Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Green Schools Challenge

There are many ways to help your community and make our world be a better place. Our involvement can be as simple as recycling and reducing the amount of trash we make, or something greater like being a part of an organization that seeks to educate and promote a greener planet, or a program that provide training and jobs, or ways to make our governing and business sector more efficient and life more affordable.

For many years I was involved in promoting the traditional trades training and education, although I have expanded my participation into other organizations like the US Green Building Council Rhode Island Chapter(USGBCRI), Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston, Health Insurance Advisory Committee, and the South Kingstown Zoning Board. All of these groups serve my core belief that we must get involved to make a difference, and that my background in the trades and a small business can help influence programs and policies around our great state. The programs have people with tremendous energy and enthusiasm, although often suffer from today’s culture of oversaturation of information and a lack of ability to get the word out.

One program in particular is called the Rhode Island Green Schools Challenge, through a collaboration between the USGBCRI and The Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living. The Rhode Island Green Schools Challenge, http://www.usgbcri.org/ri-green-schools-challenge, is a friendly competition being launched for the first time in the 2014-2015 school year. The competition challenges RI public and private schools to develop and implement, with the help of professional green mentors, the most creative, effective and no or low cost sustainable practices for their schools & communities.

The Green Building Challenge goals are:

  • Energize sustainable curriculum in the school systems
  • Lower school operating and maintenance costs
  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Increase facilities indoor air quality
  • Improve the learning & teaching environment
  • Conserve our natural resources
  • Encourage students to think creatively about sustainability
  • Promote environmental stewardship in our communities
  • Create a generation of environmentally conscious adults
  • Engage the business community and building industry to help students green their schools

The form is one page and the requirements are simple. The deadline for schools to register is February 13, 2014, with a completion date of May 15, 2015. Many schools are already doing programs to reduce consumption or waste, which are eligible to submit. The awards are $1,000 for 1st place, $500 for 2nd place, and $250 for 3rd place, with categories for High, Middle, and Elementary Schools.

The Green Building Challenge allows the school to become the teacher. It is a great way for young people to learn how our buildings work and ways we can help to reduce consumption and waste. So when you see an announcement on your newsfeed or a small article about a program in RI, look into it, it may enrich you and your community.