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Go Green

Green Arrows going Around an Apple with "Go Green Initiative" on the sideIn the words of Kermit the Frog, “Being green is not easy.” It may not be easy, but it is the right thing to do!

This school year, the Cumberland County Board of Education signed a memorandum of understanding supporting the Go “Green” Initiative. Many  of the following options and choices exist for Cumberland County schools: 

  • use natural resources more efficiently;
  • reduce, reuse, and recycle;
  • follow healthy, high-performance construction guidelines;
  • produce healthy lunches;
  • reduce carbon emissions;
  • eliminate exposure to toxic chemicals; and
  • protect our global environment.

There are also tremendous opportunities to teach children about environmental responsibility and sustainable living, as well as, helping them become leaders in making their schools healthier and more ecologically friendly. Recognizing this, the Go “Green” Initiative, a program specifically designed to provide a framework that will integrate, strengthen, and direct the school system’s efforts to be good stewards of the environment, was developed.

Working in cooperation with Sustainable Sandhills, a non-profit environmental awareness agency, a team of CCS’ employees developed the guidelines for the initiative. Schools that meet the requirements of the program can be certified and recognized by the community as a “Green” school. Thus far, Alma Easom and Pauline Jones elementary schools, and the Fuller Performance Learning Center have been certified by Sustainable Sandhills as “Green” schools. Several others are working hard to attain this status.

What does it mean to be a “Green” school? It means that the school is doing the following: 1) recycling most of the waste produced; 2) conserving energy by eliminating personal refrigerators and other unnecessary plug-in loads; 3) replacing all incandescent lighting with compact fluorescents; 4) cutting off computers at night; 5) being conscientious of the way heating and air conditioning is operated; 6) encouraging bus ridership, carpooling and walking to reduce carbon emissions; 7) using curriculum guidelines to incorporate ecological activities in their lessons; 8) conserving water by using rain barrels for irrigation; 9) planting gardens with edible and native plants to the region; 10) reducing exposure to toxins by using “Green Seal” certified cleaning products; 11) making two-sided copies; and 12) purchasing bio-degradable products and products containing recycled content.

The three “Green” schools will not tell you that being “green” is easy, but they will tell you teaching students environmental responsibility is the right thing to do.

Published by Shenita Lise on October 20, 2016
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