HAHS Ecology Club Goes Greener

The Hemfield Area High School Ecology Club will be kicking off an electronics recycling drive when schools resumes after the holiday break. HAHS has teamed up with in order to provide a safe disposal alternative for cell phones and other hazardous items. Did you know that there is enough lead, copper, and antimony in cell phones to classifiy them as hazardous waste????


Hempfield now has their own super hero.... and yes, he is green as the day is long.... We need all the help we can get if we are going to make a difference! Check out his first eco-mmercial.

Hempfield High Goes Green Nuts

In just 10 short days, the Hempfield Area High School's recycling program has collected over 2000 pounds of paper... thats 2000 pounds of paper that isnt going into Westmoreland County Land Fills. The program is supported by Abitibi of Pittsburgh. Check out one of the earlier posts below to get more info about Abitibi. Check out this most recent green video from the Green Spartans.


Hempfield High Gets Busy

In attempts to start a schoolwide green movement, Hempfield Area High School has started a building wide paper recyling program in partnership with Abitibi. Abitibi's Paper Retriver Program offers a great opportunity for all Pittsbugh schools. And, its a great way to generate some extra funds- Abitibi will pay your school for the paper! Not only will they pay for your waste paper, they will give your school a storage bin and will also transport the material. Check out their site.


Why I Started PFC.....

Well, there sure isnt just one reason I decided to devote much of my time and effort to the green cause. The video below will briefly touch on one of the numerous issues that motivated me to do....something. Have you ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Well check it out. You probably wont believe your eyes.


Westmoreland Cleanways Caught Green Handed

If you are anywhere near Westmoreland County you need to look up this amazing group of green crusaders. Westmoreland Cleanways is extremely dedicated and active in preserving and protecting the local environment. You have to check out their Fugitive Tire Progam along with thier extensive educational resources - all provided for free on their great site. Check em out today!


Paper Retriever - Helping 'Burg Schools Go Green

Not sure how to get your school involved in the green movement? Looking for a way to start a recycling program that will actually generate green ($$$) for your school? Look no further. Paper Retirver, out of Pittsburgh, is the perfect solution. Not only will they bring a giant paper receptacle (a cool-looking dumpster) to your school, they will pick it up, track your results, and then write a check to your school. YES, IM SERIOUS!! You have to visit their site today. You can make a difference.

Paper Retriever Website


Hempfield Area School District Caught Green Handed - Adopts Progressive Green Policy

Hempfield Area School District has recently adopted one of the most comprehensive Energy Management policies in the state of PA. This policy is truly amazing and worth examining. And, this policy isnt just for the hard core tree huggers out there. If you are interested in saving your district some serious (and immediate)green, this green policy is for you. Click on the link below to view Hempfield Energy Management policy.

Hempfield's Energy Management Policy

Administrative Regulations

NWF Caught PFC Green-handed

The NWF did a great job covering the DC trip. They featured us in their blog. Check it out..... If NWF isnt green, no one is.
click below:
NWF Blog

PFC Makes it to DC in 52 Hours

Well,it was a hell of an adventure and the legs were a little worn out, but we made it....... Check out the interview that was taken at the DC by NWF.

NWF Interview


United High School Wins Phipps' Fairchild Challenge

Congratulations to the amazing students at United High School. I am very proud of my school for their outstanding year-long performance. The Fairchild Challenge is a multidisciplinary, standard-based, environmental education program inviting high school students to learn about current environmental issues.
United proved that a little school in rural PA can not only compete but beat the biggest schools Pittsburgh has to offer. United will use the $1000 first place award to enhance their composting and recycling programs as well as plan a "Take Back the Earth Day" for Indiana County Schools.


PFC Green Ride Promo Video

Check out our ride promo. We leave Sunday at 8 am from the Levi Deal Mansion in Meyersdale.


Green Ride 2009

Principals For Change will soon set out for another green ride to DC. The group, led by PFC Director, Aaron Steinly, is hoping to continue to promote green education to schools across the state and country. PFC did the DC trip last June in 9 days- on foot. The 216.9 mile journey started in Meyersdale, PA and ended 9 days later in DC. This year PFC will climb aboard mountain bikes on Sunday, June 7 and ride 55 hour to DC. The group plans to arrive in DC on Tuesday, June 9th at 1 pm.
Stay tuned! Check out our website at

PFC and United High School Get Good Ink

Pittsburgh's TribLive has been doing a great job covering United's green journey as well as PFC's initiatives throughout the year. Check out the 2 new articles from last week's TribLive.

Ecological Challenges have United Turning Green
School Network Site Promotes Energy Awareness


PCEE Caught Green Handed

If you are into environmental education and wanna get your socks knocked off, check out PCEE and their amazing website. You will find endless resources ranging from their one of a kind CritterQuest to their Green Guide to Pennsylvania... a must see for all enviro-ed-junkie.

Clcik here to visit

CTC Donates Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Phase one is complete..... We found some hydrogen fuel cells - thanks to CTC (Concurrent Technologies of Johnstown Pa). The good folks at CTC believe in Project GreenHouse and have graciously donated 3 fuel cells to the cause. We will be working with an operational 1kw and 2kw hydrogen fel cell and a 1kw parts fuel cell that no longer works (perfect for learning about their nuts and bolts).
Next step, locate some good solar and wind people to help get the Alternative Energy Learning Center off the ground.


Project GreenHouse

Next project- Project Greenhouse.... Our not-so-greenhouse is about to go green - I mean really green. Our plan is take it completely off the grid and convert into an Alternative Learning Center - utilizing hydrogen fuel cells, wind, and solar pv cells to power the entire set-up. We are just in the research stages and plan to proceed immediately. We are also researching micro-environments and the requirements for controlling and monitoring it with robotics. Thank goodness we have some great minds in our robotics class.


United's Recycle Fashion Show An International Hit

Kelsey Isenberg shows off some "trashy fashion"

United's Recycle Fashion Show rocked the house. Over 100 kids got involved (grades 5-12)and some amazing fashions were created. Father Gabriel Zeis, President of St. Francis Univeristy was the guest MC. Also, a special thanks to the Judges: Renee Cambruzzi - Phipps Conservatory, Beth Bollinger - St. Vincent College, Dr. Janet Blood- IUP, and Gabriel Zeis. The winning fashions will be displayed at the Pa Dept of Education for the month of April.

Thanks to all the amazing sponsors:
Phipps Conservatory
Pittsburgh Zoo
Penn Future
CJL Engineering
Community Foundation for the Alleghenies
Wright Knox Shipping
St. Francis Univeristy
St. Vincent College
Coys Pizza
9th Street Deli
Grand Prize ($200) was provided by Principals For Change

News Releases:
Tribune Democrat
International News


United High School Green Progress

Take a look at the green progress that United High School has made since September 08.... The link below will take you to the Green Advisory Board update. In the update, you can see all of the on-going green initiatives at UHS.
PS: I am a principal at United HS

Green Advisory Board Summary

PA Turnpike Commission Caught Green Handed

Pa Turnpike now has green parking spots at rest stops across PA. The special spots are designated for hybrid/flex fuel/enviro-friendly autos.

United High School Writes/Adopts Enviropact

United staff and students have worked together in order to come up with a comprehensive school-wide green pact. The EnviroPact is an agreement between students and staff on energy consumption/usage, recycling, composting and changing daily habits to more enviro-friendly ones.

Click here to see the United High School EnviroPact

Phipps Conservatory Caught Green Handed

Who better to catch green handed than Phipps Conservatory.... They invented green. This year Phipps has launched the Fairchild Challenge for the 2008-2009 school year in area schools across Western Pennsylvania.
United High School has been lucky to be involved with Phipps on this amazing year long program.
The Fairchild Challenge is a program of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables (Miami), FL. Launched in 2002 at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden as a pilot program; it has caught on to become a leading environmental education program now in its sixth year of success. Each year Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden trains other public garden and education sites to become satellite partners for The Fairchild Challenge. Engaging students world wide in environmental awareness.

Fairchild Challenge Goals:
*To increase environmental awareness, scholarship, and stewardship of teens.
*Engage a broad and diverse audience of students and teachers by extension, their families, neighbors, and communities.
*To help teachers meet academic standards in a fun and competitive way.
*To celebrate and award schools, students, and teachers for their efforts in environmental awareness.

Visit the Official Fairchild Challenge website.

Recycling Presents Major Challenges

Everyone thinks that recycling is a fun and easy way to get kids involved in the green movement..... Guess again. United's recycling program has been a work in progress. The first thing we learned was that schools are a major waste producer - and I mean major. The issue that we faced right out of the gate was storage. What are we going to do with tons of paper products and plastics? The sheer volume alone was staggering. We researched every possible solution. First we tried to go through the county. Indiana County has a much too limited program to handle our needs. Next, we thought about building a storage complex - but the overall costs and the involvement needed from the state and school district was overwhelming. Our next plan was to look at outside vendors to see if they could provide recycling bins and transortation. No luck- we are too remote. But we got lucky... We constructed a plan with the Recycling Center and Krise Transportation (Krise is our school bus provider). The county is supplying us with huge cardboard boxes to store the recyleable waste and Krise is transporting the material to the Recycling Center in Homer City. What an incredible partnership for us. Since November, we have recycled over 4000 pounds of paper products. We are starting with plastics next week.

United Goes Green

Since the walk, we decided that it was time to put up or shut up. Could we actually become a model green school or just talk about it? So we decided to take action. The first step was to get the right people involved. We assembled 2 teams:

1. Green Advisory Board
2. United Teacher/Staff Green Team

The Green Advisory Board consists of 2 Indiana County Commissioners, Dr. Patty Vathis - Pa Dept of Ed, Gabriel Zeis - President of St. Francis University, Erik Foley - Director of the St. Francis Renewable Energy Center, Tim Long - Director of Indiana County Recycling Center, and Gladys Wright Knox - Owner of Wright Knox Shipping. The Green Advisory aboard was put together in order to get valuable input and involvement from experts in the field of education and industry.

The School Green Team consists of teachers and students who want to make a difference and get involved in the greening of the UNited School District.