One of the simplest “green” lifestyle changes is to give up buying bottled water. Americans used 50 million single-use water bottles last year, and we have dismal national recycling rate of only 23%. Cutting them out of your life and budget makes good economic and environmental sense, and many bottled waters are actually tap water in a fancy package and nothing more. So is there really a difference between bottled and tap water- a difference you can actually taste?
On Monday, June 16th a kick-off celebration was held at Q650 – The High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture, to commemorate the installation of vacancy sensors (HSCTEA). This year, through Solar One’s Cleantech program, HSCTEA students had the opportunity to explore building performance and energy efficiency through a series of classroom activities and building audits.
Two HSCTEA 11th grade Engineering students, Ashaki Gumbs and Scander Garcia, went a step further, taking the data from the building audits to write a report, which outlined how upgrades to school lighting could save energy and lower the school’s carbon footprint. Their report was submitted to the DOE Division of Facilities Sustainability Office.
Over a 4-month period from December to March, these five schools, as part of Solar One’s Green Design Lab program, combined saved 246,020 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough to power 23 homes for one year*. As a result of their efforts, they avoided 374,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere**, the equivalent of burning 182,000 lbs of coal. As a prize for their success, each school will be awarded with $5,000.
PS 126 Academy of Technology in Manhattan came in first place with a whopping 33% reduction, and on Friday, May 9, Solar One presented them with their award.
Last week at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual conference In Boston, Solar One introduced the Green Design Lab National Network. Through curriculum, technical support, online webinars and more the National Network will expand the reach of the Green Design Lab (GDL) program to schools beyond New York City public schools. Hundreds of science teachers from across the country were introduced to the program and intrigued by the potential to incorporate hands on sustainability projects into their science units.
Solar One was awarded an Innovation Generation Grant in the amount of $25,000 from the Motorola Solutions Foundation to support its CleanTech program.
“We’re delighted Motorola Solutions chose to support our CleanTech program, which engages high school students in a way that ignites their passion and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects and careers,” said Chris Collins, Executive Director of Solar One.
Solar One is excited to announce the winners of the 2012/2013 Solar One-NYCDOE Energy Challenge! This year, 55 schools in Solar One’s Sustainable Schools Network worked to reduce their carbon footprint through energy efficiency measures and behavioral change.The challenge took place over a four-month period from December 2012 through March 2013. Throughout the challenge, Solar One worked with participating schools to inspire school communities to save energy. Educators Joe Chavez and Alex Smith delivered assemblies, helped to kick-start energy awareness campaigns, collaborated with school custodians and green teams, and more!