The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is going green to reduce costs and be more efficient. LAUSD is slashing greenhouse-gas emissions with the aim of becoming one of the greenest school districts in the country.
The LAUSD’s goal is to reduce energy and water use by 10% from 2007 levels by 2013. However, with over 14,000 buildings, 700,000 students, spread out over 710 square miles, the district currently uses more water and energy than any other in the state.
The LAUSD also has over 1,300 school buses, but in March 2010, hundreds of decades-old buses were upgraded to less polluting, more energy efficient propane models.
With half of California’s water going to outdoor use, some schools were outfitted with smart irrigation systems that reduce water consumption for landscaping.
Eight schools, out of a planned 250, are having solar power installed. LAUSD plans to install 50 megawatts of solar photovoltaics, which could save the district more than $20 million annually.
The districts 44 planned campuses are being built in compliance with green building standards known as the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). CHPS is the United States’ first green building rating program specifically designed for K-12 schools.
LAUSD continues to develop core math, science, language-arts and social-studies curriculum have hands-on learning opportunities that draw on the district’s sustainability initiatives.
The LAUSD is a model for the nation, they are trying to prove that by reducing their footprint they can provide cost savings that free precious resources.
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