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USGBC Trains Green School Advocates

Hoping to start a grassroots movement, the U.S. Green Building Council trained a slew of architects and school advocates to organize committees in their home districts to promote green schools.

Participants included 64 "Green School Advocates" representing chapters across the country. They met in the nation's capital to learn about working with decision-makers, parents and teachers to provide healthy schools that will, at the same time, save money in energy costs and fight climate change.

Several characteristics are typical of a green school. Since these schools avoid using toxic materials in carpets, paints and cleaning materials, they boast better indoor air quality which lowers the risk of asthma and illnesses.

Green schools also use less energy because of an increased emphasis on natural light, as well as less water. Green schools can save each facility an average of $100,000 in annual energy costs, the USGBC said. Sixty schools are currently LEED-certified.

"The local USGBC chapters are a critical component in the Council's vision of green schools for every child within a generation," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC's president, CEO, and founding chair. "There are now chapter members from across America who are engaging in local outreach and education."

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