Going Green!

Greener Impact Information by Samantha Butwill

LHS Composting Project

Green Cleaning Information for School Staff and Parents
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Litchfield Public Schools Green Initiatives:

The Litchfield Public Schools is engaged in several projects to improve efficiency, reduce costs and diminish our carbon footprint.

Our most recent district wide conservation initiative began in the fall of 2009 at Litchfield High School and soon expanded to include Litchfield Intermediate School and Center School. This venture was focused on changing the behaviors of our staff and students as we began our district commitment to Going Green. Collaboratively we agreed to turn on lights only when necessary, using only half of the fixtures in a room or hallway when possible, and turn off lights when a room is emptied. In addition, we have emphasized unplugging chargers and appliances when they are not in use. These efforts have resulted in savings in excess of $108,000 since September 2009.

The recent renovation of the Intermediate and High Schools provided both buildings with new boilers; computer controlled heating and cooling systems and the ability to improve indoor air quality. The net result is that the buildings’ new construction increased the square footage by 16% while consuming 25% less oil!

Additionally, in the spring of 2010, the district participated in a program sponsored by CL & P to analyze the electricity consumption in the Intermediate School. The study looked at every piece of equipment or lighting fixture that consumed electricity to determine efficiency. The final report listed several suggestions that could reduce the energy consumption of the school.

As a result, the district applied for various incentives offered by the utility enabling the school to be retrofitted with new and more energy efficient fixtures, bulbs and motion sensors. The remaining expense beyond the incentives will be paid for over the next two years by the savings realized in reduced utility bills. These items were installed in the summer of 2010. Since the installation, the school has not only realized a savings that covers the cost of the project, but has enjoyed a substantial savings beyond that expense.

The district also has engaged in recycling since September 2007. Each classroom and office in the district is furnished with a paper recycling box; the paper is collected several times weekly and is picked up by a recycling contractor. In addition, each school building has an 8 yard recycling container that serves as a "single stream" receptacle for plastic and glass items. The bi-monthly pickup of these items permits us to practice recycling on a regular basis.

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