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Going Green: Five Tips for Your Child's School (page 2)

Going Green: Five Tips for Your Child

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Updated on Aug 28, 2011

#4:. . . or turn it off

The U.S. Energy Information Association estimates that around 8% of K12 energy consumption comes from computers, while a whopping 31% is from lighting. That means just turning off lights or putting computer monitors into sleep mode can affect nearly 40% of a school’s overall energy usage. Technology that powers off printers and copiers during off times is available via “smart” power strips, and Energy Star’s computer management systems offers software that can power down monitors into sleep mode when they’re not in use. If your district lacks the money to back costly overhauls, posters reminding students and faculty members to turn the lights off if they are the last to leave a classroom or computer lab, for example, are another cheap and easy way to encourage energy awareness on campus.

#5: Become an Energy Star

Energy Star has developed a rating system for energy performance that can easily be applied to K-12 schools. According to their website, Energy Star labeled schools average a full forty cents per square foot less to operate—money that your local school district could be putting toward other things like new books or technology. Applying for an Energy Star label may mean full-scale refurbishment for your school, but if renovations are pending, why not go a little greener? A wealth of information on the Energy Star website can help guide schools through the process of applying for Energy Star status. Some things that successful schools did to earn their labels included installing web-based thermostat controls, cleaning boilers, upgrading windows to high efficiency window overlays, and using Energy Star’s online portfolio manager to track energy consumption.

To learn more about making your school eco-friendly, check out our Green Schools page.

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