DHS Students present CSD with Net Zero Plan


DHS has already installed two EV chargers in the Preforming Arts Center (PAC) parking lot.

Will Booker, Writer

On Tuesday, Sept. 6, Decatur High School (DHS) juniors Jay Sandler and Gordon Lichsteinn presented their Net Zero initiative at the City Schools of Decatur (CSD) Strategic Planning Community Input Meeting. The pair launched their effort with a letter to local news outlet Decaturish; the letter was posted on the website on Tuesday morning. 

“A priority while attending the Strategic Planning input meeting was networking,” Sandler said, “The round-table discussions are less for the purpose of persuasion and more for the community members to share their voices to each other. Later meetings will decide which issues are addressed and included in the plan.”

In their letter to Decaturish, Sandler and Lichstein referenced the City of Decatur’s current Net Zero goals, which include all municipal vehicles and community buildings being powered by clean energy by 2050. They advocated for CSD to develop a Net Zero plan of their own, explaining that Decatur and CSD could work together towards Net Zero goals.

“We believe that CSD can get to net-zero and be a leader in Georgia and the U.S. […] We think that this issue can help unite CSD and Decatur to work towards this shared goal,” Sandler said. 


The two students suggested specific additions to a possible CSD Net Zero plan, including expansion of existing solar power, new EV charging stations and electric school transportation.

CSD has already made some progress in its efforts to become more environmentally friendly. “CSD has some solar power at Beacon Hill Middle School and at Talley Street Elementary,  saving thousands in energy costs,” Sandler said, “EV sales are growing by 40% or more annually in the country, and by 2030 50% of new cars sold in the U.S. may be zero emission. CSD already has several EV charging stations at Talley Street Upper Elementary School and at CSD’s central offices.”

“We don’t have all the answers right now, but we are reaching out to others to learn about what might be the best time frame [for a Net Zero Plan],” Sandler said. “We support the City of Decatur’s development of a Clean Energy Plan and we think that CSD could take a similar approach. However, we would like to take a more student-focused approach and continue to gather students’ perspectives and input from the CSD community.”

Sandler and Lichstein already have connections with Agnes Scott, Emory, and the Wylde Center, all of which will help turn their initiative into a reality, according to the pair.

If interested in the effort, please contact [email protected].