The Search for America's Greenest School is On
Irvington High School was officially named America's Greenest School in 2009 and received a hybrid school bus from IC Bus.
Students have until March 8 to enter a submission in the America's Greenest School contest, where they can win a $3,000 scholarship, a $150,000 hybrid school bus for their school and a $20,000 green school makeover. Ten finalists will be selected and America will vote for the winning school. The winner will be announced around Earth Day.
“As parents, students and teachers are looking at ways to lead a greener life, school is a great place to show environmental leadership,” said John McKinney, president of IC Bus. “The America’s Greenest School Contest is one way to help educate and influence eco-friendly behavior like riding the bus to school instead of using a passenger car.”
Students nationwide are encouraged to submit an entry (photo collection, music, video, essay, or photos of a diorama, collage or piece of artwork) that illustrates the vision of how they’d make their school a greener place. “Since every school bus has the capacity to take 36 cars off the road, school bus transportation is inherently ecofriendly. As part of their contest entry, we would like students to demonstrate how their school is committed to green transportation,” McKinney added. Contest details and entry guidelines are available at AmericasGreenestSchool.com.
IC Bus will select 10 finalists and America will choose the winner through online voting. The winner will be announced the week of Earth Day 2010 and the school of the winning entrant will win a hybrid school bus from IC Bus (a $150,000 value), a green audit of their school from a LEED Accredited Professional and approximately $20,000 for their school to use toward a “green” makeover.
Last year, America’s votes chose Irvington High School in Fremont, Calif., as the prestigious winner. The school received a hybrid school bus from IC Bus, based on the award-winning essay from 16-year-old Alexander Chen. The hybrid school bus awarded to his school is up to 65 percent more fuel efficient than standard school buses and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 39 percent. It has also been specially engineered with a larger wheelbase to accommodate a wheelchair lift, making it fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Chen also received a $5,000 scholarship and his teacher, who is also the school’s green coordinator, Clint Johns, received $3,000 for green school supplies.
Chen’s essay outlined the areas where his school has become more energy efficient, including reducing the school’s energy use by one-third. Irvington High School was the second school in the state of California to be recognized as an Energy StarSM school because of its efforts to reduce energy consumption by connecting computers to power strips, installing timers on exterior lighting, and reprogramming classroom thermostats. Student responsibility was also a key area in Chen’s essay. He wrote that students are encouraged to recycle and described the school’s food scrap recycling program that diverts waste from landfills.