Principals and superintendents across Missouri know that outdated school buildings combined with tight budgets can be big hurdles for achieving real “sustainability.” If you are looking into earning building-level responsibilities and credentials, discussions concerning the environment — your school’s sustainability efforts, construction practices or conservation education for students, etc — will likely come up.
On top of the facilities issues, educators lack time, training or direction to teach the ‘big picture’ thinking that students need to live sustainable lives.
Enter public and private agencies that want to help you create and enjoy “green” schools.
The Center for Green Schools looks to turn all schools into sustainable and healthy places to live, learn, work and play. Here’s their checklist for the Characteristics of a Green School.
- Conserves energy and natural resources
- Saves taxpayer money
- Improves indoor air quality
- Removes toxic materials from places where children learn and play
- Employs daylighting strategies and improves classroom acoustics
- Employs sustainable purchasing and green cleaning practices
- Improves environmental literacy in students
- Decreases the burden on municipal water and wastewater treatment
- Encourages waste management efforts to benefit the local community and region
- Conserves fresh drinking water and helps manage stormwater runoff
- Encourages recycling
- Promotes habitat protection
- Reduces demand on local landfills
The non-profit Architecture for Humanity and its partners help schools go green by pairing finance and learning programs with inspired, youth-led design. They look to equip schools to “save cash, save the environment, and train the next generation of sustainability ‘do-ers’.”