Green schools are an increasingly popular choice for students and parents who are concerned for the environment. The benefits of green schools extend way beyond protecting the surrounding environment; they are of enormous health benefits to students, they promote better academic achievements and save money. Green schools are a safe, sustainable and profitable choice.
What are Green Schools?
Buildings are responsible for nearly 40% of carbon dioxide emissions in the US, a major contributor to global warming and climate change. Green schools are environmentally friendly buildings which reduce energy consumption, are constructed with sustainable materials and provide measurable benefits for both students and the financial bottom line.
On average, schools that are built using green materials and construction methods cost 2% more regular schools, but can reduce energy consumption by up to 50%. Schools that adopt renewable energy measures, such as installing a solar panel system or geothermal energy, can reduce their energy consumption to nearly nothing.
Rainwater collection systems and the utilization of grey water for things like flushing toilets can seriously reduce water consumption ̶ growing concern in a world where fresh water has become a valuable commodity.
The Benefits of Green Schools
Green schools are establishments that utilize sustainable materials in construction. This minimizes the environmental impact of the building and reduces the number of chemicals released by building materials. These chemicals reduce air quality in a process known as off-gassing. Poor indoor air quality leads to a plethora of ailments like asthma, respiratory disorders, hyperactivity and lack of concentration.
According to the US Green Building Council: ” Green schools can save $100,000 per year – enough to hire two new teachers, buy 150 new computers, or purchase 5,000 new textbooks. It costs less than 2% more to build a green school than to build a conventional school – and that the financial benefits are 20 times as large. If all new school construction and school renovations went green starting today, energy savings alone would total $20 billion over the next 10 years. When you factor in water savings, the economic savings are enormous.”
Having great natural light is another asset enjoyed by students in green schools. Where 20% of wall space is devoted to windows, classrooms can save energy on heating. In recent studies, students who enjoy good natural lighting in classrooms showed test score improvements of 26% in mathematics and 20% in reading.
Sunlight, and its ready supply of vitamin D, helps prevent the following diseased in students:
• Type one and two diabetes
• Learning and behavioral disorders
• Heart disease and obesity
• Adrenal malfunctions and autoimmune disorders including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis
• Colon cancers, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
• Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
• Cavities, osteoporosis and psoriasis
If you have the choice, send your child to a green school for a healthier experience that Mother Nature loves too!
(This post is originally from the Tutor Doctor Corporate blog dated 6/4/2012 http://www.tutordoctor.com/tutor-doctor-blog)