All photos courtesy of @somervilleinc / Twitter
As we approach the holiday season when people are more inclined to over-consume, we should take a moment to reflect on how sustainable our lifestyles are (or aren’t). More importantly, we should consider the example we’re setting for our children – the future leaders who will be responsible for cleaning up the mess we’ve left behind.
Is it in our children’s best interest for us to teach them that an over-consuming lifestyle is acceptable?
Well I came across a great example of something they are doing in Wisconsin that teaches our children a more sustainable way of living.
The new Shawano Elementary School is under construction and they are seeking to achieve the LEED Gold status – the first elementary school in the United States to do so.
To achieve the LEED Gold status, the school would need a total of 60-79 points under the following main categories:
- Sustainable Sites (26 possible points)
- Water Efficiency (10 possible points)
- Energy and Atmosphere (35 possible points)
- Materials and Resources (14 possible points)
- Indoor Environmental Quality (15 possible points)
- Innovation in Design (6 possible points)
- Regional Priority (4 possible points)
The project is being led by Miron Construction, a company that seems to have extensive LEED qualifications. Surprisingly, the Shawano school hasn’t received a great amount of media exposure, and it has been arduous to find detailed information about this project.
Thankfully the architect (Somerville Architect) has posted some photos on their twitter account. Here is the geothermal system under construction:
It’s great to see these types of projects happening, and there is no better way to achieve sustainability than to set an example for our children that it is important for us to care about their future.
Now if only we could convince parents to go through the holiday season without filling our homes with more junk.
James D. Schwartz is the editor of The Urban Country and appears on most Sundays and Thursdays, and sometimes in between. View all of James’ articles here.
I think these huge projects are great. Yet sometimes i think a small shift in our thinking would be more impactful. Your last line on not filing our homes with more junk this holiday season is a great example. I remember living in a society where cooking a special meal for your family was considered a wonderful present.
Great point Cranky. I hope that someday we will go back to that mentality that there are more important things in the world than material possessions.