Why GREEN Schools?
Throughout modern history, students have been the engine that powers the most transformative of movements. From civil rights to women’s rights, students acted as catalysts for earth shifting change. We believe students are in a unique position to lead on the issue of our generation: the sustainability of people and the planet. -Adapted from USGBC [U.S. Green Building Council]
The way America’s youth learn about the environment will largely determine the future quality life for generations to come. Environmental Education is necessary to help students understand environmental challenges of not just today, but also of tomorrow. Quality Environmental Education teaches students the skills they need to be informed decision makers, and provides critical tools for a 21st century workforce faced with devising solutions to increasingly complex environmental issues, like climate change, conservation, and energy. Environmental Education is not just about raising test scores for today’s students; it is about engaging and educating tomorrow’s decision makers about environmental issues and a better tomorrow. Investments in green education and green schools will strengthen our economy by preparing the next generation for the green jobs of the future. -Adapted from PLTC [Project Learning Tree]
Since 1971, in an effort to promote awareness of our nation’s natural resources and to encourage positive community involvement, the President of the United States joined with EPA to recognize young people across the U.S. for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology. US EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s young people through their annual PEYA – Presidential Environmental Youth Awards Program. Green Schools works to educate, empower, and to develop an Environmentally Literate Citizenry starting with our students, or what we refer to as the Next Generation of Environmental Ambassadors. Since 2007, Green Schools has impacted hundreds of thousands of students and schools. We are known across the country for our ability to impact young people through environmental service learning and community engagement projects with measurable environmental impacts for people and our planet.
Green Schools get students out in nature which is essential given today’s children spend nearly 8 hours a day using entertainment media, while only 6 percent of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own. We are at risk of losing an entire generation’s appreciation for how nature works and what it needs to remain healthy and productive. Adapted from Project Learning Tree [PLT]
“Healthy and safe facilities are a foundation that enables every student to achieve to his or her full potential, every year from preschool to career. Healthy school environments are especially vital for our youngest learners, whose health and development are the most vulnerable to contaminants, asthma triggers and other environmental health hazards.”
- Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education
Green schools are more than buildings. They are places where children learn the wonders of the world and teachers prepare the next generation of leaders and citizens. These schools are built and operated to be full of clean air and sunlight and to be free of toxic materials and harmful chemicals. Green schools are energy efficient, helping to lower utility costs, conserve resources and reduce waste. Green schools showcase a community’s commitment to its children and their future, who in turn,learn from an early age the importance and benefits of acting as responsible stewards of their communities and the larger world. The U.S. Green Building Council [USGBC]
Did you know… In the US, there are approximately 54 million children and seven million adults (75% female) in the nation’s 120,000 public and private schools. According to The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 53 million children and 6 million adults in the United States spend their days inside our elementary and secondary schools, and has estimated that up to half of all schools may have problems with indoor air quality.
1 out of 13 people have asthma, and that asthma is the number one cause of school absenteeism.
Green Schools has people on the ground working to make our schools healthier for students, teachers, and the surrounding environment.
Green Schools students are entering the workforce and higher education often better prepared than their peers.
Green Schools members stay informed year round and can save thousands of dollars by implementing efficient programs and policies.
Green Schools attended the first White House Summit on Environmental Education.
About this Green Schools Organization and Schools Today…
Green Schools’ innovative programming will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality, expand alternative transportation, and help our kids become the next generation of environmental leaders” US Secretary of State, John Kerry
“Schools are not only reducing their energy use, they are providing effective environmental education that engages students, and prepares them to compete in a technology driven economy.” MA Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester
Secretary Arne Duncan at National Green Schools Conference on Green Schools on Testing & Learning Attributes:
Secretary Arne Duncan at Green Schools National Conference 2012