC). Sponsored by Lucid Design Group, ConEdison, and GoodEnergy, The Green Cup Energy Challenge is a program that engages students in energy saving behaviors. Over a four-week period, students, teachers, and staff are encouraged to take personal actions to reduce consumption, including turning off unused electronics, using power strips, and shutting off lights in unoccupied rooms. This friendly competition involves thousands of schools all over the world and produces significant results.

Katy Perry, director of the Green Cup Challenge explains the project’s strong impact, proclaiming, “It’s incredible to see the positive outcomes Green Cup Challenge has on behavior as well as energy reduction. Students are eager to participate in activities that will have a positive impact on their schools, communities, and planet. With the GCC they can connect their actions with tangible and measurable results, which is hugely empowering.”

The results are measurable indeed. Over the past four years of the Green Cup Challenges, GSA schools’ CO2 emissions have been reduced by more than 4 million pounds. This year alone, schools have saved 1.5 gigawatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to approximately 2.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide and hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.

Director of marketing at Lucid Design Group, Andrew deCoriolis highlights the importance of these programs, remarking, “Working with young people on these issues can be incredibly impactful, since they are learning behaviors that they will take home with them and continue for the rest of their lives.” These behaviors, including teamwork, innovation, community building and communication are critical for a bright future for both GSA members as well as for our planet.

Help support the Green Schools Alliance by getting involved! Invite schools in your community to join the GSA, sign up for the Green Cup Challenge, or make a donation. Your support today will enable schools to participate in the Green Cup Challenge at no cost. You can also sponsor a student to attend a week-long Student Climate & Conservation Congress (Sc3).

Don’t forget to sign up for the Green Schools Alliance newsletter, like their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter! To learn more contact Curry Rosato at crosato@greenschoolsalliance.org or by phone at 303.829.9316.

 

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