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Tagged : schools

Teenager finds a solution to massive food waste by ‘brats who won’t eat that apple’

September 26th, 2012

A student in Omaha, Neb., has identified a problem with school lunches — as well as a solution that could help solve an entrenched food waste issue in school cafeterias across the country.

In order to get the best price for a school lunch, kids are required to take one serving of a fruit or a vegetable to create a full meal. If they don’t, they can end up paying higher ala carte prices.

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Prang Art Markers unveils a take-back program in response to kids frustrated with Crayola’s lack of recycling

August 9th, 2012

When last we left them, the kids of Sun Valley Elementary in San Rafael, Calif., had petitioned Crayola to take back their used markers.

It just got really easy to decide which art markers are the greenest.

It was a straightforward ask by people in the single-digit age range who’d noticed that other companies were taking back goods and probably also that their parents were slinging recyclables to the curb every week. So they spoke candidly to Crayola about the corporation’s markers, which they worried end up in the land fill after they are used.

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San Jose schools add money-saving new solar project

March 15th, 2010

From Green Right Now Reports

Image: Chevron Energy Solutions

Image: Chevron Energy Solutions

Difficult times call for innovative ideas, and the San Francisco Bay Area may be a cleaner place as a result. Faced with dwindling revenues and budget cuts, the San Jose Unified School District once again turns to renewable energy, breaking ground March 11 on a 3.7 MW solar project to be installed over six school sites.

When the sites come online later this year, the district anticipates saving more than $1.5 million in electric utility costs the first year, $7.6 million over five years and $36 million over the life of the project. Those figures are based on lower electricity costs, state incentives and sale of renewable energy credits.

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Teachers and schools embrace green curricula

May 26th, 2009

By Harriet Blake

The best teachers inspire. Their grasp and excitement of a subject is contagious. Talking to Bertha Vazquez, Susan Vincent and Patrick Curley, you can’t come away without absorbing at least a sliver of their passion for the environment.

This month the National Environmental Education Foundation recognized Vazquez, Vincent and Curley for their innovative approaches to environmental education. Bertha Vazquez, a middle school teacher at a magnet school in Coral Gables, Fla., won the Richard C. Bartlett Education Award, named after the chairman of the Nature Conservancy of Texas. Patrick Curley, a middle and high-school teacher who works with at-risk students in Jacksonville, NC, and Susan Vincent, an earth and marine science teacher in East Harlem, NY, won certificates of merit.

“Kids have always related to the environment,” says Vazquez, who teaches at George Washington Carver Middle School in the Miami-Dade school system. “Teachers need to look for real-life connections that kids can relate to.”

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EPA to test air quality at schools in suspected ‘toxic hot spots’

March 31st, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

With the Environmental Protection Agency back in full action again after years of humming in neutral, things are happening, and some important beneficiaries could be America’s school children.

USA TODAY reports today that the EPA is expected to run tests of the air quality outside some 62 schools in 22 states to see whether the sites are polluted beyond healthy thresholds. (See the list of schools.)

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Cleaning up school bus emissions

September 22nd, 2008

By Catherine Colbert

When David Kilbourne picked up his 8-year-old son from Lake Travis Elementary in spring 2007, he noticed smoke billowing from idling buses parked in queue behind the school. The exhaust fumes his son was breathing each day as he waited to be picked up, he says, were contributing to his son’s migraine headaches. “My son is the quarterback for his youth football team,” said Kilbourne. “Because there’s only one quarterback, when he gets these headaches, it affects the team.”

Kilbourne remembers noticing the bus exhaust during the school’s bus safety week. “They were talking about how buses are safe when it comes to traffic accidents,” he said, “but there’s more to a bus’s safety than traffic accidents, like having air that’s safe to breathe.”

The coincidence spurred Kilbourne to take action. Not only did he write several letters to his local newspaper, but Kilbourne approached the head of his district’s transportation department to discuss air quality in and around its buses. After he spoke to Rick Walterscheid, the transportation director at the Lake Travis Independent School District, the school system put a no-idling policy into effect.

Walterscheid didn’t stop there, either. Later that year the 79th Texas Legislature adopted House Bill 3469, which established and authorized the formation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to administer a statewide clean school bus program.

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Schools Get Clean Green Slate For Fall

September 4th, 2008

By Harriet Blake

Other than the intoxicating smell of new text books and notebooks, the familiar scents of back-to-school may be changing. Ammonia-scented hallways, newly sealed and fuming gym floors, odorously painted classrooms as well as lawns with the subtle scents of pesticide treatments, may be a thing of the past.

In today’s more environmentally conscious world, public and private schools are rethinking how they maintain their buildings. Reducing toxic chemicals in schools – as in our homes — is not only good for the environment, but for those who use these buildings.

In Maryland’s Montgomery County outside of Washington D.C., the public schools have long taken a pro-active approach in using non-toxic cleaners.

“We want our buildings to be clean and at the same time healthy for our students, faculty and the person doing the cleaning,” says Larry Hurd, building services trainer for the school district.

Ten years ago, the district, which oversees 200 schools, changed from an oil-based sealer for their wood gym floors to a water-based sealer. It works well, says Mr. Hurd, and toxins are no longer an issue. “The oil-based sealer was bad for the students and other visitors to our schools, but it was real, real bad for the person applying the sealer.” That person was exposed to the sealer fumes for as much as four hours.

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No Child Left Inside Gaining Momentum

June 2nd, 2008

kidsatpark.jpgBy Kelly Rondeau

You’ve heard of No Child Left Behind. Now comes a new program with serious educational goals, but a different approach: No Child Left Inside proposes to re-invigorate environmental education by tapping into kids’ innate curiosity about nature. And communities across America are embracing the fresh, bottom-up concept by holding No Child Left Inside events.

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