October 17, 2011 – The Responsible Bathroom Water Conservation Tour visited Evergreen High School on October 10 to provide students the opportunity to explore the globally important topic of water conservation at a local level. In support of GEF’s and American Standard’s water conservation efforts, the national tour is visiting select classrooms participating in GEF’s Green Building Program, sponsored by American Standard. The tour bus, a 44-foot mobile showroom, is making 100 stops this year to showcase water-efficient technologies.
According to one federal report, water shortages are predicted to hit 36 states in the U.S. by 2013. By participating in the tour and incorporating sustainability education in the classroom, the next generation can become responsible consumers and global citizens. “At American Standard, our goal is to educate consumers so they can have it all - great style and performance while saving water and energy. Our water-efficient toilets, faucets, and showerheads combine exceptional performance and superior style,” says Don Devine, American Standard president and chief executive officer.
The tour provided students with a dynamic, interactive introduction to water conservation by industry experts. Groups of 10 to 15 students from Julie Berkman’s science class spent 15-20 minutes on the bus and had the opportunity to ask questions and engage with the displays. Ms. Berkman had this to say about their experience: "The American Standard Responsible Bathroom Tour was a really fun and engaging way for my students to discuss water conservation measures. They loved the hands-on introduction to such a complex and important topic. The feedback was great and we’re all excited to start GEF’s Green Building Course in January to continue learning about water saving strategies and other green building attributes.”
The students were shocked at the statistics they learned and looked forward to sharing their findings at home. For example, one in seven people on the planet do not have access to clean water. Sadly, more people have cell phones than a working toilet. They participated in a “How Blue Are You Quiz,” testing their knowledge of water use and conservation, and decided to challenge their parents to beat their scores. After touring the bus, the group discussed their role in conserving water every day at home and at school. Some of the ideas the students came up with included turning the faucet off while getting ready in the morning, taking shorter showers, and washing their cars less frequently. Students also left the tour with I Shop Green reusable bags filled with American Standards product literature, the ‘Blue Quiz,’ a water calculator, Colorado Springs Utilities giveaways, and an I Drink Green water bottle.
For more information about the tour, visit www.theresponsiblebathroomtour.com.
Evergreen High School is quickly becoming a sustainability education champion. In January, the students’ knowledge regarding water conservation gleaned from the Tour will be put to the test during hands-on home and school audits. The school will be participating in GEF’s January pilot of its Green Building Program, sponsored in party by American Standard. This program provides teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to bring green building principles and hands-on learning to their classrooms and communities. During its pilot phase, GEF is offering the course free of charge to qualified participants.
The Green Building Course is a one semester science elective for 11 and 12 grade classes. It is aligned with National Science Education and Teaching standards, and uses in-depth, hands-on audits and activities for each unit to enhance learning and comprehension. All materials, including textbook, teachers manual, assessments, and more, are housed in an online database accessible through any internet connection and PDF viewer. Thanks to the generous funding from American Standard, the companies’ shared values regarding water conservation and student empowerment are being addressed through this course offering.
The Green Building Course is currently being piloted at more than ten schools across the nation. According to Justin Benz, a teacher implementing the course at Hodgson Technical High School, the course “is a perfect fit for what I teach and will provide even more opportunities to integrate with the different construction trades classes at my school.”
The course and accompanying audit are aligned with U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) guidelines for what constitutes green building construction according to their LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. GEF was the K-12 sector partner for USGBC 2010 Greenbuild.
About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
GEF is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. GEF offers free school programs that provide curricula and hands-on activities to excite and inspire K-12 students and teachers to think holistically about global environmental solutions. Our mission is to empower a new generation of environmental stewards while preparing them for the new 21st century clean energy economy. Visit www.greeneducationfoundation.org to become a member.
About American Standard Brands
American Standard Brands is a leading North American manufacturer of a wide range of high-quality building products, including faucets, fixtures, furniture, vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other wellness products for the bath and kitchen as well as decorative panels. The company currently offers total project solutions for residential and commercial customers; employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico; and markets products under well known and respected brands, such as American Standard®, Jado®, Porcher®, Safety Tubs®, Crane®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners. For more information, visit http://www.americanstandard.com/ or www.americanstandard.ca.
About the Green Building Course