When school buildings choose clean energy retrofits, many of the benefits are obvious. Others not so much. Improved Indoor Air Quality does more than provide healthier learning environments: Public schools rely on average daily attendance rates to receive federal funding, so the potential for less student and staff sick days is important. Lowering energy consumption does more than save money: Districts can reroute the savings into programs and equipment that enhance educational opportunities.
If you’re involved in sustainability, little of that is news to you. But consider this: Reducing the emissions of one school building yields more than a single punch in the fight against the dangers of climate change. If administrators, teachers, and parents use green building modifications as a learning opportunity, they send energy-savvy people off into the world to make better choices. Perhaps some will go on to sustainability-related careers and head up new strategies to attack global emissions. In other words, transforming school buildings or an entire district into models of sustainability puts students smack in the middle of a real-world learning environment for observing what clean energy means. Let’s not forgo the opportunity to create that legacy of future minds who are passionate about reversing course on climate change.
Regardless of your role in the energy industry, encourage teachers, administrators, and parents in your life to intentionally teach kids about energy issues. Get started making students sit up and take notice by sharing resources such as the following:
Research Challenge: Nova offers an on-line energy lab on PBS.org that allows high school students to design their own renewable energy systems to generate power. Students can create virtual wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass systems.
Simple Terms: This U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA) site designed for kids addresses energy and environmental issues in ways younger students can understand.
Climate Kids: NASA offers a fun site for students that answers questions about what is happening to our atmosphere and how can we make positive changes to reverse course.
Green Guide: The EPA offers this excellent guide to help students understand the elements that contribute to climate change. Even better, it encourages kids to be part of the solutions.
Serious Selection: The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) offers educators a huge array of activities, lessons, and videos for grades three through college throughout its Collection of Climate and Energy Educational Resources.
When companies such as BPE and Haglid Engineering & Associates have developed equipment and strategies for reducing energy consumption in school buildings by at least 32%, it’s clear that the future of sustainability–the ability to make a real impact on climate change–has arrived. Is it an easy task? Hardly. Is there more to do … to discover? Of course, there is. However, we’ve come a long way from simply encouraging kids to shut out the lights and stop wasting water. There is a lot more for them to get excited about. Why? Because saving the planet is actually an option for them if they consider STEM career paths in sustainability or simply by growing up to insist on green solutions for their own homes. After all, the potential for change is here–let’s inspire people with it!
For more information on strategies your school district can take to reduce high operation costs and improve Indoor Air Quality, contact Haglid Engineering at (201) 722-1414. To discover the benefits of BPE’s energy recovery ventilation equipment, read BPE’s Engineering Unleashes the World’s Most Efficient ERVs.