Bellevue School District was one of two districts that were recognized this month for its resource conservation efforts from the King County Green Schools Program.
The program helps schools and districts engage their students and staff in conservation strategies that help reduce waste, cut garbage disposal costs, and lower energy and water consumption and costs, according to the county.
“These school districts and schools can be proud of how they’ve involved their students and staff in learning about conservation and improving conservation practices,” said Dale Alekel, King County Green Schools Program manager, in a prepared statement.
Bellevue School District completed the program’s Level Three school district criteria -- the highest criteria -- focused on water conservation. According to a county press release, the district has made waste reduction, recycling, energy conservation and water conservation part of its culture.
With assistance from King County and the City of Bellevue, each of the 28 schools in the district completed Levels One, Two and Three of the Green Schools Program. The district has developed an internal “Green Genius” program to encourage its schools to continue the conservation practices they initiated through the Green Schools Program.
“We appreciated all the assistance and encouragement from King County Green Schools Program,” said Nancy Larson, Bellevue School District manager of Facilities, Maintenance and Athletics. “The program is truly a class act and every school district in the County should access this service, which is a win-win for the environment and for school districts.”
Issaquah School District also was honored by the county this month, after the district completed the program’s Level Two energy conservation criteria.
The Issaquah District's Sunset Elementary School, which is located in Bellevue, also was recognized this month as a Level Two King County Green School. In Level Two, schools complete energy conservation education and actions, while maintaining and building upon their Level One waste reduction and recycling practices.
Sunset reduced its energy use by more than 14 percent. All Sunset classes signed an energy conservation pledge. Stickers were posted on light switches as reminders to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. Sunset maintains a 55 percent recycling rate, thanks to a school-wide program that includes collection of recyclable and compostable materials in its cafeteria.
Green Team students at Sunset Elementary served as cafeteria monitors to guide sorting of materials. To reduce waste, straws were eliminated and durable trays are used. The weekly school newsletter is sent to families electronically, saving 3,250 sheets of paper per week.
-- Information from King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks