Green Schools

Green Schools


Green schools have the following characteristics according to the Center for Green Schools:

  • Conserve energy and natural resources
  • Save taxpayer money
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Remove toxic materials from places where children learn and play
  • Employ daylighting strategies and improve classroom acoustics
  • Employ sustainable purchasing and green cleaning practices
  • Improve environmental literacy in students
  • Decrease the burden on municipal water and wastewater treatment
  • Encourage waste management efforts to benefit the local community and region
  • Conserve fresh drinking water and help manage stormwater runoff
  • Encourage recycling
  • Promote habitat protection
  • Reduce demand on local landfills


How to Become a Green School
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
The USDOE inspires schools, districts and institutions of higher education (IHE) to strive for 21st century excellence, by highlighting promising practices and resources that all can employ. The award recognizes schools, districts, and IHE that have the following pillars and elements:

  • Reduced environmental impact and costs
  • Improves health and wellness of schools, students and staff
  • Effective environmental and sustainability education

National Wildlife Federation -ECO Schools USA
The Eco-Schools USA program is made up of seven steps, incorporating a variety of environmental pathways. Once a school has registered and implemented these seven steps, it can apply for an Eco-Schools award. There are three levels of the award system.

A school can apply for any one of these levels depending on the level of criteria it has met under each of the following seven steps:

  1. Establish an Eco-Action Team
  2. Perform an Environmental Review / Audit
  3. Develop an Eco-Action Plan
  4. Monitor and Evaluate Progress
  5. Link to Educational Curriculum
  6. Involve the Entire School and Larger Community
  7. Create an “Eco-Code,” or a Mission Statement