Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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D65 Greening Committee plans to improve school facilities

In an effort to reduce local schools’ environmental impact, Evanston/Skokie District 65’s Ad Hoc Greening Committee plans to encourage more families to walk to school, committee members said.

At a meeting last Wednesday at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave., committee leaders also discussed the possibility of making school buildings certified in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, committee chairman Andrew Pigozzi said. LEED certification measures sustainable building practices and the efficient use of resources.

The greening committee tends to work on longer-term projects, such as switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs or limiting water consumption, Pigozzi said.

“We’re being cautious about it,” said Pigozzi, referring to the greening process. “We don’t want to jump into something before we really think through what all the ramifications are.”

The district formed the committee in 2007 because some schools felt they needed more support in their sustainability efforts, said former committee chairwoman and school board

member Katie Bailey. Committee members have sought to improve various school facilities and have also implemented a curriculum for students that emphasizes ways to conserve natural resources, Pigozzi said.

For example, the faculty will explain the environmental impact of leaving a light bulb on.”It’s basically a civics lesson, in a way,” Pigozzi said. “There’s a cause and effect for everything.”

The committee has offered students both improved facilities and a better understanding of green living, said committee member Brian Becharas.

“It’s provided a healthier environment for them,” said Becharas, who also serves as the secretary for Citizens for a Greener Evanston. “And it’s made them more aware of climate change and sustainability issues.”

According to its Web site, the greening committee “was formed to review and make recommendations designed to improve district practices and participation in efforts and organizations that promote a greener future.”

The next meeting will focus on the curriculum in schools, to teach students about the importance of sustainability issues, Pigozzi said.

Carolyn Collopy, sustainable programs coordinator for the city of Evanston’s Office of Sustainability, said the students will learn valuable lessons from the committee’s outreach efforts.

“It’s fantastic what they’re doing, that they’re looking at sustainability issues across the school district,” Collopy said. “It’s going to certainly benefit the students in all ways.”[email protected]

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D65 Greening Committee plans to improve school facilities