Creating a Culture of Sustainability in our Schools Yampa Valley Sustainable Council’s Sustainable Schools program promotes sustainability in Routt Countyschools through communication and collaboration with youth and environmental organizations with a focus on service learning in the schools and community. Calendar of School Events 2012-2013September 17th- 28th - Back to School Waste Reduction and Energy Conservation Education Elementary Schools - We want to make sure that the students start the year off right with a review of energy conservation, recycling, and waste reduction. We work with the teachers and the school Green Teams to make these important sustainable concepts understandable and fun for the elementary school students.January 28th – February 15th – Energy Education and Take Charge Energy Challenge During the last week of January and the first week of February, all four schools in the district will compete to see which school can reduce their energy use the most. During the week leading up to the challenge, all students will learn the importance of energy conservation, and will be given specific action steps to help the district to save energy.March 29th –Earth Hour Earth Hour is a worldwide event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and held on the last Saturday of March annually, encouraging households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. This will be the third year that we celebrate Earth Hour at the schools on the Friday before Earth Hour, by turning off nonessential lights for the last hour of the school day. In addition, students are encouraged to “Go Beyond the Hour” with actions that promote sustainability.April 19th – Earth Day – Zero Waste Day Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earths natural environment. This year we will be celebrating Earth Day with various activities to highlight waste reduction and recycling.May 13th – 24th – ReTree Schools! ReTree Steamboat originated in 2010 as a day of planting to replace trees killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. Students have been involved with the ReTree event from the beginning. As the event has evolved, we have seen the value of engaging students in this program and would like to deepen their involvement. There has been a growing trend in the school sustainability movement to involve the entire school as a learning environment from the facilities to the grounds. Planting native vegetation on school grounds and involving students in the planting and care for these trees and shrubs accomplishes these two objectives. During these two weeks in May, we will work with students and teachers to plant trees and shrubs at the schools.June 10th – 13th – Clean Out the Classroom Clean Out the Classroom is a way to keep gently-used school supplies out of the landfill. During the last week of school, we collect used school supplies from students and teachers and distribute them to organizations serving children. In the past two years, we have collected over 200 pounds of supplies (everything from notebooks to art supplies) for the Macedonia Mission for Peace and the Boys and Girls Club.