Creating Greener Communities: Green Schools
- Find videos from EPA's Smart Growth Program and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities on our Webinars, Videos, and Podcasts page. Here, you can watch how communities across the country are putting smart growth in action!
- Check out EPA’s Smart Location Database, a consistent nationwide data resource for measuring location efficiency. It includes over 90 variables characterizing the built environment, transit service, destination accessibility, employment, and demographics at the census block group scale. You can download data for your selected region, view data online in an interactive map, or access the data through a variety of web services.
- EPA hosts the Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series to assist local governments as they explore and plan climate change and clean energy efforts. Check out the upcoming webcasts here.
Green Schools are learning institutions that promote both ecological and human health in a community by fostering environmentally responsible behavior. 60 million Americans spend their day in a K-12 school making them ideal places to support sustainable programs like energy conservation, environmental literacy, and recycling.
What You Can Do?
Whether you are an administrator, teacher, parent, or student you have the ability to help your school become more sustainable. School managers can monitor their energy use. Teachers can promote environmental education in their classroom curriculum. Parents can propose more sustainable practices- like using green cleaning products- at school board meetings. Students can start re-use and recycling programs to help reduce waste.
Superintendents and Principals
Monitor your school. EPA’s Healthy SEAT is a tool that allows school districts to evaluate and manage their school facilities for key environmental, safety and health issues. Global Learning and the New Jersey Sustainable School Network have created metrics that allow you to track your school’s energy use, calculate greenhouse gas emissions, and develop plans to reduce.
Teach environmentally responsible behavior in the classroom. EPA has created materials and services that are free for teachers and integrate environmental education into the existing curriculum. For example, teach students how their actions have an affect on the world around them with the Natural Resource Vampire Environmental Education Materials.
Talk to other parents and to your school board. Parents have considerable influence over how their community school operates and what policies are implemented. The Little Green School House has developed four pillars that support sustainability in schools to give parents an idea about what to look for!
Be a Sustain-Able Student!
Start sustainable programs at your school. For example, recycling programs can reduce the amount of waste your school produces. EPA, along with other partners, have designed youth programs and educational tools that promote a better understanding of sustainability for younger children as well as youth programs for older students.
What do the Experts Recommend?
Find out what people and organizations that support Sustainable Schools in Region 2 have to say about what they are doing, what they think is important, and what they suggest you can do to have an impact at your school.
- Wellness in the Schools [PDF 14 KB, 1 pp]
- Chef Ann Cooper and Sustainable Foods at School [PDF 10 KB, 1 pp]
- New Jersey Sustainable Schools Network [PDF 11 KB, 1 pp]
- Case Study: the Willow School [PDF 11 KB, 1 pp]
Competitions for Schools