Green Schools Advocates' Progam Launched

Dozens of architects, PTA presidents, school board members, school superintendents and others from across the country are ready to begin a grassroots effort to further the vision of green schools for every child within a generation, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) stated on Oct. 5.

Some 64 "Green School Advocates" from U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) chapters nationwide were in Washington, D.C., the last week of September to receive training to go back to their communities and organize green school committees. Local Chapter "Green Schools Advocacy Committees" will work with decision-makers, parents, teachers and others who are passionate about giving children the healthiest, safest places to learn and grow.

"The local USGBC chapters are a critical component in the Council?s vision of green schools for every child within a generation,? said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC's president, CEO and founding chair. "There are now chapter members from across America who are engaging in local outreach and education."

A 2006 study sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, the American Institute of Architects, the American Lung Association, the Federation of American Scientists and USGBC found that building green would save an average school $100,000 each year in energy costs along -- enough to hire two new additional full-time teacher, purchase 5,000 new textbooks, or buy 500 new computers.

The new Green School Advocates left Washington this week equipped with the knowledge and information they need to spread the word about green schools. They are more familiar with the USGBC's LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Schools green rating system, which provides green-building guidelines and offers third-party verification to ensure schools' stakeholders that their buildings incorporate the best in science, design and technology to make their schools truly green.

USGBC chapters exist in every region in the United States; to get involved in promoting green schools in your area, visit www.usgbc.org/chapters to find the chapter nearest you.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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