Recession-Proof Environmental Education Program Now Reaches 2 Million Students Per Day



By: Jill Buck

Go Green Initiative schools should be very proud of themselves!!! In 2008, the GGI grew by 70%, and now reaches 2,001,419 students, and 237,591 teachers in 1811 schools around the globe. Since the GGI's inception in 2002, schools in all 50 U.S. states, 13 countries and on 4 continents have self-registered on the program's website, http://www.gogreeninitiative.org/.

Even in the midst of a global economic downturn, the Go Green Initiative continues to grow exponentially. In the last quarter alone we have added 211 new schools in 35 different states, and we did that with an operating budget of less than 2 cents per student. We're free to schools, we're effective, and we are helping communities maintain their commitment to conservation, even during tough economic times.

GGI schools can voluntarily track their waste diversion and recycling rates, utilizing the free resources and tools available to all registered GGI schools. We began tracking waste diversion data points in 2005. Since then, participating schools have kept the following materials out of their local landfills: 7.3 million lbs. of paper; 806, 941 lbs. of cardboard; 94,314 lbs. of aluminum; 157, 026 lbs. of plastic; 17,389 printer cartridges; 15, 337 cell phones; 547,568 lbs. of mixed recyclables; and 193,643 lbs. of food waste.

As a result of that waste diversion, the following environmental impact has been achieved: over 55 billion BTU's of energy has been saved; 3,628 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been prevented; 25.7 million gallons of water and 1.4 million gallons of oil were saved due to paper recycling alone; and 13,457 cubic yards of landfill space was conserved.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. In the coming weeks, we're going to allow businesses, communities, families, organizations, and individuals to register with the Go Green Initiative at no cost, and join our schools in creating positive environmental changes that can be measured.

Fast facts about the Go Green Initiative (GGI):
The Go Green Initiative is the world's fastest growing fully comprehensive environmental action plan for schools. By promoting environmental stewardship on campuses from preschools through universities, the GGI works to involve families, businesses and local governments in the common goal of protecting human health through environmental stewardship. Since its inception in July 2002, the Go Green Initiative has been endorsed by the National School Boards Association, National Recycling Coalition, adopted by eight State PTA Boards, implemented in all 50 U.S. states, 13 countries and on 4 continents. The Go Green Initiative has kept more than nine million pounds of recyclables out of the world's landfills, conserved 25.7 million gallons of water, and saved over 55 billion BTUs of energy. These accomplishments were achieved voluntarily, with no mandates or legislation, showing that "going green" is practical and simply makes sense. There are currently over 2.2 million students and teachers in registered Go Green schools.

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