Governor kicks off Vermont School Carbon Challenge
Schools compete for $15,000 in statewide carbon contest
NORTHFIELD – The Agency of Natural Resources and Carbonrally.com have teamed up to launch the Vermont School Carbon Challenge, an educational effort to get students, schools and communities to reduce carbon emissions, save energy and perhaps win $5,000 for their local school.
Governor Jim Douglas kicked off the launch of the Carbon Challenge Tuesday by pledging to take two of Carbonrally’s popular challenges: “Green Ham and Cheese” and “Power Shower.”
“I hope to see all Vermont schools take the Carbon Challenge,” the Governor said. “Our youngest residents hold the key to our future success, where our quality of life and prosperity are entwined with environmental stewardship.”
Vermont is the first state to take the Carbon Challenge with Carbonrally.com, said founder Jason Karas, a 1989 graduate of the University of Vermont’s Environmental Studies program.
“Vermont is a truly green state that has a fantastic record of environmental innovation and action. We hope other states will follow their lead with similar programs for their students,” Karas said. “Empowering kids to have a collective impact is the central theme behind Carbonrally. The Vermont School Carbon Challenge will bring that theme to life through the ideas, leadership and actions of students across the state.”
The Governor made a challenge of his own. “As governor of the greenest state in the nation, I invite my fellow governors to follow Vermont’s lead and bring the Carbon Challenge to their state schools,” Douglas said. “Every pound of carbon saved is a win for all of us.”
Schools can sign up for the Carbon Challenge beginning Oct. 1, by visiting the Agency’s Web site: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/carbonchallenge. There, students and teachers learn more about climate change, find useful links and educational aids and will be directed to Carbonrally.com where they will create their teams, take challenges or propose ideas for new challenges.
Carbonrally.com then tracks every pound of carbon saved on its “rally machine” and the results are tallied in real time on the website’s leader board.
The web-based contest allows students, teachers, schools and families to compete with each other to see who can rack up the biggest reductions in carbon emissions by making simple, but lasting, changes in their everyday activities.
The top elementary, middle and high school will win $5,000 to use for a future energy-efficiency project at the school. The school with the top team will also win another $1,000 to be used for energy efficiency.
Governor Douglas applauded the Carbon Challenge sponsors, saying “In true Vermont fashion, we work together to make our state a prized place to live and work. I thank these sponsors for their commitment to our schools.”
The Vermont School Carbon Challenge is being sponsored by the following Vermont businesses and organizations: Beverage Association of Vermont, Bio-mass Resource Center, Inc., Cabot Creamery, Casella Waste Management Systems, Inc., Central Vermont Public Service, Efficiency Vermont, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Green Mountain Power Co., Seventh Generation, Velco, Vermont Country Store, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and Vermont Energy Partnership.
This fun, challenging experience, is designed to teach the importance of taking small, collective steps toward changing everyday actions in order to make a big difference in the world around them.
“Education is one of the key components of addressing climate change,” said ANR Secretary George Crombie. “The actions learned early in life are the foundation for a lifelong appreciation for the environment.”
Tom McKone, Principal of Northfield Middle & High School, says he’s eager to get going with the Vermont School Carbon Challenge.
“This is a great opportunity to bring our environmental curriculum into the real world and at the same time to reduce our carbon footprint and to save energy,” McKone said. “Northfield Middle and High School is looking forward to a friendly competition with other schools. This is a win-win for everyone who participates.”
State of Vermont