On Saturday, Sept. 28, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) brought together thousands of volunteers to participate in nearly 2,100 service projects in all 50 states and more than 30 countries for the second annual Green Apple Day of Service.
The Green Apple Day of Service, launched by the Center for Green Schools last year, is an initiative that brings together volunteers and green schools advocates around the world to take action in their communities through service projects at local schools. The Day of Service provides an opportunity for students, teachers, parents, elected officials, organizations, companies and more to transform all schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning environments.
“At the Center for Green Schools, we are both amazed and humbled by the number of communities that participated in this year's Green Apple Day of Service. Collectively, we sent a powerful message to our friends and elected officials that where our children learn matters,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “USGBC and our dedicated network of thousands of volunteers have long been skilled in helping people to understand the business case for building green. Now with Day of Service, we're making it local and we're making it personal. This is about taking care of our communities, our families and our children.”
Examples of 2013 projects included:
The Center for Green Schools hosted the Day of Service flagship event in Washington, D.C. at Payne Elementary School. Volunteers from USGBC and the local community came out to participate in activities such as planting a garden, painting rainwater barrels and making crafts from recycled materials.
The Utah State University USGBC student chapter partnered with the university’s sustainability council to host a booth at the Open Streets Festival. The club distributed flower bulbs in packages that provided information about USGBC, Green Apple Day of Service, and how to learn more about the organization and sustainability.
The students of Mohammadpur Preparatory Higher Secondary School of Dhaka, Bangladesh observed the Green Apple Day of Service by planting flowering trees and painting posters.
Fifth grade students of Atholton Elementary in Columbia, Md. partnered with the local non-profit Patapsco Heritage Greenway to conduct stream studies, complete a stream clean-up, and participate in a nature scavenger hunt of the clean-up area.
Woodland Primary School in Gages Lake, Ill. celebrated their recent LEED Silver certification.
Many of today’s schools are beset by a host of challenges that compromise our children’s health and wellness, causing everything from asthma to headaches and concentration issues. The Green Apple Day of Service is helping transform schools into sustainable and healthy places to live, learn, work and play while educating a new generation of consumers and leaders – sustainability natives – capable of driving global market transformation.