Congratulations to all of our Earth Day Every Day Center Recognition Award winners. In an effort to share best practices, each of the six centers listed below has been recognized by the National Office for its dedication to cutting back on energy usage through green technology and environmentally friendly projects. All of the six regional winners have actively been recycling, getting students involved with green committees, and replacing older, less efficient appliances to ensure that they are energy-efficient. It would be impossible to mention every single thing that all of these centers are doing to go green, but details about some of their important projects are below.
Atlanta Region Winner:
The Brunswick Job Corps Center reduced the number of light bulbs and the amount of energy used on center by installing T8 energy-saving fixtures. A local vendor offered the energy-efficient bulbs to the center at a discounted rate, reducing the overall cost. They also have a longer shelf life and burn brighter, allowing the center to purchase fewer bulbs over time. Brunswick also installed key switches to ensure that all lights are off when they are not in use.
Brunswick is working with Georgia Power to implement the T8 fixture installation, and it is reported that the center could potentially save up to $5,000 on its electric expenses.
Boston Region Winner:
The Penobscot Job Corps Center created a "Go Green Committee" on campus composed of 25 students who oversee green projects and initiatives on center. The center has also started an Academy Energy and Water Conservation and Recycling Committee that focuses on seeking out new conservation projects for the center. In addition, each dorm wing has an appointed "green ambassador" to remind their peers to recycle, turn off lights, and take steps to be more environmentally conscious.
The Penobscot Job Corps Center has also gotten involved in their community, participating in a local area Earth Day cleanup of the Penobscot riverbed last year.
Chicago Region Winner:
The Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center established a permanent center committee, the Bionic Green Team, composed of students and staff members, to address ways the center can be more sustainable. So far, the center has installed systems to cut down on the use of paper and purchased software that converts faxes directly to e-mail and digitally stores documents. They have also created and held competitions among the dormitories to determine which dorm uses the least amount of energy per month. Through these efforts, the center has reduced its energy usage by 7.81 percent and saved the center approximately $8,000.
Dallas Region Winner:
The Shreveport Job Corps Center purchased an abandoned house near the center to convert it into a premier "green house," with the goal of constructing a home that is 100 percent green, including all furnishings and utensils. Energy for the house will come from solar and wind power, and water will be supplied by a rainwater-capture system. Work-based learning students at the Shreveport Job Corps Center have begun renovating the house to make it energy-efficient.
Once completed, the house will serve as a model for best practices and green technologies. It will display bamboo cookware, environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, natural lighting, solar panels, and toilets that use captured rainwater.
Philadelphia Region Winner:
The Muhlenberg Job Corps Center believes in doing everything necessary to save energy and materials on campus.
In 2009 alone, Muhlenberg Job Corps Center students and staff recycled more than 48,000 pounds of materials, including 18 36-inch-by-12-inch bins of aluminum cans and 145 printer ink cartridges. Currently, they have 12 solar panels on center producing energy to cut down on center operation costs, and they have plans to add two new sets of solar panels in the future. Eventually, solar power will provide all of the energy needed to run the Welcome Center on campus. This will save the center more than $4,000 per year.
San Francisco Region Winner:
The Treasure Island Job Corps Center planted an organic garden on a 1-acre plot of land as a joint venture between the Treasure Island Job Corps Center and the Sacramento Job Corps Center. The garden will provide organic vegetables to the center and to local residents while also promoting healthy lifestyles and educating students about gardening, composting, and ecology.
Students will work to install solar panels, garden lights, heat lamps, and an irrigation system in the garden, and they will plant vegetables, trees, and flowers. From growing its own vegetables from the garden, the center estimates it will save approximately $5,000 per month on food costs. In addition, the center will be contracting out the removal of power lines from the location for the garden to an outside company, helping to create local jobs.
Congratulations again to all of our regional award winners.