700 million children around the world walk into primary schools each morning. These students are supported by parents, teachers, and communities that work to provide them with the best possible resources to advance their education. Unfortunately, one of the crucial factors responsible for the kind of physical, emotional, and intellectual growth that would allow each child to reach their full potential is often completely overlooked: the physical space they learn in each day.
Buildings have a critical impact on every child’s education. Yet most schools fall far short of providing the kind of healthy, sustainable, and stimulating environments that our children deserve. That’s why USGBC established the Center for Green Schools to actively promote the mission of a green school for every student in the world, within a generation.
My colleague, Rachel Gutter, only 31, has been leading the Center since its inception in 2010. She has been enormously successful in reaching over 25 million individuals, engaging them to join and promote the Center’s mission. After implementing programs across North America over the past two years, Rachel and the Center are proud to launch a global awareness campaign: The Green Apple Day of Service.
On Sept. 29, 2012 (and every year after), Rachel Gutter will lead the Center team, along with parents, principals, students, organizations, companies and a wide variety of community members across the world in participating in local acts of sustainable service to improve our children’s schools. While our mission of a green school for everyone within this generation is a long-term project, The Green Apple Day of Service proves that real changes can be made everyday, by anyone.
There are many ways you can participate in the Green Apple Day of Service, such as providing demonstrations on the importance of saving water and electricity, better recycling habits, or improving air quality. You can plant a vegetable garden, avoid plastics for a day, or advocate for vegetarianism. No project is too small to promote, innovate, implement and support sustainability.
The Center is asking everyone to register their projects at mygreenapple.org. You can also go there to get ideas for projects, or to join a local project near you. Each project registered brings us one step closer to brighter, healthier, sustainable futures for our children. Join the dedicated students, proud parents, inspiring teachers, progressive business executives, and fearless leaders in our crusade to build a better tomorrow for all. Let’s make this our shared legacy.
On Sept. 29, we will collectively demonstrate to the world that many hands doing small tasks can create momentous change. Because as Rachel says, “Where you learn matters.” We hope you’ll join us.