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placeholder November 18, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Corpus Christi School joins Green Apple
initiative promoting sustainable schools

Pauline Souza, National Green Schools advocate and Corpus Christi parent, is shown leading a hands-on workshop focused on energy efficiency with seventh-graders.
Courtesy photo

Corpus Christi School in Piedmont participated in the Green Apple Day of Service, a global effort highlighting the importance of healthy, sustainable schools.

Led by Green school advocates, including two Corpus Christi alums, more than 300 students and staff members at Corpus Christi School participated in hands-on activities focused on teaching sustainability and water, energy and material efficiency through measuring the school's water, lighting and vampire (electric plug) load use. Students learned about how they use this information to be energy efficient in their classrooms and at home.

First-, second-, third- and fourth-graders discussed the energy benefits of more modern and updated light bulbs, and which ones to use in their own homes. For example, the light bulbs already installed in some parts of the school use 75 percent less energy than the typical, incandescent light bulb. "It was really interesting," said third grader Emmett Grout. "I learned a lot about saving energy and why it is important." The USGBC estimates that green schools use 33 percent less energy and 32 percent less water than the average American school, a factor that dramatically affects the budget of a school.

Older students utilized instruments to measure the energy used in daily household objects such as toasters, Christmas lights and iPhones. "We want to raise the awareness of energy conservation and create a sustainable school," said Principal Katie Murphy. "This is something they can use for their whole life."

According to the U.S. Green Building Council Center for Green Schools, a quarter of all Americans walk through the doors of a school every day, and many are faced with outdated and inefficient buildings that not only waste energy but can also compromise health.

"Green schools are energy efficient, help reduce energy and water bills, conserve resources and reduce waste — and they showcase a community's commitment to its children and their future," said National Green Schools Advocate and Corpus Christi parent Pauline Souza, "We hope to have every child in a sustainable school by 2040."

The Green Apple Initiative is a collaboration of an estimated 2,500 schools to bring attention to the importance of sustainable, healthy schools.

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