West Hartford Schools Compete To Go Green

"Going Green" is starting at a young age for students in West Hartford. Every school in the district is trying to cut their energy consumption by 10 percent - most have dramatically exceeded that goal.

"We turn off the lights when we don't need them. We use hand-held pencil sharpeners. We recycle cans, bottles," so says Graham Kennedy, a 9 year old who attends the Morley School in West Hartford.

The students have been learning about conservation, environmentalism, and even global warming. The first thing you notice when you walk through the school is that virtually all the lights in the classrooms are off as the students read, write, and learn using just sunlight.

Sophia Zaslow, a 7 year old at Morley School said, "it was weird at first," but went on to say she got used to it after a few days.
The students also learned about "phantom loads," or electrical appliances that drain power even if they're turned off. Unplugging computers or stereos and switching off power strips is helping to further reduce power consumption.

If you think these steps can't make much of a difference, you're wrong. Since the program started almost every school in the district has reduced their electricity consumption by nearly 10 percent. That equates to over 100,000 kilowatt hours or $20,000!

The school district is posting the progress of all the schools on-line so the students can track how their work is paying off.

When asked what would happen if people didn't start conserving, Sophia said, "it would kill trees... it would produce... and it's already producing global warming up in the north pole."

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