The World is On Fire

How is Mentor affected by – and trying to battle – climate change?


Kevin Snyman

Photo By – Kevin_Snyman

Loren Wandersleben, Contributor

But What Is Mentor Schools Doing About It?

Let’s start with carbon emissions, carbon emissions are the leading cause of climate change, they stem from the burning of fossil fuels, the creation of cement, and numerous other human activities. But you may not be thinking of the overall emissions that come from you or our school district. 

Let’s look at the statistics we know about Mentor’s annual spending, 

2020 2021 2022
Electricity Budget  $882,681 $855,158 $836,077
Gas Budget $216,586  $247,256 $260,977
Fuel Budget  $248,307 $190,350 $429,456

Mentor Schools Annual Budget Appropriations 

What can we do to reduce emissions and spending? 

  1. Switch to green energy, specifically solar energy. Over the long run, switching to solar energy would prove beneficial in saving money. In electricity alone, switching would save approximately $5,574,000 over a twenty-year span.      Also, by switching to solar panels for our school we would be taking advantage of our natural resources to help our community, and the money saved could go toward other school projects or groups. Mentor averages 203 cloudy days per year, so Monocrystalline panels, which perform better in low-light areas, would be ideal. Monocrystalline solar panels due to the fact that they have the highest efficiency compared to any other solar panel type. They are space-efficient which would mean they wouldn’t require as much room and they also have a longer lifespan than many other solar panel counterparts.
  2. Making the switch from diesel to electric buses. You might know Mentor schools currently partner with Laketran with the program Cardinal Go. What you may not know is that Laketran just introduced 10 zero-emission electric buses.        The Blue Bird Corporation is currently America’s largest supplier of electric buses. These buses produce zero carbon emissions, making them safer and healthier for the environment. While initially these buses are more expensive than regular buses, they would save money in the long run.

    A protestor displays a poster as she takes part in the Global Climate Strike of the movement, Photo By – Arnd Wiegmann
  3. Mentor does a decent job of keeping students aware and involved in recycling, but we can do more. Currently, we have two environmental clubs – the Ecology Club and Green Mentor, both of which have a hand in keeping our school from having more emissions than we already do. We should promote recycling in bigger places, like the cafeteria. In the student center, over 2,000 kids are eating there every day. Currently, we have no recycling bins in the Student Center, but even by adding one we would be helping the environment at large. By recycling, we would be saving energy and would reduce the amount of pollution expended from collecting new raw materials.

Mr. Tim Hamman, Mentor’s Assistant Superintendent recently told Cardinal Nation, “We currently do not have any projects that deal with reducing carbon emissions.”

Implementing some projects around the schools can directly impact cutting emissions for Mentor Schools. Climate change is negatively impacting our lives and will only continue getting worse unless changes are made.