Adviser Update Adviser Update Winter 2018 - Page 42

1. Pollution. 2. Car idling. 3. Green washing. Find out what pollution sources are near (or in) your school, if there are violations and how they compare to other parts of town or other schools. Go to https://echo.epa.gov/. This is a compilation of every facility regulated by the federal government (and often state). Just type in a town or zip code and a map will appear showing regulated facilities. If you click on them, you’ll see those in violation of standards related to safe drinking water, pollution, and air quality, etc. Is one near the school? Why? Interview the company, and students, about these hazards. Does your town in general have more hazards than a neighboring one? Why or why not? Go to EPA’s bus page and its car idling page. Here, students can read the science why diesel buses and idling cars are unhealthy. Students should ask the school superintendent’s office what types of buses are used in the district and what pollution controls these buses already have or if any are planned. Students can then spend an afternoon counting idling cars at drop-off or pick-up and interviewing drivers. Fact-check the school’s green goals and also any renovation projects. What are a school district’s recycling goals? Do they say they’ve met them? Fact- check by talking to custodians and “going undercover” to see if the recycling goals are actually carried out, i.e., are custodians mixing paper with regular garbage? Are students ignoring the blue recycling containers? If your school has a renovation project planned or ongoing, go to the local building inspector and request the building and demolition permits. Is asbestos and lead present? Are they taking the proper precautions to protect workers (often the answer is no)?