When March came to its final day, Global Green USA proudly announced the completion of its student-led Green School Makeover at Boston Latin School. A panel of expert judges selected the winning elementary school after six months of intensive outreach by educators, school districts and educational organizations, resulting in more than 450 submissions. Drawing on its green building expertise that spans more than a decade, Global Green USA provided Boston Latin School with a $75,000 grant to realize its student-created proposal of giving America’s first and oldest public school a makeover focused on sustainability.
The $75,000 grant helped Boston Latin School, which claims four Harvard presidents and five signers of the Declaration of Independence as former students, develop green initiatives such as:
- Sage Vertical Wall: An indoor vertical growing wall located in the cafeteria;
- Freight Farm Hydroponic Growing Lab: Students will use the growing lab, made from a recycled shipping container, to grow leafy greens to be sold at local farmers markets. Students will learn about hydroponic growing, as well as the economics of our food system;
- Elkay Water Bottle Filing Station: The new unit installed as part the Green School Makeover has already prevented nearly 3,000 single-use water bottles from going to a landfill; and
- Lucid Building Dashboard: The dashboard will monitor and display the school building’s energy use and water use. This will allow the students to see how much energy the building uses and to complete experiments aimed at lowering the electricity use through different building retrofits and/or behavioral changes.
This competition is designed to help students and teachers upgrade their school, targeting energy efficiency and health. The program engages students in behavior that curbs climate change factors, while eventually saving significant money on energy costs which can be reallocated towards education. The initiative was designed to serve as a model for schools and communities across the U.S.
“The Boston Latin students are incredibly eco-conscious and committed to sustainability,” said Mary Luévano, Interim Executive Director of Global Green USA, in a press announcement. “It inspires us to see them so engaged in greening their school environment. If we all took responsibility for our corner of the world in the same way, we would be able to solve the most pressing issue facing our world today – curbing climate change.”
Boston Latin School, which counts four Harvard presidents and five signers of the Declaration of Independence as alumni, applied the grant to establish itself as a shining example for schools across the country by developing sustainable, student-conceptualized initiatives. Global Green led a panel of expert judges that selected Boston Latin School from over 450 entries from around the country; each including a student-created proposal outlining what the student body would do if they won the competition.
Launched in 2011, Global Green USA’s Green School Makeover Competition, presented by Pureology, first empowered the Texas School for the Deaf with a green makeover grant and – now in its second year – offered a $75,000 cash prize, a $5,000 Office Depot gift card, and technical assistance from the national organization’s team of green schools/ green building experts to Boston Latin School. Nine other finalist schools received Office Depot cards ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.
Source: Global Green USA