Chicago Public Schools In the Spotlight for Environmental Action Plan

February 10, 2009

The Chicago Public Schools system (CPS) has recently been highlighted by the American School Board Journal for its environmentally friendly action plan that sets a green example for the rest of the nation. According to the article:

In recent years the district has worked to restore many of its historic school buildings, and while adaptive reuse is a hallmark of the green movement, it’s sometimes hard to incorporate sustainable features into existing buildings. Nevertheless, Chicago has made good strides, maximizing the potential for daylighting and energy efficiency, two hallmarks of sustainable designs.

The district is now focusing on ways to conserve energy, such as showing teachers and students how small changes can add up to big savings. It’s also undertaken a comprehensive recycling program.

One of the areas Chicago schools have targeted is the cafeteria, where food and product waste can really accumulate. District officials are working with food-service vendor Chartwells to find ways to recycle food containers and also cut down on food waste. . . .

Some schools also are planting gardens to not only improve their landscapes but also use as a teaching tool and help students better appreciate nature.

Under the leadership of environmental program manager Suzanne Carlson, CPS has begun a 26-part plan that aims to reduce waste, conserve energy, and lead the way in implementing Illinois' requirements for green cleaning.

CPS is the first major school district in the country to develop such a plan, and HSC has been honored to support CPS in this important initiative.

Learn more at the American School Board Journal's blog.