We operate as an eco-friendly establishment. Here are some of the things we did when building our schools and that we do on a daily basis…
Eco-Friendly Artificial Grass
In our backyards, we use an artificial turf that is made of 100% renewable and recyclable material. It is eco-friendly, as it does not require any maintenance like typical grass lawns which are often over-watered and full of fertilizer. The padding between the blades and webbing is soy-based, and the webbing itself if 100% post-industrial recycled plastics.
We use bamboo flooring because it is renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable. Bamboo flooring is recognized as a true gem in modern sustainable architecture.
Zero VOC Paint
Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air, and according to the EPA, is considered to be one of the top 5 hazards to human health. Paint is among the leading causes. Paints release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application. The source of these toxins is a variety of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) which, until recently, were essential to the performance of the paint. Zero VOC paints have almost no odor during application and are odor-free once cured (with no odor-masking chemicals); use highly refined ingredients to avoid toxic contaminants; and are free of formaldehyde, ammonia, crystalline silica and ethylene glycol.
Gardening Beds made from Cedar/Cypress
When you chop a Southern Yellow Cypress tree down, new trees regenerate. If you plant one Southern Yellow Cypress tree, you may end up with 20 new trees. One couldn’t destroy a Southern Yellow Cypress tree even if one wanted to. There is a natural preservative that exists inside the Southern Yellow Cypress tree that causes it to last for an extended amount of time; the preservative is non-toxic and non-poisonous. In terms of durability, Southern Yellow Cypress lasts a lot longer than most trees. Naturally decay- and insect-resistant, cypress is the most durable wood in America. Getting cypress from its natural, swampy home if often difficult, but the extra effort and expenses are well worth it.
Our play equipment is made from recycled plastics and our flooring is made from recycled tires. We’ve also “greened” up the place with a variety of plants and we’ll be growing our own fruits and vegetables with the children.
Along with fuel efficiency, water conservation, and reduction in meat consumption, home composting is one of the most environmentally beneficial activities of modern society. Yard and food wastes make up approximately 30% of the waste stream in the US. Not only does composting successfully divert a significant portion of your family’s waste stream from the landfill and water treatment facilities, it is a natural method of recycling organic materials into valuable humus. Finished compost is nutritious enough to use as a soil amendment, buffering the pH and helping to retain water in the soil. Home composting also serves as an invaluable educational tool, teaching youngsters about conservation, the cycle of life, and inter-connectedness of the natural world.
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a CFL, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. We use CFLs in ALL of our light fixtures.
Energy Star Appliances
Home electronic products use energy when they’re off to power features like clock displays and remote controls. Those that have earned the ENERGY STAR use as much as 50% less energy to perform these functions, while providing the same performance at the same price as less-efficient models.
Cleaning and Paper Goods
We use eco-friendly cleaning supplies and paper goods and, of course, recycle.
Whenever possible, we use eco-friendly companies and products. Some of our toys are made from companies that only use wood from managed forests (they plant three trees for every one they use); other’s are made from bamboo (see above), and none of our toys require batteries.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We all (teachers, students, administration) practice this easy concept. We teach the kids how to reduce (use one paper towel when drying hands), reuse (use the back of a piece of paper to draw on) and recycle (we have 3 bins for trash, paper and juice boxes) from day one.