Water Bottle Refilling Stations

The Fairview Net Zero Website

  • Our webmaster Andrea Lin has been working on reviving and updating this website!

Past Projects

Getting the City of Boulder to ban or put a fee on single-use bags.

  • Writing letters to the editor of the Camera
  • Speaking at City Council Meetings
  • Being featured on 9News, Channel 8 and Channel 7 on the bag initiative
  • Recruiting Boulder High students to join the cause and form their own Net Zero Club
  • Getting Summit Net Zero to join the effort
  • Work with New ERA Colorado on the effort
  • Blog about it on the EPA website
  • Get people to watch “Bag It!”
  • Get the word out on our website and on facebook

Writing and receiving a $250 Generation On grant for energy efficiency at Fairview (Received it!) Airing documentaries, changing inefficient lightbulbs, getting power strips to the teachers offices.

Blogging for the EPA website about everything.

Writing a Do Something grant for $500 in environmental books for the library (Matched by library funds!)Performed an energy audit of the entire school and now working on ways to reduce Fairview’s energy use.

Entering the ReNew Our Schools Energy Reduction Contest for $25,000 in solar panels.

Having a booth about plastics at the Making WAVES in Colorado Oceans Symposium:

Competing in the Pureology Green Schools Competition

Writing a $850 grant for composting bins for the student center (received!)

Writing a $1250 grant for environmental documentaries and books for the library (received and matched!)


Reducing junk mail at Fairview H.S.  We received 1976 pounds of junk mail a week at Fairview (38lbs a week) before we started removing staff from junk mail lists.  We spent hours calling and e-mailing companies to take us off their lists.  We started in the fall of 2010 and by late December had halved the amount of junk mail.  Continual efforts resulted in eliminating most of Fairview’s junk mail.

In January of 2011 the recycling bins for the student center arrived and the Net Zero Club assembled them and created 3 stations in the student center.  This reduced the contamination that was occuring on a regular basis in the one area of the school with the most foot traffic.

In April we were awarded the Presidential Environmental Youth Award plaque at the EPA Region 8 All Hands on Hands on quarterly meeting.  We had the opportunity to speak about our efforts and accomplishments to approximately 700 EPA employees in person and by stream to other offices.  We received a standing ovation!

We made an effort through a presentation to staff , announcements on the intercom and articles in the various in-school media to reduce energy use in Fairview.  It was not successful but we uncovered many systemic problems, the largest being that the school has very little ability to control it’s energy use because the heating is controlled at BVSD headquarters and most of the rooms and common areas have no windows and therefore need artificial lighting.  We hope to make some more efforts in this regard next fall.


In the fall of 2010 to solve the problem of having no place to put stations that wouldn’t be moved in the student center we wrote a grant to the FPO asking for $1825 for 9 metal color-coded recycling and waste bins for the student center.  We received full funding.

In winter of 2010 we started a project to revamp the recycling and waste system at Fairview.  We first performed an audit of the entire system.  We got a map of the school from BVSD and located all the garbage cans are recycling bins and boxes on the map.  We found we had way more garbage cans even though we wanted an equal number of garbage cans, paper recycling bins and bottle/can recycling bins.  We found that for BVSD we would have to have separate bins inside the school even though our recycling was single-streamed in the recycling dumpster.  We dove into the waste and recycling dumpsters and found that the recycling dumpster was contaminated with waste and after interviewing the head custodian, found that is was often full and the excess recycling was going in the waste dumpsters.  We found a lot of recyclables in the waste dumpsters.   We also found a lot that we could compost if we had composting at Fairview.  We distributed 15 office paper recycling bins on Earth Day to our favorite teachers.

In the spring of 2010 we decided to set up experimental stations consisting of a garbage can, a paper recycling bin, and a plastic/bottle recycling bin and a laminated poster about what was recyclable and what was not.  It was a success. By placing the bins next to each other the contamination went down.  Over the summer we went through the entire school creating as many stations as we could.  We made a presentation to BVSD Administration and were given $300 to convert garbage cans to recycling bins with paint and new lids so we could create stations everywhere.  But people kept moving the stations and separating the bins.  So we moved them back in place again.   We worked with the custodial staff  and the teachers in meetings and by making presentations to get everyone to buy into the benefits of stations.  Finally by mid-October they were staying in place.  We met with Ecocycle and received another recycling dumpster.  They also gave us 15 more recycling bins in exchange for the Net Zero Club volunteering two days at their office.  The changes were dramatic.  A big waste dumpster was replaced with a smaller one because we had diverted so much from the landfill.  The contamination went down 83%.


In the spring of 2009 we found out about a bankrupt tree farm that Boulder County had purchased.  They decided to give the trees away for the price of digging them up and transporting them.  For about $60 a tree we figured we could plant a tree at Fairview.  We worked with the FPO’s master gardener, Sandy Brown.  She decided what trees to plant and where to plant them.  We contacted BVSD and got about 60 old stakes from them.  Home Depot contributed a bunch more.  Home Depot also contributed watering buckets, tree straps, rope and wire.  We got BVSD to dig the holes with heavy machinery.  Western Disposal contributed a truckload of mulch.  The Net Zero Club members brought shovels, wheelbarrows, sledge hammers, rakes, buckets and gloves.

To raise awareness of our efforts we built a tree with a local artist, Amy Hauptman, and sold leaves for 25 cents.  We raised a whopping $35 but managed to get people interested in planting trees on the Fairview campus.

We wrote an article in the FairNews for our “Leave a Legacy, Adopt a Tree” where you could get your name or your child’s name on a plaque and a tree would be planted at Fairview for a cost of $60.  It was a huge success.  In a few weeks we had $3540.  We recruited 150 students to plant the trees.  Our first 25 trees came and we spent a day and a half planting spruce and Austrian pines in the horseshoe and behind the school.  As the money kept pouring in and the contributions and free labor reduced the cost more and more, we had 24 more trees planted.  This time we were able to afford to pay a landscape company to dig the holes.

In the fall of 2009 we finished planting trees.   We planted 6 large ash trees by the baseball fields and 4 apple trees that we hope will someday be used in the Food to Tables Program.  The custodial staff took over the laborious watering schedule.  The Leave a Legacy, Adopt a Tree plaque was hung in the entrance to Fairview.  In the end we were able to pay completely for all 59 trees leaving the FPO with a full budget.

We attended the Bioneers conference at C.U.


Six students started the Fairview Net Zero Club.  We circulated a petition to Make Fairview Green and collected 1600 signatures in a little over two weeks.  We surveyed 100 students on renewable and clean energy and found even the brightest students have a severe lack of knowledge about types of renewable energy and what was clean and what wasn’t.  We wrote the ReNew Our Schools grant for $80,000 in solar panels, which we didn’t receive.  We increased our membership to 14 students.  We aired two environmental documentaries.  We toured the National Renewable Energy Lab.  We attended a speech by an environmentalist at C.U.

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