Eco-friendly, green, low carbon footprint, environmentally conscious. These terms are becoming important to consumers when buying everyday objects. From eco-friendly furniture, local food, and hybrid cars, we are all doing our part to make an effort.
For some, the objects we fill our homes and garages with are just a tip of the iceberg. A whole street in Dallas, Texas is slowing turning green and compassionately so. The Congo Street Green Initiative is not just transforming an aging street into a green habitiat, but is improving family’s lives in the process.
This narrow street, with 17 single-family and duplex houses all built before 1910, was often referred to as the “all-colored alley” – a reference as much to its demographic as to its small scale. In 1933 the City of Dallas officially changed its name from Carroll Drive to Congo Street, an overt reference to Africa meant to ‘forewarn’ whites attending the State Fair just a few blocks to the South. Sixty years later, the Street’s landlord deeded properties on the North side of the street to long-time residents, and many of those who live there now are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of former renters, witness to multiple generations of its tight-knit community.
The process of restoring structural integrity to the Street developed out of a desire to preserve the pervasive sense of community and to respect the economic options available to neighbors as both land and homeowners. Each resident has expressed a desire to remain on Congo despite the need to repair their home, and have therefore deferred previous plans that sought to displace them, even temporarily.
Children learn by example and if they see the adults in their lives working on the three “R’s”, reduce, reuse, recycle there is a good chance that they too will become environmentally responsible. Setting up a green classroom may seem like like a daunting task but its really very simple to do. There are many eco-friendly school furniture products available as well as many ‘green’ school supplies on the market.
Teachers can make many small and easy changes in order for their classroom to be more eco-friendly. To help get you started on your way to a greener school year here are several tips on how to run an environmentally friendly classroom provided by Danielle Crofford Fetters.
Have Recycling Bins Available
Encourage the children in your classroom to recycle everything from plastic drink bottles, aluminum cans to paper by having clearly marked recycle bins in the classroom. If new recycling bins are not in the budget, simply use discarded cardboard boxes or school furniture boxes from the office.
Turn Off Lights When Leaving The Classroom
Set an example for the children in your classroom by always remembering to turn off the lights and other electronic devices whenever you leave the classroom. You could even appoint a child the job of light monitor and let them be in charge of insuring that all lights are turned off in the classroom whenever you leave it.Turning off lights when not in use is good for the environment and your schools budget.
Worthington Direct is proud to offer environmentally friendly school furniture from top manufacturers such as Virco, Smith System, Jonti-Craft, Best-Rite and Bretford.
Look for Greenguard Certified products that ensure improved indoor air quality (http://www.greenguard.org/ ). Our website, http://www.worthingtondirect.com/, features a section for “Greenguard Certified Eco-Friendly Furniture”, and the Greenguard logo can also be found throughout our printed catalog identifying participating products. We also offer products constructed of reclaimed materials. These products include Telos classroom furniture from Virco and Rubber-Tak boards made from 100% recycled rubber by Best-Rite. New for 2009 is Best-Rite’s Green-Rite markerboard that has 30% recyclable product and is recognized for its exceptional material content and emission standards.
As a direct mail company, Worthington Direct is also environmentally aware and participates in the “Partners in Planting Program” which underwrites the planting of trees.
Worthington Direct is a very competitive furniture dealer who offers a 2% discount if you take advantage of pre-pay. Purchase orders accepted or you can order by phone, fax, or online. Receive instant shipping quotes online or request a custom volume quote from their courteous sales staff. For more information, contact the Sales Department, 800-599-6636 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week, the house approved the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act, H.R. 3021, legislation to make schools greener, and improve conditions for those with environmentally linked health problems. The bill passed by a vote of 250-164. This bill ensures that 90 percent of the funds allocated will be directed towards the purchase of greener furniture, such as Greenguard certified furniture. Greenguard is rapidly becoming the standard in "green school" furniture, with many manufacturers providing a wide selection of Greenguard certified chairs, school desks, activity tables, and more. As the green segment of school and church furniture continues to grow, companies such as Worthington Direct strives to expand their selection of green furniture for environmentally and health conscious schools.
Many of Virco’s products, such as the Metaphor series, and Telos series, as well as the classic Virco series chair desks’ tops are made entirely of Virco’s proprietary Fortified Recycled Wood to help improve the amount of reclaimed materials used in manufacturing. For more Virco products that use green materials such as Fortified Recycled Wood, visit Worthington Direct.