Green schools lessen environmental impacts, conserve resources and educate the next generation of environmental stewards.
Buildings are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources, using more than 70 percent of electricity and contributing to nearly 40 percent of CO2 emissions in the United States. With 133,000 K12 schools in the country, the impact within our educational sector is immense.
The anatomy and operation of a green school includes reduction in energy and water use, recycling efforts during and after construction, native and adaptive landscaping, and practices that reduce the demand on municipal infrastructure. Green buildings are composed of sustainably produced, recycled and recyclable materials and products. They also lessen reliance on fossil fuels, thus decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and other forms of pollution harmful to humans and the planet alike.
Green Schools Cut Harmful Pollutants:
As a rough estimate, a green school could lead to the following annual emission reductions:
- 1200 pounds of nitrogen oxides – a principal component of smog.
- 1300 pounds of sulfur dioxide – a principal cause of acid rain.
- 585,000 pounds of carbon dioxide – the principal greenhouse gas.
- 150 pounds of course particulate matter – a principal cause of respiratory illness.