School Sustainability Tracking & Education Using Arc

December 04, 2019

The Lemberg Children's Center strives to provide a healthy, productive building for all it’s staff and young learners (age 3 mo to 6 yrs). Eager to learn more about our sustainability footprint, we kicked off a Green Apple effort in fall 2019 by entering various school data into the Arc platform. Partnering with Brandeis University, we gathered and entered our electric consumption (water data was not available). We surveyed parents and staff about their commuting habits to get a carbon footprint score and we also asked them how they felt about the environmental quality of the building. The waste, recycling and compost from our school was weighed in November to gather a baseline, and then again after our December recycling campaign.

Data collection and entry in Arc was a collaborative process involving school leaders, campus officials, interns and parents, but it didn't involve students or staff. Our Green Apple Day of Service on December 4th was a school-wide day of education for kids and staff about the current recycling and composting guidelines with the goal of improving our waste score in Arc. The classroom activities included reading books about recycling and composting, discussing how to reduce waste and properly dispose of materials we use in school, participating in a waste sorting game, and collaborating to construct a creative robot made of recycled materials from the school’s maker-space.

Some of the essential questions and science concepts we studied as a community included "How are materials that have been properly recycled/composted/thrown out treated in their respective facilities and why do we need to properly dispose of them?", "How can Lemberg students, staff, and parents work together to improve sustainability measures for energy use, water use, transportation and indoor air quality?" and, "How does correctly identifying and discarding recyclable, compostable, and non-recyclable materials influence the sustainability of the Lemberg Children’s Center?"

A flyer was printed and shared with parents and staff outlining the results of the Arc sustainability baseline effort and Green Apple activities. Information and photos of the events were also shared in the school's environmental science newsletter.


Students attended


Staff attended


Additional Volunteers attended


Students will be impacted this year

Intended impact of project

Reduced environmental impact
Improved occupant health & performance
Increased environmental & sustainability literacy
Reduce landfill waste

Impact of project

Energy and/or water conservation
Waste reduction
Improved air quality
Educated on sustainable skills and practices
Educated on sustainability knowledge

More impact of project

The biggest impact that we could immediately see from our project is that our composting volume and variety of compostables increased dramatically.
Classrooms now have a “composter“ classroom job and a “recycler” job. Students are rotating the responsibility for managing these daily tasks. We are also composting shredded office paper for the first time and there is more buy-in from the whole community.