New Roads School Wins Green Cup Challenge; Slashes Energy Use by 18.4 Percent

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High School Students Spearhead Campaign to Reduce Campus Energy Use and Come in First in California (Top 10 Nationwide) in Independent School Conservation Competition

New Roads School slashed its electric consumption by over 18 percent winning first place in California, and securing a top-10 position nationwide, in the 2011 Green Cup Challenge, an inter school energy conservation competition hosted by the Green Schools Alliance. The Green Cup Challenge takes place each year in January/February to call attention to peak (winter) energy use and to provide students with hands-on opportunities to measure and reduce electric consumption on their respective campuses.

During a four-week period that began January 14th, New Roads High School students implemented a variety of electricity-saving measures campus-wide, and then took weekly readings of school electric meters, comparing the usage to a baseline derived from previous years’ consumption. Students posted signs next to the light switches in each classroom and office on the high school campus, reminding people to turn off the lights, and posted similar messages on computer monitors; our Digital (computer lab) classroom was modified to admit more natural light; and students raised overall awareness by speaking at weekly Town Hall meetings.

According to the Green Cup Challenge website (http://www.greencupchallenge.com), the schools participating in this year’s competition reduced electric consumption by an average of 4.5 percent, effectively cutting 1,036,816 kWh from collective electric bills and 1,396,038 lbs of CO2 from power plants providing electricity. New Roads’ plans for next year include extending the competition to the elementary and middle school facilities, and challenging school families to make similarly impressive energy conservation strides at home.

About New Roads School:
The founding commitments of New Roads School (http://www.newroads.org) include genuine diversity, social and environmental responsibility, appreciation of the unique humanity of each individual, and pursuit of academic, athletic, and artistic excellence. Established in 1995, New Roads is a model for education in an ethnically, racially, culturally, and socio-economically diverse community. New Roads is a fully accredited Pre-K – 12 college-preparatory independent educational community set on three campuses in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu, California. We serve over 600 students nearly half of whom are ethnic minorities. Unique among independent schools, our need-based financial aid provides tuition support to over 50% of our students each year. Among the students receiving financial aid, 68% are from low-income families, 32% are from middle-income families, 24% are below the level of poverty, and 44% are eligible for Federal free or reduced-price lunch programs.

About the Green Cup Challenge/Green Schools Alliance:
The Green Cup Challenge is a project of the Green Schools Alliance, an association of public, private and independent schools seeking to address global environmental problems through education and creative action. Designed to raise awareness about energy conservation and climate change, the Green Cup Challenge supports teachers’ and students’ efforts to incorporate their school's green features into their curriculum and it creates hands-on learning opportunities with the potential to make real contributions to a more sustainable future.

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Nancy London

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