Teaching Profession

NEA’s 4th of July: Red, White, Blue ... and Green

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 04, 2010 1 min read

The National Education Association is quietly turning green.

For easy recycling, the representative assembly’s internal newspaper, RA Today, is devoid of color and pictures and news stories this year: It prints just the resolutions. And delegates can access it through electronic channels rather than picking up paper copies.

And for the first year, the union has “green delegates.” About 1,000 of the union’s around 9,000 delegates have opted out of the traditional printed materials that delegates receive. Instead, they download all of the convention materials from a website. The union hopes to have even more green delegates next year.

This appears to be more than just an RA thing. Back at the ranch, the NEA’s headquarters on 16th Street in Washington, D.C. earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. It’s one of only a handful of buildings in the city to hold that certification for operations and maintenance in an existing building.

Finally, there was a noticeable lack of balloon archways and confetti falls yesterday when the RA kicked off. While I haven’t confirmed this yet, I suspect that it’s also due to a waste-reduction effort.

While I confess to missing all of the glitz for its purely camp-tastic value, the California energy-saver boy in me approves.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.