U.S. schools betting on benefits of going green

When we were kids, the only thing green about our schools was the vomit-hued paint on the bathroom walls. But times change, and these days, schools across the U.S. are incorporating green features that save money, improve student performance, and help protect the planet. The trend is growing so much that the U.S. Green Building Council recently adopted school certification standards; 27 schools have been certified, and nearly 300 are on the waiting list. Lindsay Baker, who manages the program, says the past six months have been “overwhelming. There is a general agreement in schools that this is the issue that schools need to be thinking about.” Innovations ranging from green roofs to solar panels to daylit work areas give students an appreciation for their surroundings, say parents and teachers. And administrators are giddy over the fact that, though green construction costs about 2 percent more up front, it can cut energy costs by up to 50 percent. Ooh, we feel a math problem coming on.