Progressive Action Club’s Efforts to Offset Skyline’s Carbon Emmissions


The Progressive Action Club (PAC) is making a move, planting 1000 trees in May to offset Skyline carbon emissions. According to Stanford University, “schools in the US account for approximately 11 percent of energy consumption by buildings and 4 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions.” What do Skyline students know about their carbon footprint? 

How much exactly do schools contribute to pollution? According to Edweek “The U.S Department of Energy reports that schools annually spend $8 billion on energy, and emit an estimated 72 million metric tons of carbon dioxide—equivalent to the output of 18 coal plants, or more than 8 million homes.”

The PAC is taking action to offset Skyline’s Carbon footprint. In March, they went from door to door asking if people would like to have saplings planted in their yard. In May, with volunteers they will be planting 1000 saplings. 

The current method used to heat Skyline is a boiler. Boilers burn fuel to make steam for heating, and its impact on the environment include its air emissions, waste water, and solid wastes as well. A school’s pollution and impact also comes from the fertilizers used around the school, chemicals used in painting, and use of art supplies like paint. Commuting through cars and buses releases carbon emissions. Skyline, like most schools in Utah, does not recycle. Skyline’s new building is also under construction; a large part of carbon emissions nationwide come from construction, due to the use of materials such as aluminum. 

However, a mature tree absorbs 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year, and 1000 trees could absorb a total of 48,000 pounds which is 24 tons of carbon dioxide. It is not certain if Skyline and other schools will change their methods to be more environmentally conscious in the future, but things can be done to help that future now.