Here are a few highlights from the LPS Green Team Handbook:
What is a Green Team?
“Green Team” is a general term that applies to a collection of dedicated individuals who collaborate to raise awareness regarding environmental issues around a school community and take the initiative to promote sustainable programs. The group is in charge of coordinating functions and activities that will help the school reduce its environmental impact. Green teams have the power to create and modify sustainability programs to fit the needs of their school and the responsibility of growing these programs to attain schoolwide buy-in .
Why are Green Teams important?
The green team serves as the central leader in creating a sustainable school community that takes action to reduce the school’s negative impact on the environment. Individual green teams have the responsibility of organizing projects throughout their building that encourage behavioral changes in the attempt of becoming an environmental model in the community. When a school adopts a sustainable project offered by the district, it is helpful to have a green team work with the LPS Sustainability Department to design a program that fits their individual needs. Passionate and creative green teams will also develop their own projects that address environmental concerns unique to their individual schools. Once a project is implemented, it becomes part of the green team’s duty to help grow the program and encourage participation from all students and staff.
Possible Green Team Initiatives
Green teams have the ability to create their own initiatives throughout the building to address sustainable issues. Some examples of activities that the group might consider include:
- Conduct waste audits in classroom containers to identify problem areas. Develop a plan to correct these issues.
- Create a section in the school newsletter or website to keep the school community up to date and involved with sustainability projects, upcoming events, etc.
- Create signs for bathrooms to remind students to not waste paper towels.
- Coordinate with school administrators to adopt double sided printing.
- Host a recycling event for the community.
- Begin a composting container in classrooms.
- Enhance the recycling program to separately collect various recyclable materials such as batteries, plastic bags, wrappers, printer cartridges, etc. Assign an adult member of the green team to take these recyclables to correct locations.
- Use barrels/buckets to collect rainwater from gutter(s). This water can eventually be used for the garden.
- Hold a walk to school/bike to school day to raise awareness about transportation affects.
- Coordinate with custodians to ensure recycling is available/collected for after-school events (sporting events, recitals, fairs, concerts, etc.).
Along with continuous monitoring responsibilities and sustainable initiatives, the green team will be the primary school group to work with the LPS Green Schools Recognition Program. The Recognition Program is a district-wide initiative encouraging staff and students to complete activities that reduce the environmental impact of their building. In fact, many of the activities on the recognition list go hand-in-hand with potential green team responsibilities, so if the team is looking for sustainable ideas to tackle, this is an excellent list to choose from.