Staff Editorial: Green makeovers benefit students, planet in the long run
With gas prices reaching deep into the pockets of consumers and threats of global warming being touted on soap boxes, there are schools across America that are curbing the impact made on the earth while still educating children.
"Green schools," a movement that is sweeping nation, features eco-friendly schools that lean toward solar panels, living roofs and wetlands use, CNN.com reported.
In Colorado, ice is being used at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins to help keep cool. In Chicago, Tarkington Elementary School’s roof is a flower garden that helps insulate the building during the winter.
A study by school officials in Washington state found green schools have better student performance, fewer absences and cut energy costs by 50 percent, CNN reported. Educators have also reported that wildflower gardens and solar panel arrays double as excellent hands-on learning labs for students.
The University has even dabbled in green makeovers. In 2005, students in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture created a "Green Zone" where they studied different plants and measured and recorded the decrease in temperature the plants offered.
In suburban Atlanta, construction continues with Arabia Mountain High School, Georgia’s first green school built by a public school district. Set to open in 2009, the $53 million DeKalb County school is designed to preserve the surrounding wilderness while giving hands-on lessons on conservation.
Natural resources are dwindling and children, no matter what age group they belong in, should be conscious of such tremendous changes that are occurring.