A few months ago, we posted about a contest to determine America’s Greenest School. More than 2,000 entries were submitted from kids across the nation!
Well, the grading is over and its time to reveal the winner! Finally, America’s Greenest School is announced.
As set forth at the official website, congratulations go out to 16-year old Alexander Chen of Irvington High School in Fremont, California. Young Mr. Chen wrote a winning essay, “Irvington Vikings Sail Toward Sustainability.” Out of thousands of entrants, he won an IC Bus plug-in hybrid electric school bus for his school district and also a $5,000 scholarship for himself.
Alex’s essay focused on a recent solar installation at his high school, courtesy of PG&E, and noted that the school received the “Flex Your Power Award,” for a reduction of at least 1/3 of electricity use. Irvington High School also was the second high school in California recognized as an Energy Star school, in part due to significant energy savings associated with computer usage. As discussed in Alex’s submission:
This year, Irvington’s goal has been incorporating energy efficiency through our four school wide outcomes: personal responsibility, communication, critical thinking, and social responsibility. Students are encouraged to recycle, which has been facilitated through the new recycling system by the green advisory. Weekly recyclables are sorted by student volunteers and placed in the appropriate bins. In addition, Irvington also earned the distinction of being the first out of 43 schools in the district to adopt a food scrap recycling program to further divert our waste from the landfill; it has caught the attention of several neighboring schools which are in the process of copying our model.
Nice going, Alex! Move to the head of the class!
With the award of a plug-in electric hybrid school bus to Alex’s school district, his school stands to get even greener.
Consider these fast “green” facts about riding a school bus, courtesy of ICBus.com:
- According to the American School Bus Council (ASBC) one school bus full of kids is equal to taking 36 cars off the road.
- Students riding school buses save 3.1 billion gallons of fuel that would be used in passenger cars every year.
- If 10% more children in the U.S. rode school buses, another 300 million gallons of fuel could be saved annually.
- With their children riding a school bus one family can save an average $663 in fuel costs and 3,600 miles annually. From kindergarten to twelfth grade, that is 46,800 miles and $8,619.
Why go with a plug-in electric hybrid school bus? Did you know that:
- The IC Bus Plug-In Hybrid Electric School Bus achieves up to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases and up to a 65% improvement in fuel economy over other buses.
- The average school bus uses 1,714 gallons of fuel annually, but the average Plug-In Hybrid Electric School Bus uses only 600 gallons.
- It takes only four years for a conventional bus to use the same amount of diesel fuel that a Plug-In Hybrid Electric School Bus uses over its estimated 12-year lifetime.
- If only 10% of the buses in the U.S. were Plug-In Hybrid Electric School Buses, over $200 million in diesel fuel costs would be saved annually.
You could still win a plug-in electric hybrid bus for your school district! Watch for announcements for America’s Greenest School contest in early 2010. In the meantime, don’t slack over the summer! Be sure to work on your green homework and start thinking of creative ways to show the nation why you go to America’s Greenest School.