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So far Dana Dwinell-Yardley has created 51 blog entries.

Essex Middle School Idle Free Campaign

The following is a piece that was included in our school newsletter about our Idle Free Campaign:



The Edge Academy team students are conducting a vehicle idling study for the second year and as a first step collected idling data for five days at the school pick up areas this fall.

The findings:

Initial data collection conducted for five days at school afternoon dismissal on 11/2, 11/3, 11/4, 11/5, 11/6

Average temperature: 64 degrees

Total vehicles observed: 164; total vehicles idling: 70 (42.4%); total minutes of idling: 465 = 7.75 hours

Amount of fuel consumed: 3.33 gal1/five days / 0.67 gal/per day average

Amount of fuel consumed annually (est.) – based on 180 day school year: 119 gal

Amount of CO2 emissions annually -2 (est.) – based on 180 day school year: 2,380 lb

1 based on passenger vehicle — car/SUV/pick up truck — idling consumption of 0.43 gal/hr

2 one gallon of gasoline consumed equals 19.64 pounds of CO2 emitted


Small grants available to schools for climate education projects

ecodollarsAre you considering taking on a climate-oriented project in your school, but funding is a barrier to making it happen? Thanks to funding by the US EPA, VEEP has a small grant program to help bring these good ideas to life in your school, and the application process is open! We welcome proposals for grants of $100–$1,000 for projects that address climate change and improve environmental literacy among students in Vermont schools. 

Download an application: Click here to download the application as a Word document.

When: Proposals are due to VEEP by January 15, 2016. Grants will be awarded by February 1, 2016.

Who: These grants are available to school districts. The application must officially come from the school district to comply with the terms of VEEP’s EPA grant.

Types of projects that might be considered

  • Bringing additional content expertise into schools.
  • Purchasing materials to be used to enhance critical thinking, problem solving, and action in school curriculum such […]
By |December 21st, 2015|Grants|0 Comments

Classroom Compost Continues

Team Summit has continued to collect classroom compost from snacks eaten during the day in our classroom. Over the last 4 years we have collected over 240 pounds of food scraps from our snacks eaten in the classroom. During the first trimester of this year, we have collected over 20 pounds from our classroom alone.  In addition, we are creating a presentation on how to correctly classroom compost to others in the school to help keep more food waste out of the landfill.  There are concerns about potential smell, fruit flies, and that it takes extra time to take the compost out to the collection bins. Our presentation will show that this hasn’t been a problem for us due to the system we have in place for composting.  Composting food saves on energy since we aren’t paying for trucks hauling off food scraps to the landfill in Coventry, VT that can be composted locally up the street from MSMS. It will also save on green house gas emissions since food scraps that decompose in an anaerobic environment, such as […]

Northfield Middle High School Green Team

Northfield Middle High School Green Team Just checking in on the blog.  Working on some new ideas. Anyone want to share something that is working?


Northfield Middle High School

Take your school on a Hibernation Vacation

December break is a great time to save energy by powering down your school. We like to call these energy-saving breaks Hibernation Vacations.

Several of this year’s Green School Energy Challenge schools have already held Hibernation Vacations this year: check out this post from Woodstock for inspiration. 

This excerpt from our Green School Energy Challenge curriculum & playbook offers some suggestions on hibernating at your school.

How to Take a Hibernation Vacation: Power down your school before vacations

Vacation is a great time to save electricity (and heating fuel) at schools. You can easily reduce your school’s electric use over vacation by simply making sure appliances that use phantom load are unplugged and appliances that don’t need to be on are turned off. Sounds simple, right?

Champlain Valley Union’s environmental club (EnACT) started hibernation vacation in 2011. In this activity, a team of students goes around the school at the end of the day right before vacation targeting specific locations for unplugging and double-checking that devices are turned off. This fun activity has become […]

By |December 10th, 2015|Green School Energy Challenge|0 Comments

Moretown Students Seek Solar Solutions

Moretown Engineering in Action

Our 4th, remedy 5th and 6th  grade student engineers participant in a 12 week long STE@M class that meets everyday for 40 minutes.   This 12 week, collaboratively-taught program introduces foundational engineering, design and communication concepts and tools.  Our curriculum is informed with local and national STEM curriculum, and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core learning outcomes.  Our VEEP partnership provides an essential aspect of our curricular work regarding energy production and conservation.  Information regarding our units of study can be found here: Moretown STE@M Program


Staff Profile: Andy Shapiro

This is the second in a series of VEEP educator profiles, where we take a minute out of our day to chat with our amazing staff, learn about their lives, hear more about what fires them up — and share their story with you. 

* * *

Andy Shapiro: ‘We’re doing so much cool stuff!’

“In the early 90s,” Andy Shapiro says, talking about going into classrooms to lead VEEP programs, “I would say, ‘Put your hand up if you’ve ever heard of global warming or climate change.'” There would be maybe one hand.” Today, he says, every hand or nearly every hand goes up when he asks that same question.

Many things have changed since Andy, VEEP’s director of science and engineering education, joined VEEP 26 years ago. His love of bringing science and environmental issues to kids in a real way is not one of them.

“I like explaining stuff to people, helping them measure things,” he says. “There’s a lot of misconceptions about energy out there. There’s still […]

By |November 30th, 2015|Staff Profiles|0 Comments

Woodstock Hibernates!

IMG_4030Woodstock Elementary School’s first hibernation vacation, conducted last week during Thanksgiving break, went considerably well. We tried to save energy in our school by unplugging and turning off any electricity consuming object we could and thus having these appliances ‘hibernate’ for a few days. In a few weeks, we will be doing the same thing during the holiday break and hoping that staff will eventually do it before leaving each weekend or even on a daily basis!

By |November 30th, 2015|Woodstock Elementary School|1 Comment

What’s In MSMS Trash Cans and Recycling Bins?

On September 26, 2015, Team Summit conducted a trash audit. We collected the school’s trash, recycling, and compost that accumulates over a day and sorted through it.

Here’s what we found:  We collected  71.4 pounds of trash but only 33.4 pounds was actual trash. We collected 46.55 pounds of recycling but the actual amount we collected was 30.55 pounds of recycling. The amount of compost we collected was 48.7 pounds and the actual amount was 65 pounds.

This shows our school needs to improve on knowing what to put in the trash, recycling, and compost. We put together a list of suggestions and distributed it to all the teachers and staff in the school for them to discuss with their students.  Here are some things we identified on that list:

  • Empty out the extra milk from the milk cartons into the compost and then throw the containers into the trash not the recycling bin.
  • Recycle plastic items that […]
By |November 30th, 2015|Main Street Middle School|0 Comments

MSMS Green Team Goals for 2015-2016

We have set our goals for the year and announced these goals at the first school-wide assembly on November 4th. Here are the goals and some action steps for MSMS in 2015-2016:

  1. Reduce our overall energy use by 5- 10 %.
    1. Conduct a lighting survey of the school.
    2. Analyze the cost savings from the new lighting fixtures in the renovated rooms.
    3. Educate staff and students about turning off lights when not in the room.
    4. Conduct hibernation vacations during extended times off from school.
    5. Conduct heating analysis of different rooms around the school.
  2. Reduce our pollution from idling cars by 10-15%.
    1. Work with Idle-Free Vermont to take initial data in October.
    2. Educate the parents about idling during the winter months.
    3. Record new data in April / May to see if we’ve made a difference.
  3. To educate our school community and broader community that “small changes make a big difference”.
    1. Conduct a Fall Trash Audit to see how our school is doing with composting, recycling, and trash.
    2. Look into a Green Roof to reduce storm water runoff.
    3. Educate and encourage composting in classrooms.
    4. Reduce printed paper by 5-10%.
    5. Collect hard to recycle […]
By |November 30th, 2015|Main Street Middle School|0 Comments