Quantcast

Crowdfunding Campaign Raises $54,000 to Help Schools Go Solar

Business

By Peter Lehner

If every public school in the U.S. saved 10 percent on energy costs by installing solar power, that would be enough money to hire 16,825 new teachers.

Imagine what this would mean for our schools and our children, to have the resources to support vital educational programs. Easing financial difficulties is just one reason why so many schools and communities are interested in solar power, and just one reason why hundreds of people chipped in to make NRDC’s first-ever crowdfunding campaign, in support of our new Solar Schools initiative, a success.

Graphic credit: Natural Resources Defense Council

Solar Schools attempts to address a specific problem facing thousands of schools and communities. Administrators, parents and students are often enthusiastic about the benefits of installing solar panels in schools, yet many are unable to bridge the gap between liking solar energy and actually getting their hands on some. Solar Schools aims to empower and inform schools and communities so that they can reach across this gap and get the solar energy they want.

Our solution: a social organizing platform and interactive guide that will help any school in the country that wants solar power to get solar power. Our vision is to tap into the enthusiasm that parents and students have for solar power, and connect them to the experts and resources that will help them make their vision a reality, and empower them to create the communities they want.

To build the beta version of our platform and pilot it, we launched NRDC’s first ever crowdfunding campaign; last Thursday, we exceeded our goal of raising $54,000 in a single month. We received funding from nearly 300 supporters all over the country, with contributions ranging from $1 to $15,000. We received nominations for 79 school districts as possible locations for our pilot, demonstrating that people around the country see solar power as a solution, to help shore up school finances, provide educational opportunities for our kids, clear the air and bring in good, local jobs for communities.

With our crowdfunding campaign completed successfully, we can now move forward to develop the first Solar Schools pilot project, which will be launching in North Carolina in early 2014. In the coming weeks, our Solar Schools team will be working with local partners and communities to select the first wave of schools.

This piece originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog.

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Actress Jane Fonda (C) and actor Sam Waterston (L) participate in a protest in front of the U.S. Capitol during a "Fire Drill Fridays" climate change protest and rally on Capitol Hill, Oct. 18. Mark Wilson / Getty Images News

It appears Jane Fonda is good for her word. The actress and political activist said she would hold demonstrations on Capitol Hill every Friday through January to demand action on the climate crisis. Sure enough, Fonda was arrested for demonstrating a second Friday in a row Oct. 18, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only this time, her Grace and Frankie co-star Sam Waterston joined her.

Read More Show Less
Visitors look at the Aletsch glacier above Bettmeralp, in the Swiss Alps, on Oct. 1. The mighty Aletsch — the largest glacier in the Alps — could completely disappear by the end of this century if nothing is done to rein in climate change, a study showed on Sept. 12. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP via Getty Images

Switzerland's two Green parties made historic gains in the country's parliamentary elections Sunday, according to projections based on preliminary results reported by The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A mural in Richwood, West Virginia, a once booming Appalachia coal town, honors the community's history. Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

The coal industry is dying. But we can't allow the communities that have been dependent on coal to die along with it.

Read More Show Less
ThitareeSarmkasat / iStock / Getty Images

by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Every fruit lover has their go-to favorites. Bananas, apples, and melons are popular choices worldwide and can be purchased almost anywhere.

Read More Show Less
belchonock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Hrefna Palsdottir, MS

Coconut oil is an incredibly healthy fat.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Wesley Martinez Da Costa / EyeEm / Getty Images

By David R. Montgomery

Would it sound too good to be true if I was to say that there was a simple, profitable and underused agricultural method to help feed everybody, cool the planet, and revitalize rural America? I used to think so, until I started visiting farmers who are restoring fertility to their land, stashing a lot of carbon in their soil, and returning healthy profitability to family farms. Now I've come to see how restoring soil health would prove as good for farmers and rural economies as it would for the environment.

Read More Show Less
skaman306 / Moment / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a cruciferous vegetable that originated in Asia and Europe (1Trusted Source).

Read More Show Less
Tinnakorn Jorruang / iStock / Getty Images

By Dan Nosowitz

The budding research on cannabidiol, or CBD, attracts a great deal of interest in the agricultural field.

Read More Show Less