Jericho Accepts a Green Challenge
By Maya Masheb, Devika Rajeev, Dia Shah, Hamza Malik, Nicole Huang, Hannah Philipose, Eric Peng, Miah Tasin, David Xu, Dhruba Potter, and Angie Li
During the month of October, many Jericho students participate in the Project Green Challenge in order to inspire change in their community and contribute to a flourishing planet. One of the particular challenges had participants learn more about the school’s energy usage, and they found that the school has implemented various clean energy methods in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
Project Green Challenge is a competition in which participants choose from three categories, Green, Greener, and Greenest, with Greenest being worth the most amount of points. The goal is to become more active in becoming conscious about his or her environment and to complete tasks based off of these discoveries to gain points. The students are encouraged to share their findings on social media in order to not only make themselves aware of simple lifestyle changes that can positively impact the environment, but also to make their community aware as well. Science Research teacher Dr. McCalla believes that this competition is beneficial to students because it “allows students to take the reins on making informed choices about environmental waste management and conscious living.”
While completing an assessment of their school’s energy usage, the students found out a great deal about our school and its effect on the environment. According to the Department of Energy, nearly 6 billion dollars is spent on energy by U.S. school districts. According to Assistant Superintendent of Business Affairs,Mr. Manuel and Curriculum Associate of Science and Technology Mr. Cumming, the Jericho High School and Middle School spent over $569,000 on energy last school year. The Jericho district as a whole spent over $1.8 million on energy. Over 1.6 million of this is used for electricity and gas, while the rest is spent on oil and transportation. Additionally, the school uses 184,978 kilowatts of school per month and used enough kilowatts last January to power over 3 million light bulbs.
There are many actions that the school is taking in order to reduce the amount of energy used. This includes the installation of motion detective lights, fixing dripping faucets, changing thermostat settings to adjust the temperatures during certain times of the year, the use of PCLs or LED lights, the use of recycling bins, and the involvement of student and staff. In addition Assistant Principal Dr. Artiles said, “Every room is equipped with motion sensors. If after x amount of minutes there’s no movement in the room, the lights will go off automatically.” In addition to LED lights this change we have reduced the energy consumption up to 40%.
Students can play an active role in reducing the amount of energy used by the school. For example, there can be plastic bags placed throughout the classrooms in which people put plastic bottles that they wish to recycle. Furthermore, students can turn off computer monitors when not in use, reuse and recycle, and participate in the Environmental Club and participate in events to help increase awareness about environmental issues.
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