Fonwood Early Childhood Center was abuzz with music and activity on Friday, April 22. This year, the school’s Spring Carnival coincided with Earth Day, and teachers and staff decided to combine the annual event with a fun and memorable recycling and conservation learning activity for pre-K students.Continue reading
The students at West University Elementary School are recycling experts. They check the bottoms of plastic containers for identification codes. They know which items are eligible for curbside recycling and which need to be returned to the grocery store. They even know what to do to conserve water and energy. Their recycling know-how could give most adults a run for their money. West U staff and parents have made sure of this.Continue reading
HISD facilities and maintenance staff and plant operators gathered at Barnett Stadium on Tuesday, April 12, to attend a training event hosted by HISD’s Energy and Sustainability Department in partnership with Republic Waste. The training included a slideshow moderated by Republic Services Operations Manager Fernando Cedillo, who presented simultaneously in English and in Spanish.Continue reading
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Thanks to its partnership with the Arts Access Initiative, Lyons Elementary School was able to reach out to Theatre Under the Stars to loan them a director and choreographer to help with their production of “The Lion King” on April 20. And because it takes place two days before Earth Day, April 22, they decided to use only recycled materials for the stage set and actors’ masks. Consequently, nearly every student at Lyons is involved in some way in the production — and lessons in nearly every school subject area were applied to make the play come together.
HISD’s Green District Challenge energy conservation program was recognized with the 2012 Leadership in Action Award for Environmental Improvement earlier this week during the Leadership Houston awards luncheon. The annual award recognizes Houston corporations and nonprofits that have made extraordinary contributions to the greater Houston community, through programs and projects in 10 different categories, including Environmental Improvement.
“We are proud of our efforts to model for our students what it means to be good stewards of our financial and natural resources,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “Our schools are long term investments, so it’s important that we build facilities that use less energy. And through our Green School Challenge, our students are learning the important role they play in energy conservation.”
HISD Chief Operating Officer Leo Bobadilla accepted the award on the district’s behalf.
The District earned the Leadership in Action award for its precedent-setting implementation of a three-pronged initiative and comprehensive approach to energy efficiency, including capital improvements, process improvements, and behavioral change programs. The District initiative features energy-efficient building designs, green building practices, fuel-efficiency initiatives, and behavioral change programs at the school campuses, and is complemented by a new energy performance contracting program that will allow district wide retrofits of facilities with emerging technology in energy-efficient lighting, building controls, HVAC equipment, and other building systems.
HISD is also committed to building new facilities to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance “green” buildings.
In 2011, HISD’s transportation department was named as the top school district green fleet by Government Fleet magazine, a first for HISD. HISD’s energy-efficient programs in transportation include outfitting special GPS equipment for idle reduction and route efficiencies, the use of alternative fuels such as biodiesel and propane, and the installation of emission reduction devices on 490 buses.
This January, HISD implemented the Green School Challenge, a competition among schools, designed to inspire students to track their school’s energy use, and form campus ‘Green Teams’ to increase single stream recycling and decrease energy use.
For more information about the district’s single stream recycling program, and other information on energy efficiency, visit www.houstonisd.org/greenschoolschallenge.