TIPP CITY, Ohio — Oak Hills Local Schools will start off the 2016-2017 school year with zero-waste tables in all of its cafeterias, thanks in part to the groundwork laid by the district’s Green Team, a student-led conservation and sustainability group sponsored by Energy Optimizers, USA.
The zero-waste tables will help each building minimize how much trash goes to the landfill by enabling students and staff to separate their waste into compost, recyclables and trash. The idea originated with Oak Hills teachers Debbie Stallo and Michele Taylor, who also help guide the district’s Green Team.
“Throughout the year, our Green Team has really helped our district focus its efforts related to energy conservation and sustainability practices into educational opportunities for the entire student body,” said Todd Yohey. “The students on our Green Team have not only learned volumes about energy conservation and sustainability principles, they have shared their knowledge with others while developing resume-building leadership skills.”
The Green Team is a component of the district’s $4 million energy enhancement project with Energy Optimizers, USA. The project will improve the comfort, control and reliability of the district’s HVAC and lighting systems while significantly reducing operational costs. As part of the project, Energy Optimizers, USA, sponsored the development of the Green Team to engage students, staff and the community in developing, promoting and implementing numerous energy savings and sustainability programs throughout the district.
The addition of the zero-waste tables capped off an active year for the Green Team.
Last June, Taylor accompanied four middle school girls to Columbus to participate in the AEGIS Energy Bike program, during which the girls built and learned how to use an energy demonstration bike. Also in June, Stallo participated in the three-day Ohio Energy Project Energy Sources Tour, where she toured AEP corporate offices, a school with solar panels, a wind turbine, a coal-fired power plant and the Ohio State energy-related research facilities.
In October, a group of Green Team students participated in the Ohio Energy Project Leadership Summit. The leadership summit is designed to teach energy-related activities to students so they can return to their home districts and share those activities with classes and groups.
And in May, the Green Team placed 10th overall out of 100 competitors at the Caring for Our Watershed competition at the Cincinnati Zoo.
“We are proud of our students and thankful for the opportunities made available to us through the creation of our Green Team,” said Todd Yohey.
About Energy Optimizers, USA:
Energy Optimizers, USA works with educational, governmental, commercial and industrial customers to implement energy savings opportunities to reduce operational costs, including lighting retrofits, renewable energy projects (wind and solar), HVAC retrofit projects, building automation retrofits and energy education programs. The company is ranked in the Top 500 of INC. Magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest growing companies in the U.S. (2014), was named the Fastest Growing Company in the region for two consecutive years by the Dayton Business Journal (2013, 2014), and was named a BBB Eclipse Integrity Award Finalist (2012).
To learn more about Energy Optimizers, USA, visit their website at http://energyoptusa.com or call them at (937) 877-1919.
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