The US Green Building Council recently named a low-income secondary school in Hong-Kong one of the greenest schools on earth. The Award was given to the Sing-Yin Secondary School based on its virtually nonexistent carbon footprint and the overarching educational focus on sustainability in the classroom. The exterior of the school is complete with solar panels, vertical axis wind turbines, a green roof, and an organic garden. The inside takes advantage of passive heating and cooling, and is complete with LED lighting and motion sensors that enable smart conservation.
The students of the Sing-Yin school are surrounded by sustainable technologies every day. They have grown accustomed to conservation and environmentally-conscious living principles through their education. Since the school serves as a living laboratory for green education, it was only natural that the school incorporates the same ideas into its curriculum. Now, students at the school have the opportunity to join other green initiatives, by signing up to be environmental monitors and ambassadors for the school. In the past, the school has also organized community projects, encouraging families to practice basic conservation and decrease their environmental footprint.
The Bigger Picture
Many schools, at both the secondary and post-secondary levels, have made advancements similar to the Sing-Yin school’s to “green” their campuses. However, the Sing-Yin school has shown that sustainability and green principles are for just about everyone. The school is located in a poor area and serves primarily low-income students, and yet was still able to develop high-tech sustainable energy solutions for its campus.
The key for the school’s success is in the pay-off. Not only is the school paying virtually nothing for its energy, but they are now developing their students into a new generation of sustainability professionals. The students graduating from the school will have the additional expertise in the growing fields of green technology and green living, allowing them to find successful careers in industry, government, or academia. As the students continue to graduate and succeed, the school will likely grow in popularity and importance, and has positioned itself to be a national, if not world, leader in sustainability education.
Sustainable technologies, such as solar panels and energy conserving building principles, are no longer an ideal to be grasped only by the wealthy. Middle and low-income homes and schools may now find these technologies available and affordable, much like we have seen in the case of the Sing-Yin school. Success stories like this one will continue to increase the confidence in these technologies to drive adoption and grow markets across the globe, making it possible to bring sustainability to all.
- 24 Nov, 2013
- Clean Energy Corp
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