Green Cup Challenge Born in Boarding Schools

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In the drive to make schools more environmentally responsible, college prep boarding schools are leading the way.

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The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) is the official home of college-prep boarding schools and the definitive guide for students and families

In the drive to make schools more environmentally responsible, college prep boarding schools are leading the way.

In 2006, boarding schools Phillips Exeter Academy(MA), Northfield Mount Hermon(MA) and the Lawrenceville School(NJ) collaborated to create a program that would encourage new ways to conserve energy in schools. The following year, the aptly named Green Cup Challenge (GCC) had grown to include fifteen boarding schools and organizers began a partnership with the Green Schools Alliance GSA, a group of K-12 schools of all kinds which are devoted to environmentalism. This year -- just four years since its inception -- the Green Cup Challenge included 161 schools from North America, 40% of which were members of The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS).

The crux of the GCC is to encourage teachers to work green features into their curriculum and create hands-on learning opportunities for their students about the environment, raising awareness in school communities about the important role each person can play to build a safe and sustainable future. Each year the Challenge aims to measurably reduce school green house gas emissions, electricity consumption and Co2.

This year’s goal was lofty -- aiming to reduce aggregated electrical reduction by at least 7% between January 15th and February 22nd, 2010. The total result was an electrical consumption reduction of 5% on average, which means 1,254,000 kWh from schools’ electric bills and 1,680,000 lbs of CO2 not released into the atmosphere. These combined results equate to taking 162 cars off the road, planting 764 trees, or changing 30,559 incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents (CFLs).

Nationally, ten winning schools -- one from each region -- were honored. Four (4) are TABS members: The Athenian School (CA); Virginia Episcopal School(VA); and, Avon Old Farms School(CT).

To learn more about boarding schools or the Green Cup Challenge, visit boardingschools.com and greencupchallenge.net respectively.

About TABS

The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) is the official home of college-prep boarding schools and the definitive guide for students and families. The Asheville NC based not-for-profit organization serves roughly 300 member schools across the United States, Canada, and abroad.

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