Green Apple Project saves energy and money in first year

Fairfax Elementary was the top energy-saving school for the month of April in CH-UH. Energy Coach Ditte Wolin presents the flag to Fairfax Principal Quatrice James.

The Green Apple Project—a districtwide initiative to save energy and, in turn, money—recently completed a successful first year in the CH-UH City School District, saving energy through behavioral changes. These energy savings equated to a significant amount of financial savings.

Across all buildings, the district cut its energy use by 5 percent from April 2016 through June 2017. That represents a savings of nearly $85,000 in operating costs.

Much of the project's success can be attributed to the collective effort of district staff. In enacting the project, the district partnered with an energy coach from Brewer-Garrett, who implemented behavior changes for staff at each building, to save on energy consumption.

"I am encouraged by the staff who have embraced our energy conservation measures,” said Ditte Wolin, CH-UH district energy coach. “Awareness is the key, and changing habits can take time. But awareness of one thing can lead to another. Several staff members have told me that they are spending less on their electric bills at home by implementing suggestions they heard at work."

The district’s seven elementary school buildings had a combined 10-percent reduction in electric use from September 2016 through the end of the school year in May 2017.

The district is hoping to increase awareness of the Green Apple program this school year, and further reduce its energy use with a goal of a 20-percent reduction districtwide.

The district is also increasing its recycling programs to cut down on solid waste that is thrown out. Several schools increased their recycling with awareness programs last year, especially at Fairfax, Boulevard and Roxboro elementary schools, and at Heights High.

This past year, Roxboro Elementary School started recycling milk cartons, juice containers and other items in the lunchroom. The plan is to expand that initiative to several other schools this fall.

Scott Wortman

Scott Wortman is the supervisor of communications for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 4:54 PM, 09.03.2017