1. Past Projects

  2. Participation in the Massachusetts Energy Consumer’s Alliance New England Wind Solar Challenge (BLS is working to qualify for solar panels for the school.)

  3. Investigating the merits and means of getting a roof top garden at BLS to offset CO2 emissions.

  4. Spearheading the Youth Climate Action Network effort to crackdown system-wide on the problem of emissions from school bus idling, as well as to launch investigations into the feasibility and benefits of having school busses in Boston shift to bio diesel. For more info:  Link to the our network page (Network Initiative 2)

  5. Write to your Rep

  6. Take an energy quiz: from - from the bbc

  7. Download an energy tips doc

Past Initiatives

  1. BLS Youth CAN participated in NSTAR’s SAVE A LIGHT fundraiser in the 2006-2007 school year and sold 65 cases of CFLs, raising $5,000.00 to support the Youth Climate Action Network’s 1st annual Youth Summit at MIT.

Energy Audit
Energy Audit PhotosEnergy_Audit_Continuation.html

In the Spring of 2008 Youth CAN began working with Cherie Miles at NSTAR around BLS becoming a benchmarked school.  The Benchmarking process entitles public buildings to an energy audit in exchange for making all of the no cost and low cost energy saving revisions that the auditors recommend.  On November 13th 2008, Youth CAN met with Kellie Phelan from Inner City Fund (ICF), an organization that will supervise the free energy audit.  The benchmarking training session was very interesting and informative.  BLS learned that the energy data that Youth CAN supplied about our facility earned BLS an energy efficiency rating of only 20, well below the 75 required to get NSTAR’s energy star efficiency rating.  We are also well below the national average for public buildings, which is 50!  However, now that we know our actual rating, Youth CAN is setting serious goals to improve our rating at BLS by working towards specific changes that will increase our energy efficiency.  Once the audit is completed we will make all of the recommended changes, as well as apply through another NSTAR program that will allow us to apply for rebates towards making some of the more costly energy saving changes that the audit will also recommend.  In addition, Youth CAN’s energy projects planning group has taken on some larger initiatives aimed at saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.  Take a look at some of what we’re working on: 

Green Roof

In an effort to green Boston Latin School, Youth CAN is working on a project to get a green roof for the school.  The green roof will absorb carbon dioxide as well as act as insulation for BLS and absorb rainwater that normally ends up as runoff that often over taxes the city sewer system.  Ms. Bateman, the chair of the science department, is excited about the possibility of a green roof at BLS and plans to use it as a learning tool for science classes!  Youth CAN is working with the City of Boston as well as the Boston Public School system to get permission for the green roof.  Students are working on drafting an application to the New England Grass Roots Environmental Fund (NEGEF) for a grant to fund the project.

Solar Panels

This year, Youth CAN is taking continuing steps toward earning a solar panel for Boston Latin School.  We have been in contact with the city and the Mass Technology Collaborative towards this end.  Last year Youth CAN participated in the New England Wind Fund’s solar challenge in the hopes of winning a panel, but the city of Boston didn’t raise enough funds to qualify for a panel.  As the oldest school in America, having a solar panel at BLS has the potential to save energy and serve as an important teaching device.  A solar panel at BLS would hopefully also serve as inspiration for other public institutions about the importance of green solutions to the problem of global climate change.

CFLS in the School Auditorium

Youth CAN is working on changing out the incandescent bulbs in the school auditorium to CFLs.  Our savings for replacing the 509 100watt incandescent bulbs with ~23 watt CFLs (we estimated that the lights are on for 6 hours/day, 5 days/week, 36 weeks which translates into approximately 54,972kwh  x  $ .15/kwh which results in an average cost of approximately $8,245.80/school year.  We estimated that the new CFLs would be on for 3, 8888,000 seconds per year, and use 4.5516815 x 10 to the 10th power j of energy, or 12643.56 kWh. The dollar savings to the school department as a result of replacing these 509 incandescent bulbs would be roughly $6,349.27/year.  We are including a request for the cost of the purchase of these bulbs in the grant application students are drafting for NEGEF (above). 

Other Recent Energy Saving Efforts: 

a.Turn It Off—an effort aimed at increasing the number of lights & computers turned off in the building resulted in 75 computers being turned off for an additional 128 hours/week in school library.

b.Curb School Bus Idling—Youth CAN asked Mayor Menino for “No Idling” signs outside BLS to help enforce the city’s no idling policy.

c.Psyclists— Youth CAN started a new student cycling club at BLS, resulting in an average of 250 bicycle rides to school during our sample month of October 2007, replacing 83 hours of driving time.


d.3-2-1 Pledges – an initiative aimed at reducing CO2, (based on AYEA success getting pledges) 240 pledges signed in spring of 2007/2008.


e.   Mayor Menino’s Energy Pledges - Youth CAN collected more than 500 energy pledges for the Mayor on Earth Day 2008 at a UMass Boston Recycling event. 

Youth CAN participated in the KEYSPAN Foundation’s Do Something Environmental Sustainability Competition, winning first prize in November ’07 for our Recycling, school-wide competitions, awareness presentations and 380 online quizzes taken.

Flyer & Press Release:

f. The energy projects group is also collecting signatures for Clean Power Now’s CLEAN call to action to stop global warming.

g.  The energy projects planning group is working to create a program at BLS that will give community service credits to students who bike to school. 

h.  The planning group is promoting participation in the Do Something Increase Your Green competition among other Youth CAN groups.

i.  Energy students presented at the Boston Children’s Museum Energy Fair on 11/22/08 from 11:00 – 4:00 with energy activities for young children.

Thanks for supporting our 
Light Bulb Drive! Click here for more on how we did! Light_Bulb_Drive.html
Photos for the Codman Energy FairCodman_Energy_Fair_9_25_10.html
Photos for Boston Green Fest 2010
Photos of The Solar Road TripBill_McKibbens_Event_Solar_White_House.html
Solar Tent 
Setup PhotosSolar_Tent_at_BLS.html
In September of 2010, Bill McKibben hosted a Solar Road Trip stopping off in Boston with one of the original solar panels that had been placed on the White House during the Carter Administration and later removed during the Reagan Administration. The plan was to ask the Obama Administration to put solar panels back on the White House.  BLS Youth CAN attended in support of the event. 

We brought with us a letter that we found in a 1977 issue of the Boston Globe, in which 30+ major American corporations were signatories on an Open Letter to the American People, exhorting them  to conserve energy because time was ‘running out.’  We wrote our own 2010 letter in response, asking those same leaders of industry why so little progress had been made in the intervening years.

Congratulations to the Obama Administration to committing to adding solar panels to the White House residence.

See the letters below.


Our response to the Globe Letter

The 1977 Globe Letter

Energy Assessment 
Walk-Through PhotosEMA_Energy_Assessment_Walk_Through.html
Click here for information about Youth Green Jobs/Energy Audit Program Green_Jobs.html
We won the NEED Awards!
Photos Here!NEED_Award_Photos.html
Reducing C02 Emissions Watch Our Video
Energy Reports
Reduced GHG EmissionsLighting_Retrofit.html