|Some Background on the Go Green Committee:
On February 21, 2008, students, teachers, staff members and community volunteers were asked to join forces to help Humble ISD “Go Green”. Green schools are not only better for the environment; they are also healthier for students and teachers. Green schools have higher student attendance and teacher retention rates than do conventional schools. Green schools have better lighting, temperature controls, and ventilation which contribute to higher student achievement and reduced instances of asthma, colds, flu and absenteeism.
Green schools cost less money to operate and use less water and energy. If all new school construction and school renovations went green, energy savings in the United States would total $2 billion each year. Although first costs may be $1-2 per square foot more than a conventional building, the return on investment is typically three years or less.
As a country, the United States consumes 25% of the world’s resources but accounts for only 4% of the world’s population. There are opportunities all around us to be more energy efficient, reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, and become better stewards of our natural resources.
Working on “Go Green” subcommittees, participants will help the school district adopt school design standards that are energy efficient,cost effective, and eco-friendly. Other committee members will recommend ways to increase recycling and decrease disposable waste. Others will review best practices and develop guidelines for maintaining and operating school buildings more efficiently. Others will recommend standards for purchasing vehicles and equipment which are energy conserving and eco-friendly. Students will be challenged to develop District-wide energy conserving activities that help to educate fellow students and the general public about the importance of being energy conserving and eco-friendly.
Humble ISD has had a long-term commitment to energy conservation. For the past ten years, Humble ISD has been implementing energy conserving measures in the operation and maintenance of its facilities. Many cost saving and energy reducing measures have been implemented including the installation of high efficiency lights and ballasts in all forty-three of the District-owned schools and facilities.
The “Go Green Committee” is a continuation of that long-term commitment to reducing energy use, reducing waste, preserving resources, and being good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars.
High Performance School Design
Cleaning: Five years ago, Humble ISD became the first district in the State to switch to green cleaning practices in all district facilities and classrooms. A hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning chemical is used to clean everything. It eliminates the need for 5 different cleaning chemicals and allows staff to sanitize all surfaces each time they are cleaned. Using one cleaning agent also eliminates the need to store multiple cleaning chemicals, thus reducing the amount of packaging, disposal of chemical containers, etc.
Energy efficiency: Bond '08 funds will provide Humble ISD with $1.2M for additional high efficiency lighting, such as HO T5 lighting for gyms and cafeterias. These lights will replace low efficient metal halide lights that are 3X more expensive to operate. An example of this lighting can be seen in the KHS and TMS gyms.
Humble ISD also plans to purchase the first exterior LED lighting for parking lots and perimeter lighting. First numbers estimate an ROI of 6 months to a year with phenomenal energy savings.
The most exciting green initiative afoot is the construction of (El. 26 - Atascocita Springs Elementary) a LEED/CHPS certified building that will be very green/energy efficient. The building itself will be a teaching tool. Teaching science, energy efficiency, recycling, etc. through interactive kiosks located in the building.(see High Performance School Design)