When our Innovation Montessori School recently opened our beautiful 18-acre campus, which currently serves over 600 public school students and 120 private Montessori Casa students, we were able to harness the power of the sun with panels on multiple buildings and a solar smartflower. With electric bills at $5,000/month and the potential for rates to keep rising, investing in a stable payment and ownership of a system that could make us electric-bill-free eventually helps our school to become self-sustaining financially as well as in energy consumption. An affiliate program to encourage IMO friends and families to go solar “Power the Flower!” will also help the school achieve this long-term goal sooner. The less money going to an electric bill, the more money in the classrooms!
Our investment in solar as a teaching tool and to inspire our students to become true stewards of the environment will also pay off for generations and generations. Our solar flower was folded into our solar package as a way for all of our students to see the best in technology every day, so it becomes their normal. The influences children have in their formative years can create either a fertile ground for growth or a bedrock of “can’t.” At IMO, we believe in “can,” and we believe in providing opportunities to develop inspiration, innovation, and independence at every turn.
As we watched the solar installation and the build of the campus, my own children kept asking “when are we going solar?” and “why doesn’t every building in Florida have solar?” It is the Sunshine State, after all! And, they’re right. Powering from the sun in the sunniest state in the nation just makes sense. I’ve talked solar for years at board meetings, building meetings, and at the dinner table, but there was never quite enough time to do it myself…
Today, there are workers on the roof of my house, like happy solar reindeer, clomping and clamping our way to being part of the energy solution for our planet, instead of being part of the problem. It has been less than a month since I started the process to go solar, and now it’s happening! We are now “walking the walk” in our own home. My planet-loving soul and my discount-loving pocketbook could not be happier.
Most importantly, my children will see that we too can make a difference in creating a more sustainable world…one solar panel at a time.