Green Schools Healthier, Smarter?
According to The Honolulu Advertiser, schools featuring clean air, plenty of natural light, wastewater recycling, renewable power and other ways to lessen their impact on the environment also offer health and educational benefits for students and faculty, said a leading congressional advocate of that style of school construction. Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., a co-founder of the Congressional Green Schools Caucus, said studies have found that students attending so-called "green schools" are healthier, with fewer incidents of asthma, colds and flu, and have improved academic performance, up to 18 percent higher. At the same time, building of green schools across the U.S. is expected to save $30 billion in energy costs over 10 years and cut carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere by 33.2 million tons.
Hooley said the green schools movement is growing and the number of them — now about 630 in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — is expected to surge by 2010 and make up more than a quarter of all the green buildings in the nation. In an interview, Hooley said she and other caucus members are trying to find ways for the federal government to aid local districts in the schools' design and construction.
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