Archive for the ‘Carbon Footprint Reduction’ category

Earth Day Update: GCS’s Ranking in the Green Power Partnership is now #17!

April 23, 2012

EPA recognizes Grace Church School among nation’s leading green power purchasers

“Grace Church School announces today that it has increased its ranking to No. 17 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Top 20 K-12 Schools list of the largest green power purchasers. This increased purchase further demonstrates Grace Church School’s commitment to protecting the environment and builds upon its existing partnership with EPA’s Green Power Partnership. Grace Church School is purchasing more than 1 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet 100 percent of the organization’s electricity use. Grace Church School is buying a utility green power product from Green Mountain Energy. This demonstrates a proactive choice to switch away from traditional sources of electricity generation and support cleaner renewable energy alternatives.”

This is a huge honor and we are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Purchasing green power helps our organization become more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the U.S. that supporting clean sources of electricity is a sound business decision and an important choice in reducing climate risk.

Green Baby!

October 27, 2011

Even when they are busy on maternity leave, teachers at GCS keep up their sustainable practices!  Check out baby Gabe and his groovy mom, Ms. Freireich!  She has two great tips for Green Moms; don’t leave the water running when washing bottles and dishes, and walk wherever possible rather than taking transportation to save energy!  Thanks for this Teacher Feature!!

Check the Neck!

February 26, 2011

NYC has some great new PSAs that will help you comply with recycling rules.  Here is one devoted to plastics.  Enjoy!

Green Cup Challenge Video: Snack Attack!

February 8, 2011

You can VOTE FOR GCS, and see the video submissions of other schools at the Green Cup Challenge website.

Here’s a quick, fun, update!  Another unrelated video contest is being held for high schools called Green For All.  Here is a great submission from the Climate Crew!  Enjoy!

Snack Attack – Green Cup Challenge

January 30, 2011

Teachers  and students all over GCS are turning out the lights during the Green Cup Challenge.  GCS already makes use of wind power options from ConEd and participates in Energy Curtailment Service’s Power Down events.

“First, there is the power of the Wind, constantly exerted over the globe…. Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it! It only serves to turn a few mills, blow a few vessels across the ocean, and a few trivial ends besides. What a poor compliment do we pay to our indefatigable and energetic servant!” –  Henry David Thoreau

You can see how our progress compares to other schools here: ( this month.  We are focusing on the ways we can save energy while we eat. Hosted by the Green Schools Alliance, we are encouraging all classrooms to consider saving energy in the following ways;

  • Turn out the lights during snack and story time
  • Don’t leave chargers plugged in when they are not in use
  • Turn off printers, monitors, and SmartBoards when not in use
  • Turn off unneeded hallway lights
  • Turn of the main bank of lights at lunch on a sunny day.
  • Walk instead of taking the elevator
  • Enjoy one of Chef Sheehan’s Green Lunches!

You can look at our Top Ten Green Tips (in the sidebar on the right) if you would like to find out even more ways to keep energy savings up and reduce our Carbon Footprint!

Snow and Climate Change

January 28, 2011

It would seem that they don’t fit together – warmer air means more snow?  Is climate change due to increased CO2 emissions a failed hypothesis?  A lot of contradictory reports are thrown around on a snowy afternoon, and today is no exception.  An interesting set of articles have tried to find a connection between increased snowfall and climate change – both in support of this trend, and as a detraction from it’s scientific credibility.   As meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters discusses, there is evidence that warmer temperatures and more snow are related.  Here is his analysis from his blog;

Why such an unusual number of top-ten snowstorms for the Northeast in recent years?
The Northeast has seen an inordinate number of top-ten snowstorms in the past ten years, raising the question of whether this is due to random chance or a change in the climate. This year’s record snow storms were all the more unusual, as they came during La Niña conditions in the Eastern Pacific. Is it random chance, or did climate change play role? Well, it could be either, and we simply don’t know the answer. A study by Houston and Changnon (2009) on the top ten heaviest snows on record for each of 121 major U.S. cities showed no upward or downward trend in these very heaviest snowstorms during the period 1948 – 2001. It would be interesting to see if they repeated their study using data from the past decade if the answer would change. As I stated in my blog post, The United States of Snowin February, bigger snowstorms are not an indication that global warming is not occurring. The old adage, “it’s too cold to snow”, has some truth to it, and there is research supporting the idea that the average climate in the U.S. is colder than optimal to support the heaviest snowstorms. For example, Changnon et al. (2006) found that for the contiguous U.S. between 1900 – 2001, 61% – 80% of all heavy snowstorms of 6+ inches occurred during winters with above normal temperatures. The authors also found that 61% – 85% of all heavy snowstorms of 6+ inches occurred during winters that were wetter than average. The authors conclude, “a future with wetter and warmer winters, which is one outcome expected (National Assessment Synthesis Team 2001), will bring more heavy snowstorms of 6+ inches than in 1901 – 2000.” The authors found that over the U.S. as a whole, there had been a slight but significant increase in heavy snowstorms of 6+ inches than in 1901 – 2000. If the climate continues to warm, we should expect an increase in heavy snow events for a few decades, until the climate grows so warm that we pass the point where winter temperatures are at the optimum for heavy snow events.

I’ve done some other posts of interest I’ve done on snow and climate change over the past year:

Hot Arctic-Cold Continents Pattern is back (December 2010)
The future of intense winter storms (March 2010)
Heavy snowfall in a warming world (February 2010)

Jeff Masters”

Mulchfest 2011!

January 8, 2011

The Jackson Heights Mulchfest was tons of fun today.  Mayor Bloomberg stopped by, as well as the GreeNYC bird!  Click here for another article.  You can still bring your tree to a local mulcher this weekend!  Got a tree ready to go?  Click here for your closest mulching location and help the city parks be even greener!

Treecycle Mulchfest 2011

December 26, 2010

You may be eyeing your tree and starting to think about how much longer it will last this year.  Maybe you’ve fallen in love with it, and wish it could last a little longer.  Don’t despair! There are many ways to extend the life of your tree for months to come.  A great article in the NY Times shared ways to make tea and Spruce Butter.  When you’ve used your tree as much as you can, don’t forget to take it to Mulchfest 2011, held all around the city on Jan.8.

Do you have other items that need to be recycled after an exciting holiday? There is an extremely useful program available via the Treehugger Mobile App.  If you have a GPS-able smartphone, add the free Treehugger app.  You’ll see a symbol for recycling.  Once you choose the items you want to recycle (including many things not recyclable by the city) you’ll see the closest location to take your items.  For example, if you have #6 plastics (polystyrene) that tend to pile up over the holidays, you can take them to some participating Mailboxes, Etc.!

“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.” ~H.G. Wells

December 26, 2010

Mr. Schneider has been cycling to work for years, and over time, has learned the city routes well.  He’s cycled around all 5 boroughs, and even in Vietnam!  A big supporter of Transportation Alternatives, he knows that riding bikes in NYC is great green move.  “I love to ride my bicycle! I get around so easily, I enjoy the scenery, I benefit from the exercise, I conserve gas and save money, and…… this has been my little secret up until now: I feel like I’m flying! Of course I do all that with a helmit, as safely as possible!”

Earth Hour

March 24, 2010

Make a day, a month, an hour!  This year, Earth Hour will be honored on Saturday March 27th at 8:30 pm.  Turn off your lights and join the movement!  Comment below if you will be joining in to represent the Green Team this year.

Earth Hour by WWF

“Earth Hour is organized by WWF. With almost 5 million supporters and a global network in over 100 countries, it’s one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth’s natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature.”

The Earth Hour Website has a host of great materials for you to learn more.  Check out this video sample!