National Green Week


National Green Week kicks off in schools in the States this week (4-7 February). Projects and activities will go on up to Earth Month in April.

Many hotels work with local schools or part of their proceeds go directly to them.
If you are such a hotel, you might like to combine efforts by further helping the environment with the Green Education Foundation (GEF), whose mission is to create a sustainable future through education.
The foundation provides information for schools to develop projects to improve energy efficiency through simple measures geared to change students’ behaviour.
Their view is that through taking small steps towards educating students to be more pro-active on green subjects, the overall impact on society will be greater.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that schools could save up to 50% of their energy costs by following simple measures and the GEF chose for 2013 six types of “green challenge” which does just that.



The “Green Energy Challenge” looks at reduction of paper waste (considered to be approximately 40% of U.S. waste): how every ton of recycled paper cuts down oil consumption; how energy saved from recycling aluminium will be set off against operating electrical appliances; how glass can be infinitely recycled; and how one should minimize the use of plastic.
The “Waste Reduction Challenge” focus on how recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions and decreases the need for disposal with reduction of landfill or incineration and decrease in CO2 produced. It also shows ton for ton how recycling is taken to be the best option for solid waste management.
The “Green Thumb Challenge” encourages students to connect to the garden and the GEF provides gardening tools and resources for schools as well as curriculum and activities to be used in the classroom.
The “I Ride Green Challenge” encourages students and staff to “Think green when they travel” – everything has been contemplated, from riding a bike to carpooling.
The “Green Building Program” focuses on how design considerations can affect ways in which buildings react to their surroundings and how changes in construction can help conserve natural resources.
Finally, the “Sustainable Water Challenge” calls upon all participants to save water at home and school to preserve our planet’s valuable resource.


By Silvia Pelham