Engaging Students in “Green “ Dialogue Can Help Schools Take The Bottom Line From Red to Black

February 18, 2014

As a result of our current economic woes, nearly every school in the nation has been forced to step back and take a critical look at operating costs. Many are dusting off the covers of their fiscal plans to see if there’s a way to weather the storm, yet, at a time when literally every penny counts, most districts are completely unaware of the 10% to 15% savings they could potentially realize if “Smart Conservation” practices were introduced and adopted on a widespread basis.

Conservation, by definition, is simply the process of preserving the valuable natural resources that give substance and life to our ecosystem, like the air we breathe, the energy we use, or the water we drink. Only by monitoring our consumption of these precious commodities, can we can begin to minimize the future impact on our environment and knowingly and responsibly reduce energy costs. The first step—and the key to being able to do this effectively—lies in educating the shareholders in this process on what needs to be done and how to do it.

Basically, this education begins in the school environment when we teach our students and colleagues about the necessity of good personal conservation habits. In so doing, we create intelligent opportunity for cost savings through easy-to-implement lifestyle changes and simple, conscious awareness. Things like simply turning off classroom lights at the end of the day, or shutting down computers and intelligent white board systems when not in use. Or, perhaps dressing a little warmer on cold days to avoid firing up the space heater. These and many other simple behavioral changes can pay great dividends at the end of the fiscal year for any district.

Let’s all come to a consensus right now, that we are in control of the process and whether or not our districts will be adequately funded in the future. We have the option, every minute of every day, to make the decisions that will produce sustainable, energy efficient returns for our schools.  Our students want and need a viable option to budget and program cuts. By engaging them in active dialogue and encouraging the open and non-judgmental sharing of ideas, we’ll begin to form a solid foundation for conservation practices that can be built upon by future generations.

When the triad of good plans, enthusiastic people, and cutting-edge technology act in concert with one another, real energy savings are set in motion!

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