Over the course of six weeks, we will share with you a whole year’s worth of ideas for your school’s Green Teams! Check back every week, and download a PDF of the entire 12-month plan at the end of the series!
If you missed our first installment of Month-by-Month Green Team Tasks, click here to read it. If you read the first one, we hope that means you’ve already started your 12-month calendar, organized your school’s Green Team and are ready for more! Keep reading for some suggested tasks for March and April.
March: Establish a System for Measuring and Reporting Results
How many times has your team wondered about or been asked these questions:
- How much energy does our school district use? Is that more or less than we should be using?
- How does our energy use compare to other schools just like us?
- How much money do we spend on energy?
- How much money have we saved since we starting working to be more green?
At CLASS 5 Energy, we stress to our clients that measuring and sharing energy use and costs is one of the most important aspects of a district wide energy-saving effort. That’s because it’s very hard to manage something you don’t measure. Think of it like losing weight – after a few weeks of dieting, your clothes might fit better and you may have more energy, but will you really know if you’ve reached your goal if you never step on a scale? Whether you are using a certified measurement and verification tool, such as the one developed by CLASS 5 Energy, or simply a checklist to mark when goals have been completed – now is the time to start thinking about how to communicate where you are starting and what you are hoping to achieve.
Most school districts track their energy use and costs monthly, in conjunction with receiving their utility bills. In order to share this information, we recommend reporting results quarterly. This gives enough time to see trends and patterns, but doesn’t allow for too much time to pass and people to forget that you are working towards these goals. Work with your communications team to decide how and when results will be announced.
As a school district, it’s important to share this information with your staff as well as the community! Saving money through saving energy is a great way to show that you are being responsible with tax dollars and value the property and buildings within your district.
April: Earth Day – Plan an Event
There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day – cleaning up trash, planting trees, donating to an environmental cause or simply raising awareness around your building are all great places to start. If you are looking for ideas, visit the Earth Day website to pledge an act of green.
Not sure what to do in your district? Here are 2 ideas:
- Have an energy-free staff potluck to raise awareness about conserving energy. Ask everyone to bring a dish that requires no energy (heating or cooling) to make or store: salsas, crackers, hard cheeses, fresh fruits and veggies or these no-cook desserts and other recipes
- Hold a district-wide campus clean up! Get staff, students and even the community to come and clean up your buildings and grounds. Since everyone in the district will be out cleaning, it’s a great time to save some energy as well! Shut down computers, turn out lights, shut off office equipment and unplug any electronics that won’t be used for teaching or learning during the campus clean up.
Community building events such as these tend to pay dividends far greater than the resources they require: in staff, student and community satisfaction, stronger team development and increased morale. And all the while you are doing your part to make the world more sustainable.
Miss a post? No problem – here’s the first post: