The real conversation to be had around green schools, the reason there has been such significant uptake in all 50 states, is about stewardship of taxpayer dollars. It's about finally starting to think about things in terms of ROI [return on investment]. One of the biggest barriers we are trying to help schools overcome is the separation of capital budgets and operating budgets. Schools could save 25 percent off the bat with some basic efficiency measures, occupant education, and engagement programs. I've seen it happen.
The first thing is, we don't just show up there. We identify champions, we identify partners, and whenever possible we aim for peer-to-peer conversation. The first thing is, we don't just show up there. We identify champions, we identify partners, and whenever possible we aim for peer-to-peer conversation. Sometimes that's through our chapter networks -- we've got chapters in all 50 states. Collectively there are more than 1,200 volunteers spread out throughout green schools committees. We've encouraged them to reach out beyond the architects, engineers, and facilities managers and bring in teachers, school board members, and administrators. Ultimately this stuff is common sense, but if you don't engage people in a partnership early on, you're not going to be successful.
Rachel and David also talk about the increasing importance of food in the "green school equation" and of helping students become leaders and changemakers in the whole process.
Read the complete interview.
Image courtesy of Center for Green Schools.
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