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Detroit — Detroit Public Schools saved more than $400,000 last school year with its “Go Green” challenge focusing on sustainable energy, officials said Monday.

Schools involved in the challenge completed more than 445 green projects to save $403,027 in energy costs, officials said in a news release. The 42 schools involved also earned $29,000 in incentive awards.

The DPS Go Green challenge was launched in 2012 to encourage energy and water conservation, recycling and resource management, gardening and nutrition and innovation within the schools, officials said.

“DPS students and staff should be proud of our efforts in going green,” said Alycia Meriweather, executive director of the office of science education. “Over the past few years, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of school gardens, the amount of recycling taking place at schools, and the intentional focus on reducing energy and water usage in our school buildings.”

DPS is continuing the challenge this year in conjunction with the third annual Green Week beginning Monday, officials said. Students throughout the district will participate in sustainable activities while cafeterias will offer special menus highlighting healthy foods.

So far this year, students have completed more than 635 Go Green projects and more than 850 parents have attended energy workshops, officials said. Recycling rates also have increased this year from 14.11 percent to 21.86 percent at 24 pilot recycling schools.

HFournier@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4616

@HollyPFournier

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