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Spare the Air Awards - 2014-2015 Winners

Outstanding Community Improvement: Forest Lake Presbyterian Church
Forest Lake Presbyterian Church

Forest Lake Presbyterian Church has earned this honor for establishing an organic garden and for collaborating with Harvest Hope Food Bank to distribute organic garden vegetables to those in need. This effort reduces emissions by providing food produced locally instead of having to transport food over long distances in trucks. Also, these efforts increase sustainability awareness through workshops for its congregation and community.

Outstanding Local Government: The City of Seneca/Clemson Area Transit

The City of Seneca/Clemson Area Transit has earned this honor for building a strong public/private partnership consisting of the City of Clemson, the Center for Transportation and the Environment, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the United States Federal Transportation Administration and Proterra by successfully establishing the world's first all-electric municipal bus fleet.  This fleet uses a system that burns zero fuel, creates zero pollution and minimal noise. These actions in turn reduce harmful emissions. CATbus and Seneca were featured in the Greenville News for their efforts and award.

Outstanding School District: Rock Hill School District 3

Rock Hill School District 3 has earned this honor for a number of efforts, including energy & water conservation; recycling & waste minimization; building construction efficiency; green cleaning; and sustainable practices in grounds keeping, land use, transportation
and purchasing.

The district's Energy Management Program saves an estimated $2 million a year. It features outreach activities including a door decal and light switch design student art contest and a room shutdown contest. Over 80% of the district classrooms and offices are shutting down their energy systems completely. The district makes a free energy management tool, "GreenQuest," available to school families and staff, and also to organizations and businesses in Rock Hill. Real-time energy consumption data is used by students to study energy, science and social studies.

The district's recycling and waste minimization program leads the state in the percentage of solid waste recycled at over 36%. The recycling program incorporates competition within the district, and recycling data is used is the classroom.

The district's transportation initiatives include "no idling" policies for buses and service vehicles and idle reduction messages for car pick-up. Over 40% of the district's campuses participate in "walk to school day" or "bike to school day."

Outstanding College or University: The University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina has earned this honor for a number of efforts, including reducing emissions in both vehicles and in stationary permitted energy sources through upgrading to more efficient equipment; "right-sizing" equipment to the job; improving bicycle, pedestrian and bus facilities and increasing bus service.

On December 1, 2009, USC unveiled its "Genesis 2015 Initiative" to move towards a petroleum-free fleet and reduce 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions from its fleet of 400 vehicles by the year 2015. This is being accomplished by powering USC's vehicles with ethanol, biodiesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), electricity, or hydrogen fuel cells. As a result of this initiative, USC earned top green ratings from the Princeton Review and the College Sustainability Report Card in 2009.

In addition, the university's silver LEED certified residence hall, the "Green Quad," educates both students and the community at large about sustainability, and students can graduate with leadership distinction through participating in the Green Scholar program.