Solutions / Green Your School
Get your school to adopt green practices that are good for people and the planet.
Schools are a great place to create lasting change. By adopting green practices you can teach students about important issues while creating a healthier and safer learning environment. There are a lot of resources available to make the necessary changes.
Get Better Cafeteria Food
Do you know where your cafeteria food comes from? Most schools have frozen, canned, genetically modified food. Not exactly food to feed the brain or stay healthy. Many schools throughout the country are transforming their cafeterias, introducing more local, fresh, organic foods. You can do the same.
Use this Toolkit with step-by step instructions to get healthy, local, sustainable food in your school cafeteria.
Link up Local Farms with Your School – A national program, called “Farm to School” helps connect local farmers with schools, to get fresh, local food in cafeterias around the country. They also help educate kids about the value of local, sustainable agriculture.
Start an Edible Schoolyard or a Life Lab Garden Classroom – The edible schoolyard in Berkeley, California is one of the original garden programs for students to grown their own food on site. You can learn more about their program and other affiliate programs on their website. The Life Lab Garden Classroom is similar. The California based organization “helps schools develop gardens where children can create ‘living laboratories’ for the study of the natural world.” This often includes education about growing your own food.
Become Energy Efficient
Schools have a big carbon footprint – they are usually powered by nuclear, coal, or natural gas, which are bad for the environment and our health. You can switch to renewable energy, like wind and solar, to lessen your impact on the environment and save on electricity costs. The “Alliance to Save Energy” has a Green School Program that works with students to come up with a plan to save energy in their schools.
Schools are filled with recyclable materials – papers, cans, bagged lunches, boxes, art supplies, etc. Most of this stuff can be recycled. Make sure it doesn’t end up in the dump and start a recycling program.
All the food that students don’t eat, can stay on campus and fertilize your soil, rather than go to the dump. Lots of schools have successful composting programs – you can learn from them and start your own.
Re-label Trash Cans as “Landfill”
By labeling trash cans as “landfill” you can cut down on waste and get students to think about where their trash is actually going.
The U.S. Green Building Council offers a wealth of information to transform schools into healthy environments that are “conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money.” Check it out and make your school a Green School.
Join the Green Schools Initiative
The Green Schools Initiative “integrates efforts to reduce schools' ecological footprints, make school environments healthier, and get the whole community thinking about solutions to the problems we face.”