How to: Petition your school to save energy

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You're green at home but let's face it, you spend most of your time at school! Make sure your halls, classrooms and locker rooms are green too! Here's how to get your school on board:

  1. Brainstorm ways you can save around at school. Take a look around your classroom and hallways to find out if there are ways that electronics could use less energy. Check with a teacher or a member of the maintenance staff to see if you can look into the energy settings on things like thermostats and overhead lights. Check the computer lab to see if computers are on the energy-saving “sleep mode.” Disable screensavers on computers so they will go into “sleep mode.” See if electronics that aren’t in use are unplugged.
  2. Write an outline. Once you’ve figured out where and how you can save energy, you’ll write a letter to the school and/or school board to recommend your new changes. But first, outline your letter to make sure your points are clear. Remember, no change is too small – suggest adjustments to computer setting and other electronics. Outline three points you want to make and explain why you think energy conservation is important. Throw in some convincing facts and statistics. Tip: Remember your audience! What will make them want to save energy? Will it make them look good to the community? Will it save them money? Convince them it will be good for them and the earth!
  3. Signed, sealed and delivered! Send or email your letter to the principal, maintenance staff, and / or school board. For extra oomph, get teachers and fellow students to sign in support. You could even post the letter online and get electronic signatures before delivering it to the people-in-charge.
  4. Follow up!If you do not hear back about your letter, make sure to follow up with the powers that be. Ask them if they’ve had a chance to read and consider the changes you suggested and whether you can expect them to be implemented soon. Be polite but be firm!