Green Star Schools Program
The purpose of the Green Star Schools Program is to honor, support, and recognize the important work that teachers, schools, and districts are doing to advance environmental sustainability; to create healthy and vibrant work and learning communities that enhance academic performance; and to foster intellectual growth, creativity, and innovation through an experiential program where students learn environmental stewardship and take action to reduce the school's environmental footprint.
Those seeking recognition address three primary components: Institutional Commitment, Education through Action, and Facilities/Operations & Maintenance. Following this program may lead your school to become eligible for recognition under the federal Green Ribbon Schools award program.
Choose among these seven Environmental Pathways to focus your work and activities. Each of these pages provides downloadable Checklists, Guides, Audit Tools, and links to Lessons Plans to take action:
- Energy Conservation& Renewables
- Waste Reduction & Recycling
- Toxics Reduction & Indoor Air Quality(forthcoming)
- Transportation & Outdoor Air Quality(forthcoming)
- Water Quality & Conservation
- Green Schoolyards
- Healthy Food
To become recognized as a Green Star School, you will use the Checklists and Guides to follow these Seven Steps:
- Form a Green Team
- Adopt Green Policies
- Conduct a School Environmental Audit
- Create an Action Plan to Green Facilities and Operations
- Evaluate Progress on Reducing the School Environmental Footprint
- Integrate Greening into the Curriculum
- Reach out and Celebrate to Share Success
There are 3 levels of recognition in the Green Star Schools Program. To be recognized, your school must complete the mandatory requirements and additional "Reach for the Stars" requirements in a varying number of Environmental Pathways of your choice:
- 1 Star: Complete Requirements in 2-3 Environmental Pathways of your choice
- 2 Stars: Complete Requirements in 4-5 Environmental Pathways of your choice
- 3 Stars: Complete Requirements in 6-7 Environmental Pathways of your choice
Use the Checklists, Audit Tools, and Resource Guides to complete your selected Environmental Pathways.
For 1 and 2 Stars, results are self-reported and we will send you a certificate. For 3 Stars, we will verify your activities. Please email info at greenschools dot net with your contact information so we can follow-up with your recognition.
Green Star Schools was initiated through a collaboration among the non-profit Green Schools Initiative, county government agencies Alameda's Stopwaste.org, San Mateo's Recycleworks.org, Alameda County Office of Education, and San Jose's Go Green Schools. Each partner is now implementing Green Star Schools through their own programs.
Please visit the Green Star Schools website to use online calculator tools to estimate the carbon emissions reductions of your actions, to track your results, and compare your efforts with other schools: www.greenstarschools.org (forthcoming Spring 2013)
You can also choose one from our "Environmental Footprint Calculators" page.
Read about the Green Star Schools Program at Berkeley's Rosa Parks Elementary School here.