Congratulations to the Wylie Independent School District for completing their second Cool Choices sustainability engagement program! Wylie ISD is a public school district northeast of Dallas that serves more than 15,800 students from Wylie, Texas and neighboring communities. Nearly 275 staff across 23 schools and administrative buildings participated in the month-long Cool Choices program in October. This program follows their first program last April.

Wylie Sustainability Engagement Program Customization

Wylie customized their Cool Choices sustainability engagement program to include elements of their “The Wylie Way” program, a nationally-recognized, research-based values and character education program. Some customized actions aimed to increase attention to wellness, sustainability in the classroom, and teaching students about recycling, in addition to reducing energy and water usage at home.

Wylie Cool Choices Program Outcomes

Over the course of the program, participants reported taking 12,615 total actions! Most notably, more than 100 staff reported removing energy-using items from their classrooms, including 26 players who had removed a different appliance in the first program. Items included:

  • 42 coffee pots
  • 29 mini fridges
  • 20 microwaves
  • 9 miscellaneous (such as CD players, an iPad cart, blenders, and more!)
  • 2 space heaters
  • 4 fans
  • 3 printers and computers
  • 6 lamps
  • 3 toasters

Altogether, unplugging these appliances saved 10,000 Kilowatt hours in electricity! For comparison, in 2017, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,399 Kilowatt hours. That’s a huge sustainability win! Not only is Wylie ISD saving money on electricity, they are helping the planet too. And program participants will be able to not only apply the energy and resource savings strategies from the Cool Choices program at work, but also to increase savings at home as well.

Sustainability as a Shared Value

A key objective of the Cool Choices sustainability engagement program is to increase conversations around sustainability and to help people realize that sustainability is a shared value. In a pre-program survey, 53% of Wylie ISD respondents thought sustainability was important to their friends and co-workers. By the end of the program, nearly 70% agreed (or strongly agreed) that their co-workers thought sustainability was important. That’s a huge shift in perspective! And it matters. People are much more likely to act on an issue when they feel their peers also support that issue. Not to mention the fact that 93% of respondents told us that sustainability was important to them– what a great community of folks passionate about conserving resources.

If you’re a school district looking to implement a similar program like Wylie’s, please contact us to learn more on how to get started. Cool Choices programs accelerate sustainability efforts for schools, businesses, and whole communities via our innovation online platform.

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