Earth Day Network, The UPS Foundation Launch First Large-Scale School Biodiesel Production and Education Facility in Appalachia
Fruit Orchard Also Being Planted at Second Educational Facility
Lexington, Ky. – Earth Day Network, in partnership with The UPS Foundation, today unveiled the first large-scale biodiesel production facility at a school in the region, as the centerpiece of Henry Clay High School’s showcase Biodiesel Production and Education Program.
The new facility, purchased with a grant from The UPS Foundation, has the capacity to produce 40 gallons of biodiesel fuel per week. Students harvest waste vegetable oil – a necessary building block of biodiesel – from the school’s cafeteria to produce the fuel, thereby reducing the school’s waste and the associated cost of removal. Initially, the final product will supply clean fuel to several diesel engine-driving teachers, with the intention of broadening the fuel’s usage throughout the community. The school plans to hit full production capacity during the fall semester.
“Earth Day Network is proud to partner with The UPS Foundation and support school communities nationwide that are embracing green technology and helping the next generation understand complex environmental challenges,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “The students who are learning and experimenting now with these tools represent the next wave of American innovators and entrepreneurs, and we are proud to support the teachers and communities helping to make this change possible.”
School buses in the United States travel over five billion miles per year, often at a significant health and financial cost to school communities. However, biodiesel fuel can reduce particle emissions from school buses by up to 40 percent – curtailing a pollutant that is particularly harmful to children’s still-developing lungs and saving schools money in the process.
“The UPS Foundation is honored to support Earth Day Network’s efforts to establish the first large-scale school biodiesel facility in Appalachia,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation. “Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”
The UPS Foundation is also supporting the Earth Day Network project that will plant a fruit tree orchard at the Locust Trace Agriscience Farm career and technological campus in Lexington. This work expands upon the UPS-supported planting of several thousand trees in Europe and North America this year.
About The UPS Foundation
Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues. In support of this strategic approach, The UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving: nonprofit effectiveness, encouraging diversity, community safety and environmental sustainability. In 2011, The UPS Foundation distributed more than $45.3 million worldwide through grants that benefit organizations and provide support for building stronger communities.
About Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network’s mission is to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. As the global coordinator of Earth Day, EDN mobilizes over one billion people in 192 countries on environmental challenges impacting our health, quality of life and the natural world. Year-round, EDN is a U.S. leader on environmental education and green school buildings, providing teachers, parents and students with curricula, lesson plans and many other tools that are necessary for achieving a higher quality of life and an environmentally literate society in an increasingly complex world. EDN also works to expand the emerging green economy and is engaged in protecting natural lands and planting millions of trees worldwide. With the leadership of the founders of the first Earth Day, EDN has grown to 22,000 partners in 192 countries, giving it the strength to tackle the most challenging environmental issues of our time. www.earthday.org