How green is your school building? Light green, dark green,
hunter green, olive green? Do you even know what it means to have a
green building? According to
GreenBiz.com, many of the buildings we currently use produce
roughly a third of our carbon dioxide emissions. They also
affect the environment in other ways by generating waste for
example, mismanaging water resources, and having a negative impact
on the surrounding land. They even affect us directly by being
the source for many indoor air quality issues. A green building is one where these negative
impacts are minimized or completely offset.
Numerous factors determine how “green” a facility is including the
building’s energy use, where the building materials come from, how
efficiently water is used, how waste is managed, how the on-site
land is affected, and the overall impact that a school has on the
environment, including its occupants.
All of the issues covered in greenGuide for a Green School contribute
to making a building “green.” In addition, this section will
provide you with specific resources related to the design of the
building, sources for building supplies, and issues of land use.
It will also offer comprehensive sources incorporating all aspects
of “going green.”
The Center for Environmental Education is working on providing you
these valuable resources and guidelines for meeting specific goals
of making an existing building more green or constructing a green
building from the bottom-up.
In the meantime, please check out
Greener Buildings by
GreenBiz.com, a resource center for environmentally responsible
If you are ready to “go green,” and need help finding green
contractors, suppliers, and retailers for your renovation or
construction project, visit the
Green Home Guide.
For additional resources, check out this
list of green building websites accompanied by reviews written
about each of them by Debra Lynn Dadd, a consumer advocate hailed as
“The Queen of Green” by the New York Times.