Custodial staff making schools “green”
Delta School District custodial staff recently gathered for a professional development afternoon geared at environmental initiatives in our schools. Custodians are at the forefront of energy conservation in schools, working hard to ensure lights are turned off, appliances are unplugged, windows are closed and the like.
“Our custodians really care about energy conservation in our schools. Every day they are committed to helping us lower energy use and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Steve Smoroden, Manager of Facility Services, Delta School District.
In addition to the daily work of making sure lights are turned off, appliances are unplugged, windows and doors are closed, and blinds are shut, custodians also perform energy audits and provide valuable feedback and ideas for increased conservation. At the professional development session they discussed energy audit results, made note of the biggest culprits of things left on, brainstormed ideas for increased conservation efforts, reviewed communication regarding energy conservation, and practiced using the energy dashboards. The dashboards provide real-time information about energy use in the schools, allowing custodians to see what areas of a school are using lots of electricity, heat and water at any given time.
At the session it was determined that all staff need to play closer attention to certain things that are regularly left on and/or unplugged. These include coffee makers, microwaves and computers. Also, it is encouraged that no one has their own mini-fridge, and instead use the fridges in the staff rooms, which are provided by the Delta School District.
“It’s really important that every staff member pays attention to his or her energy use. While our school district has actually been incredibly successful in our energy conservation efforts, already reducing our use by more than 30 per cent over the past decade, we can do more. Our students truly care about environmental issues, and so do we as a school district – we are striving to be as environmentally friendly as we possibly can be,” said Debra Eng, Energy Manager, Delta School District.
Custodial staff are going to continue enhancing their energy conservation efforts in hopes that all staff and students join in reducing energy waste. They will soon be conducting another appliance audit to see how many non-district issued appliances there are in our schools. Also, there will be holiday shutdown campaigns geared at making sure all appliances in schools are turned off and unplugged, that lights are all turned off, and that windows and blinds are shut before schools are closed for holiday breaks.