GEF and American Standard have taken their partnership around sustainability education, and especially water conservation, to the next level by launching the Sustainable Water Challenge. Through this free GEF program for K-12 schools, the organizations will educate and empower students to become champions for the sustainability of our planet’s most valuable resource, water.
While water covers about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, considerably less than one percent of it is fresh water available for human use. The average American uses about 100 gallons of water a day, substantially more than any other country, which is a factor contributing to the significant stress on our nation’s water resources. Current trends indicate that demands on the nation’s supplies are growing while the supply continues to be depleted at an unsustainable rate. Globally, we face monumental challenges in meeting the water demand of the current and projected population. Further compounding the problem is that the public remains largely unaware of the major issues confronting the globe’s limited water supply.
The Sustainable Water Challenge aims to address the issue of unawareness by educating schools on the current issues in water sustainability and the steps needed to conserve water. Through GEF’s standards-based lessons, activities, and contests, K-12 students and educators will learn the basic properties of water, about water pollution and depletion, as well as simple strategies for indoor and outdoor water conservation. The Sustainable Water Challenge provides resources on a broad range of water topics for all grade levels. As students and educators become more aware and knowledgeable of the challenges facing Earth's water supply, they can start making choices to behave more sustainably, and encourage others to do the same.
Jeannette Long, Vice President of Brand Marketing at American Standard, commented on the launch of the new program: “American Standard is strongly committed to water conservation efforts and is delighted to sponsor the Sustainable Water Challenge. Through this program, we look to continue our efforts in raising the standard for water conservation and share our passion with the next generation and inspire long-term sustainable behaviors.”
In 2010, the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) reported that by 2050, demand for water will exceed supply, and fourteen states will face an extreme risk to water sustainability or will likely see limitations on water availability. “It’s critical that students today understand the current national and global water crisis and realize that it is up to all of us to make changes to our behavior to prevent the water limitations predicted by the NRDC,” commented Victoria Waters, CEO at GEF. “We’re pleased to launch the Sustainable Water Challenge with American Standard to educate students about water and empower them to become champions for water sustainability in their schools, homes, and communities.”
Schools and classrooms are encouraged to incorporate and the tools and resources from the Sustainable Water Challenge into their curriculum during the academic year. In addition, they can select this program from five sustainability themes (others include the Green Energy Challenge, Green Building Program, Green Thumb Challenge, I Ride Green and the Waste Reduction Challenge) to be their sustainability theme during National Green Week 2013. National Green Week is an annual event that empowers schools to engage in sustainability focused lessons, projects or activities between February 4 and Earth Month (April 2013). This year, Green Week participants are encouraged to choose a single sustainability theme for each class or grade within their school and to apply for a Green in Action award based on that theme. Green in Action award winners will be selected from a pool of applicants nationwide. To participate in National Green Week or the Sustainable Water Challenge, simply register for free as a GEF member and indicate the programs of interest.
About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging them to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.
About American Standard Brands
American Standard Brands is a leading North American manufacturer of a wide range of high-quality building products, including faucets, fixtures, furniture, vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other wellness products for the bath and kitchen as well as decorative panels. The company currently offers total project solutions for residential and commercial customers; employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico; and markets products under well known and respected brands, such as American Standard®, Jado®, Porcher®, Safety Tubs®, Crane Plumbing®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners.