This month students, faculty and staff of Belmont Public Elementary Schools will be participating in the Green Cup Energy Challenge. The goal is simple: to reduce energy consumption by 5% over a month long period. (So simple you can try this challenge at home!) How will these students and teachers do it?…by turning off lights, unplugging devices and shutting windows and doors.
Last year, one school in Massachusetts reduced its energy consumption by 13.6% and placed 2nd in this national energy competition – that school is Belmont’s Roger Wellington Elementary School. By achieving close to 15% reduction in energy consumption (compared to the same period the previous year), the school conserved 13,280 kilowatt-hours of electricity, reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 14,717 pounds, and saved $$ on its energy bill. If ALL the school building were to achieve this rate of success over a year, approximately 255 TONS of CO2 could be avoided.
This year, the Wellington is being challenged by the Burbank, Butler and Winn Brook Schools. For the Challenge, students, faculty and parent volunteers will be reading their School’s electric meters. From January 14-February 11, the data will be collected locally and nationally on a weekly basis.
In December, the Town of Belmont was designated a Green Community. This competition acts immediately toward achieving the 20% reduction goal set by the designation. The school population – its employees, students and related families – make up a significant portion of our Town. By reducing energy consumption in school buildings, we save money for our schools. We also decrease demand for harmful fossil fuel-based energy. And, through the Challenge we create real-world connections for our students; they will use right-level math concepts and gain an awareness of energy in our lives and environment.
The Green Cup Energy Challenge is sponsored nationally by the Green School Alliance. Locally, it is being coordinated by the Belmont PTA/PTO Green Alliance with support from the Town of Belmont, Sustainable Belmont and Belmont Light.