Sixty-four schools have been named by the U.S. Department of Education as Green Ribbon honorees in recognition of their exemplary efforts to reduce their environmental footprint and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education. In addition, 14 school districts were honored for the first-ever District Sustainability Award.
The list of selectees includes 54 public schools and 10 private schools that serve various grade levels from elementary through high school in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Over half of the 2013 honorees serve a student body more than 40 percent of which is eligible for free and reduced-price lunch.
Honorees employed a range of tactics to “green” their schools, including:
--on-site compacting of recycling materials
--a “no idling” policy for drivers on or near school grounds
--on-site vegetable gardens and greenhouses
--lighting, HVAC, and window upgrades
--LEED- and Energy Star-certified new construction
--PV systems and solar water heaters
--rainwater collection and storage for use in irrigation
--energy- and water-tracking systems
--after-school environmental education clubs and walking teams
--campus clean-up days