There are more than 120,000 public and private K-12 schools in the U.S. alone that directly touch the lives of more than 80 million people every day. According to the U.S. Department Of Energy, taxpayers spend $8 billion dollars on energy for schools each year. Green schools can reduce these costs by an average of 35%. Nationally, this could equal nearly $3 billion dollars, EACH YEAR, while providing students with hands-on learning opportunities, and empowering them for the future.
GSA began in NYC with a handful of schools. Today, it has become an inclusive grassroots movement with 8,500 public/charter, private and independent K-12 school members -- including 24 large public school districts -- reaching nearly 7 million students in 41 states and 53 countries!
GSA’s goals are: 1) to help schools measure-reduce-report their carbon footprint and non-renewable resource consumption; 2) to build a peer-to-peer community that shares best practices and accelerates the implementation of sustainable solutions; and 3) to educate the broadest number of people about the importance of 21st century leadership through environmental stewardship, and to prepare students for the new green economy.
GSA programs integrate education and action, and aggregate progress across geo-political, socio-economic and generational boundaries. Best practices ripple outward from schools, to families, to the workplace. GSA programs such as the Green Cup Challenge, Student Climate & Conservation Corps (Sc3) and Sc3 Congress, and a new measurement and reporting platform, are open to member and schools. These programs involve the whole school community -- faculty, students, business officers, facility managers, heads of school, administrators, staff and parents -- in a broad range of sustainability and energy actions.
GSA schools use the building and campus as a teaching tool: Students work alongside faculty and staff doing everything from recycling, weatherizing, conducting energy audits, changing lights and replacing old boilers, to improving science and technology education, restoring wetlands and planting green roofs.