Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is the largest school district in Maryland and among the largest in the US. To benefit my community and raise awareness of climate change, I created a website (http://co2schools.com/) to inform MCPS about their carbon footprint.
The site uses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) framework and other resources for converting activities into CO2 emissions. It provides a dynamic web-based tool for each school to calculate their current carbon footprint based on individual school’s inputs. The inputs are across transportation, energy consumption and waste disposal.
The website needs data from schools to validate the proof of concept. The primary objective of the website will be to educate our leaders on the CO2 generated by each school and motivate all of us towards reducing it. Another objective is to establish a baseline CO2 emissions for each school, track their carbon mitigation efforts and hopefully reach a carbon neutral goal across MCPS in the next 10 years.
Short Term goal:
– Create awareness among MCPS School Administrators and Environmental leaders.
– Establish a baseline CO2 footprint for each school by showing data for a few schools.
– Share and generate ideas from schools to reduce their carbon footprint. We can drive interest by having a healthy competition among schools through posters, clubs etc. for idea generation to reduce carbon emissions.
Long term goal:
– Each school can track progress towards reducing their carbon footprint.
– Future state and county grants/funds can be linked towards achieving its carbon emission goals.
– MCPS can achieve the goal of being the first among the largest school districts in the US to be carbon neutral by 2030.
About the author and MCPS carbon footprint website creator: Rishi S. Iyer is a student at Thomas S. Wootton High School (Class of 2024) in Montgomery County, Maryland.