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NEWS RELEASE: San Diego Unified Kicks off Earth Day Celebrations with Climate Action Summit

NEWS RELEASE: San Diego Unified Kicks off Earth Day Celebrations with Climate Action Summit
Posted on 04/12/2018

San Diego Unified School District


April 12, 2018

San Diego Unified Kicks off Earth Day Celebrations with Climate Action Summit
Earth-friendly efforts at schools around San Diego Unified, along with district-wide green efforts, and the largest solar energy installation of any school district in United States, are a few of the commitments the district is celebrating this Earth Day

SAN DIEGO (April, 13 2018) - From a homegrown environmental-science curriculum and innovative science labs to recycling initiatives to sustainable gardens and solar energy to water conservation, the San Diego Unified School District has a lot to highlight this Earth Day.

The district will kick off Earth Day festivities with the Climate Action Summit on Saturday at Patrick Henry High School. Organized by School Board President Kevin Beiser in partnership with the Sierra Club and the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs, the event will showcase the district's green initiatives and broader commitment to environmental wellbeing for future generations.

“For students, teachers, and staff throughout the entire district, environmental sustainability is more than an academic exercise or a single event - it's a daily practice,” Beiser said. “Every day is Earth Day at San Diego Unified.”

The Summit will highlight San Diego Unified's environmental achievements, and serve as a forum to discuss the district's plan to achieve 100% renewable energy. Students and educators will make presentations on school Eco Clubs and other student-led Earth-friendly efforts.

Leaders in environmental change will be honored as Climate Action Partner of the Year, Climate Action Organization of the Year, and Climate Action Leader of the Year, at the event.

Schools throughout the district will participate in individual Earth Day events beginning the week of April 23.

San Diego Unified has a long history of promoting solar energy, recycling, energy and water conservation, as well as other sustainable efforts:

Energy Efficiency
The district manages 47 solar projects, and has 13 additional solar projects to be installed by 2019.

More than 29,000 lighting fixtures in the district have been replaced with LED fixtures, resulting in an annual estimated savings in $1.6 million kWh, the equivalent of 1,300 metric tons of Co2 gas emissions.

Water Savings
2016 water savings resulted in 131 million gallons in 2016.

Recycling and Waste Reduction
Student “Green Teams,” recycling clubs, “Planet Protectors,” and other student groups have embraced classroom and lunchtime recycling programs.

By replacing utensil packets with individual forks, spooks and napkins in cafeterias, the district has saved more than $43,000 a year, while also reducing litter and plastic waste by nearly 4.7 million pieces.

The district's Love Food Not Waste Program has prevented 202,775 pounds of prepared food ending up in landfills, provided 169,120 meals to the hungry, reduced food costs, and eliminated 110,107 pounds of Co2 gas emissions.

Green Spaces
The district has partnered with the city to create more green spaces, having collaborated on 76 joint-use facilities. Another 45 new joint-use projects are in the works over the next 5-10 years.

The district's efforts save taxpayer dollars and positively impact students and the community by creating a better San Diego environment, Today's students are tomorrow's San Diego decision-makers.

More details and information about this weekend's Climate Action Summit can be found at https://www.grant.sandiegounified.org/ cms/One.aspx?portalId=27851640&pageId=29106560

If you are interested in covering one of the district's school's Earth Day events, please contact Isabella McNeil, 619-341-2343, [email protected]

Maureen Magee, Communications Director, San Diego Unified, 619-381-7930, [email protected]