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Crowdfunding the way to sustainability education

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Something Good in the World (SGITW), a grassroots environmental organization and 1% for the Planet nonprofit partner, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the creation of Westchester County’s first ‘off-the-grid’ environmental education center.  The Earth School EnviraPod Education Center project, via Indiegogo, has raised $19,350 of its $25,000 goal with only one week left in the campaign.

The Earth School EnviraPod Education Center will consist of small pre-fab envirapod structures, which are small, zero-footprint buildings designed for completely ‘off-the-grid’*, sustainable living.  The center will be built with eco-friendly materials and will run only on renewable resources. There will be rainwater catchment and gray water systems – all creating a working example of indoor sustainable living. Visitors will experience first-hand how they can incorporate these practices in their own lives.

Global and local community support for the project has been overwhelming – with donations coming in from as far away as Germany, Australia, and Indonesia as well as from supporters right here in Westchester County, NY who are thrilled by the idea of having such an innovative learning resource so close to home.

“When art, music, and science are slashed regularly due to hyper-focus on standardized tests, alternative and supplemental education programs help to fill huge gaps in our education system. Something Good in the World has a variety of unique programs that reach kids from all walks of life, and now they’re taking it a step further with sustainable buildings. The very environment in which they teach will be a testament to ecological responsibility and Earth stewardship. We’re so fortunate to have a project like this in our backyard,” commented Niki Hammond, a local parent and supporter of the project.

For over 15 years, SGITW has inspired children of all ages and backgrounds to reconnect with the natural environment and to discover their own abilities to live sustainably by immersing them in ‘outdoor classrooms’. Through their programs, students connect with the natural world around them and develop a sense of responsibility for their shared planet.  But to meet the changing needs of the planet and to educate a new crop of young environmentalists, they are growing their children’s programs in sustainable living to include the indoors as well as the outdoors.

“This project started with me asking myself questions like: “What if it were possible to construct classroom buildings that made you feel like you were in nature?  What if we could build a place for children to learn that didn’t harm the environment in any way but instead, helped it? What would it feel like to learn inside a structure that combined the best of the future – cutting edge sustainability practices with technology for the world we are in now?  Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was excited about such an innovative idea – 167 donors from around the world agree with me!” said Barbara Sarbin, Program Director of SGITW.

The Earth School EnviraPod Education Center campaign ends August 10th at midnight.  To learn more or to make a donation, visit: www.indiegogo.com/projects/earth-school-envirapod-education-center

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