Eco-friendly Schools Offer Students Fresh Lessons

On the outside, Great Seneca Creek Elementary School looks in Germantown, MD, much like any other. But inside, it is unmistakably green.

This was the first public school in Maryland to receive certification as “eco-friendly” — a concept catching on in schools around the nation.

Eco-friendly schools offer ways to save energy, improve air quality and educate students about the environment.

Great Seneca fifth-grader Eddie Graves explains it best. “It doesn’t use as much water,” he says, citing the waterless urinals and motion-activated faucets.

He’s standing in the library, where a slanted ceiling helps light bounce off the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The U.S. Green Building Council, a private group, has certified or is considering certification for more than 1,000 schools around the country, most within the past few years, says the council’s Taryn Holowka.

Other schools, such as Little Bennett Elementary in Clarksburg, MD have been built green but did not seek certification.

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(USA Today 10.19.08)

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