Sustain DCSD

December 2016

Douglas County School District adds three compressed natural gas busses to its fleet

Green Buses for Our Yellow Fleet

For the past year and a half, the Office of Sustainability has been partnering with Transportation toward the addition of 3 compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses to our fleet. Through this project, were were able to secure $250,344 in grants from Noble Energy and the Regional Air Quality Council, along with incentives provided by Black Hills Energy, which brought the cost of the 2017 buses below the cost of used diesel buses. We were proud to celebrate their arrival last month with a celebration hosted by Douglas County High School. Thank you to all our funders, partners, staff, and especially the students in making this event special as we look forward to our first venture in alternative fuels!

Why CNG?

  • CNG is the cleanest burning fossil fuel.
  • There is a CNG fueling station located two blocks from one of our transportation terminals.
  • Over 90% of CNG is domestically produced.
  • 5-9% reduction in greenhouse gases.
  • 20-45% reduction in smog producing pollutants.

Check out all the press!

Yellow Ride, Green Impact: Douglas County Schools Adds 3 Alternative Fuel Buses to Fleet:

School District Rolls Out Eco-Friendly Buses:,239333

Noble Energy Celebrates DCSD CNG Buses:

Before You Break, Give Your Building a Break!

It may be the holidays, but let's talk vampires. Devices that are plugged into the wall may still be drawing tiny amounts of energy, even when they are turned off! These are called energy vampires. Before you leave for the break this week, please take a minute to unplug the unnecessary energy vampires in your classroom and building. Plug load is estimated at around 10% of a building's energy use, so you can have a great impact with these simple steps!

  • Turn off all lights except safety and security lights.
  • Send a reminder to building occupants to turn off all unused office equipment, including computers, monitors, printers, copiers, fax machine and scanners.
  • Turn off power strips
  • Unplug any personal appliances: printers, coffee makers, decorative lighting/lamps

Waste Less, Celebrate More!

The holiday season can result in a LOT of unnecessary waste. Here are some awesome tips on how to have a Zero Waste Holiday!


  • Give an experience, like tickets to a museum, movies, or special show.
  • Homemade cookies, cake mix, herbal tea, jam, pickles, or sugar/salt scrub in a reusable jar.


  • Purchase or make reusable gift wrap from fabric scraps or pillowcases.
  • Reuse what you already have, papers from the recycling bin, children's artwork, newspaper, or paper bags.


  • Email your holiday greetings, or send plantable cards!
  • Send the cards that you do receive for reuse to St. Jude’s Ranch Card Recycling, 100 St. Jude Street, Boulder City, NV 89005.


2015-2016 Health and Wellness Report Now Available

DCSD Among First to Launch Zero Energy Schools Accelerator

The Energy Department recently launched the Better Buildings Zero Energy Schools Accelerator. Six school districts, two states and several national organizations are working collaboratively to develop zero energy design that is cost-competitive to conventional construction in the education sector and in local communities across the nation. A Zero Energy Building is an energy-efficient building, where on a source energy basis, the actual delivered energy is less than or equal to the onsite renewable exported energy.

The goal is to quickly make Zero Energy K-12 schools more mainstream. Partner school districts commit to developing their own zero energy plans for a district project within a year. They can also engage with fellow states and school districts, and leverage support from regional and national organizations, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, Southern California Edison, The Energy Coalition, New Buildings Institute, Rocky Mountain Institute, and the National Association of State Energy Officials.

The first participating school districts include:

  • Hermosa Beach City School District (Hermosa Beach, California)
  • LA Unified School District (Los Angeles, California)
  • Arlington School District (Arlington, Virginia)
  • Boulder Valley School District (Boulder, Colorado)
  • Adams 12 – Five Star Schools (Thornton, Colorado)
  • Douglas County School District (Douglas County, Colorado)
  • State of Minnesota Schools
  • State of California Schools

Read the full article here.

NOW is the time to write grants for your garden!

While the snow starts to fly, it's hard to think about garden planning. If you need funds for the spring, though, now is the time to submit your grant applications - many are due in December/January!