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Green Flag to be raised at Flagstone, Copper Mesa Elementary Schools

CASTLE ROCK – Eco-Schools USA announced this week that Copper Mesa and Flagstone Elementary Schools have been selected as a “Green Flag” schools.
 
The Green Flag Award is the top honor given by Eco-Schools USA and will be officially bestowed upon the schools on Thursday, April 25 during special assemblies. Flagstone and Copper Mesa are the the fourteenth and fifteenth schools in the United States and the first in Colorado to achieve “Green Flag” status. 
 
The senior director of Eco-Schools, Laura Hickey, is expected to visit both schools on April 25 to commemorate the achievement and raise the Green Flag, with Douglas County officials on hand for the festivities.  Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainable principles throughout their schools and curriculum.
 
Through school-based action teams of students, administrators, educators and community volunteers, Eco-Schools combines effective "green" management of the school grounds, facilities and the curriculum.
 
Flagstone Elementary sustainability projects:
• Waste free lunch: launched a community wide awareness program to reduce the amount of waste the school produces at lunch.
• Garden: plants several types of vegetables each spring that are then harvested for the community.
• Recycling: collects paper and all recyclable materials and deposits it daily into our large recycle bin
• Textile: works with Red Apple Recycling by having the community donate shoes, clothes and other items that are then recycled in an effort to keep these items out of landfills
• Teracycle
• Bluebird Project: built bluebird houses and located them around the community to improve the vitality of bluebird populations throughout Colorado
• Energy: conducts energy audits around our school to ensure that we are turning off electronics that are not in use, turning off lights and keeping our electricity costs down
• Engines Off: a parent-led campaign to reduce the amount of carbon monoxide in the air by not idling in their car during drop off and pick up.
 
Copper Mesa Elementary sustainability projects:
•Energy management: 
Students conduct energy audits around our school to ensure that we are turning off electronics that are not in use, turning off lights and keeping our electricity costs down. Over the past three years CME has saved 127,511 KWHs. 
 
• Consumption and Waste:
     •Double-sided copying initiative - By using both sides of copy paper we have saved approximately $400 this year in paper cost.
     •Three-pump paper towel initiative - By limiting the number of paper towels we have less waste and have saved $200 since January 2013.
     •Recycling efforts: students collect paper and all recyclable materials- Major increase in recycling 2012-13
     •Waste pick up has been reduced from 5 times a week to 2 times a week a savings of $141/month
     • Textile: works with Red Apple Recycling by having the community donate shoes, clothes and other items that are then recycled in an effort to keep these items out of        landfills Since September 2012 the CME community has donated 8,177 pounds of textiles through this program.
 
•Healthy Schools:
     •Hydration Stations - CME received two hydration stations as part of a pilot program. In the last month we have diverted over 700 plastic water bottles from the landfill. Hydration Stations are used to refill water bottles with filtered water. CME will be installing 2 additional stations. 
     •Smart Moves - Brain break activities that are announced daily and performed by students and staff throughout the day.
     •School Garden: student plant vegetables each spring that are then harvested for the school community.
 
Green Flag Award Process
Schools that are certified in the program undergo a thorough application process and succeed in organizing and implementing a comprehensive assessment of their school. The Eco-Schools USA program is made up of seven steps, incorporating a variety of environmental pathways.
 
 
Once a school has registered and implemented these seven steps, it can apply for anEco-Schools award. There are three levels of the award system. The first two levels are the Bronze and Silver awards which are self-assessed. The top level is the Green Flag award, which must be assessed by an Eco-Schools USA assessor and renewed every two years. A school is considered to be a permanent Eco-School once it has gained its fourth Green Flag.
 
A school can apply for any one of these levels depending on the level of criteria it has met under each of the seven steps. The Bronze Award Criteria, Silver Award Criteriaand Green Flag Award Criteria, will help to give schools an idea of what stage they have reached and what level of award they could apply for.
 
About Eco-Schools
The Eco-Schools program was started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. It was identified by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003.
 
The Eco-Schools program strives to model environmentally sound practices, provide support for greening the curriculum and enhance science and academic achievement.
 
Additionally, it works to foster a greater sense of environmental stewardship among youth.
Eco-Schools is currently being implemented in more than 50 countries around the world.
 
National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is the U.S. host for the international Eco-Schools (http://www.eco-schools.org/) program, an international network of 41,000 K-12 schools in 53 countries, which was started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. It was named by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003.
 
Eco-Schools USA takes a holistic approach—‘greening’ the school building, the school grounds and the curriculum/student experience. It is designed to help schools in a variety of ways, including saving money, reducing waste and improving student academic performance and environmental awareness.
 
Many schools have implemented the Eco-Schools USA program since NWF became the host in late 2008, some earning Bronze- and Silver-level awards for their progress.  The Green Flag is the highest level award a school can achieve.
October 14, 2013 | By Anonymous | Category:

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