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How it works:

The district – Destination Conservation (DC) is a commitment to sustainability. School districts that are part of the program begin by identifying 10-15 schools to take part in the program. The district also provides support for individual schools’ efforts to track energy consumption at each school and, where possible, commits to reinvesting energy savings in further conservation measures.

The school – schools (K-12) are invited to volunteer to be part of the program. Each school identifies a green team that includes administrator, teacher, parent and custodian representatives, as well as students. Each school team is different; they can be clubs, classes or student union groups; they can be small or large and may be facilitated by a teacher, parent or other adult leader. By joining DC, each school commits to complete at least one conservation campaign each year and to attend DC workshops.

The program – DC is a six-year program. The first three years are about learning energy and water conservation and waste reduction. The advanced program for years four to six takes conservation lessons out of the classroom and into the home and the community. Themes include food and sustainability, our community, transportation, the global village and the future of energy. Each year, there are two half-day training workshops for teams to learn more about conservation topics and strategies to improve their sustainability.

The workshops - each school sends team representatives, including up to five students, to two half-day DC training sessions each year. During workshops, students guided by adult mentors learn about sustainability topics and develop the skills required to identify challenges and design strategies to address them. Students develop conservation campaigns with support from the adults on their team using a planning framework that includes tools to measure results and develop communications plans. Workshop resources are also available online for teams to use and share with other teachers in the school. Between sessions, teams are encouraged to contact the Elements office for support and to update us on their progress. Students share what they learn back at their school and launch projects with their teams that engage students and staff in their school to reduce their environmental impact.

The year-end - At the end of each year, teams come together one last time to share what they’ve learned and accomplished with other DC schools, school district administrators and the community. They share best practices, pitfalls to avoid and are recognized for the special achievements within each team. See some of last years’ submissions posted in the DC Green Gallery.

Custodial training – DC also includes technical workshops that help custodial staff operate their buildings efficiently. Each half-day Building Operator Training program (BOTP) workshop covers two training modules and provides custodians with an opportunity to discuss ideas and concerns with facilities department representatives. Training modules include: lighting, other electrical, heating / ventilation and air conditioning, water and waste.

Download the DC 1-2-3.PDF for more information on how the program works.