Romania is a country with a deep, historical connection to agriculture and nature and includes some of Europe’s richest and largest (and most threatened) areas of biodiversity. A history of forced depopulation of the villages and industrialization removed many of the citizens from their connection to the land. Consequently, many school children seldom have the chance to experience nature, what it has to teach and benefits for mind, health and soul.
The Romania Green Building Council (RoGBC) recently launched the “Construieste Scoli Verzi” (Building Greener Schools) campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of green schools and to create rapid and comprehensive change in the environmental and energy performance of Romania's kindergartens, schools and universities. We are pleased to collaborate with the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools to mobilize the country in improving its schools by supporting the Green Apple Day of Service. We are organizing a number of projects for the Green Apple Day of Service, some on our own and some in collaboration with other organizations.
One of our biggest initiatives is a campaign for the Green Apple Day of Service. Donations received from local green building companies are used for a green schools contest, to award a winning school a substantial green renovation including planning and design services, project management, ecological building materials and coatings, sustainable landscaping, and energy efficient and renewable energy solutions. Through this campaign, we will be able to provide a tangible example for students, educators, government officials and the building community to see directly the benefits of what green schools can provide to Romania. All schools in Romania who submit and conduct and activity for the Green Apple Day of Service are eligible to win this green renovation.
In addition, we have several other activities planned for September 29:
- We will deliver a training course entitled "Creating and Managing Greener Schools" on September 29, available to school directors, administrative personnel, teachers, parents and students to teach the “why” and “how to” of green schools.
- We will award two scholarships for school building administrators to attend a 10-course Green Building Professional program.
- We will organizing a workshop for school children in the village of Cacica, Romania to learn about the “deep green” renovation of their library Ecobiblioteca, a demonstration project organized and funded by RoGBC and its partner companies. The project is in the final stages of construction and designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification and Living Building Challenge Full Petal recognition.
- The RoGBC also assisted the International School of Cluj in Romania with conducting two integrated design sessions for optimizing a new green campus initiative. We are particularly pleased to work with this school as they have consistently won awards as a top educational institution in Romania. In addition, they currently provide tours and outreach to help the public schools of Romania understand how they achieve their academic excellence. Therefore the selection of this school as a green school demonstration will be sure to influence key decision makers throughout Romania as they witness academic and environmental excellence in action. We will continue to provide technical and other support for the project through its completion.
We at RoGBC look forward to expanding collaboration with our friends working to create greener schools around and wish everyone a successful and fun Green Apple Day of Service!