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It takes a team to green a school, so take the first step to find out who’s interested. Successful schools have given students green teams prominence and responsibility, and they’ve steadily become the team everyone wants to be a part of. Look to advocates such as interested teachers, administrators, custodians, students, parents, and community volunteers to be part of your green team. Talk to local organizations and professionals with the technical expertise who can help. Agree on a mission, individual roles, and set realistic group goals. Shooting for easy wins first will help motivate everyone to reach for more in the future.
- Read up on your school’s existing guiding principles, vision, and master plan to look for opportunities to align with existing sustainability priorities.
- Conduct interviews with at least five key stakeholders at the school or district staff.
- Interviews should be used to create a relationship with key stakeholders (custodial staff, administrators, facilities department, teachers) and to find out critical information needed for your project.
- Come prepared with a list of questions, take notes, and follow up after.
- Find your local U.S. Green Building Council community.
- There are local communities in every state, and many have volunteers or committees to help green schools.
- Educate yourself about the effect school-based staff and classroom teachers can have on the learning environment by taking the self-paced Green Classroom Professional course.
- Read the Green Schools Initiative’s Tips for Starting a Green Team.
- Explore We are Teachers’ 7 Simple Steps to Start a Green Club at Your School.
- Read the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate and Energy Program Tip Sheet: Green Teams.