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Whiz Kids: Redmond Students Encourage Green Businesses Practices

A group of Redmond High School students is developing a program to recognize local companies that reduce their impact on the environment.

Names: Karin Otsuka, Laura Svancarek, Kate Smiley and Rachel Wong

School: All four are seniors at  

Accomplishment: This group of four Redmond High School students is working to create a green business award for small, Redmond owned and operated companies. Their project—called Green Things, Local Dreams—seeks to reward businesses that reduce energy consumption and waste.

Key to Awesomeness: The students are working to cut the city's energy use by hosting a competition among local businesses. The Green Business Award will go to two recipients—one to the business that has the greatest reduction of energy use over a given period, and another to a business that is overall deemed to be the most green because of its sustainability initiatives.

Here is a bit more information on the project from Laura Svancarek, one of the students who has organized the initiative:

Each participating business will be given a preliminary audit to identify areas of high energy use and waste, as well as areas of achievement, and will be given a list of simple tips tailored to their business which can make a big impact on energy consumption. They will also have an approximated carbon footprint calculated, and a report written synthesizing the information gathered on the initial audit. Following an 8-10 week competition period, the businesses will undergo a secondary audit, highlighting the impacts of any changes made.

Svancarek said the students have already conducted an initial audit of and are also planning to work with , , Jill's Toffee, Redmond Kids' Dentistry and . The students have also been in contact with Erika Vandenbrande, an economic development manager for the City of Redmond, Svancarek said. 

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