Role-Based Opportunities to Take Action
School and District Administrators can lead the way!
- Demonstrate clear and visible support
- Seek and support professional development opportunities for your staff that support sustainability
- Empower others to utilize sustainable practices
- Assess your department’s current sustainability efforts.
- Set sustainability goals and metrics for your department
- Learn from counterparts in business, government and education who are already on the sustainability path.
- Share your efforts with others
- Conduct a survey of school staff to identify who is interested, or has already begun efforts.
Teachers play an important role as educators and through your capacity to help your school to operate more sustainably.
- Educate your students for sustainability.
- Organize a school event with guest speakers presenting sustainability and related information.
- Make your classroom a sustainability experience for your students. (See “The Sustainable Classroom”)
School Staff outside of teaching and learning are critical to the effort, and might even lead the way.
- Includes office workers, custodians, maintenance staff, food service workers, bus drivers, aides and everyone else
- Utilize and seek support for sustainable practices.
- Seek opportunities to share your sustainability efforts with students and support student projects.
School Board Members are critical to the effort. You can:
- Help adopt supportive board policies, district goals and strategies
- Ask for and support staff efforts
- Set expectations for the superintendent to clearly demonstrate support of sustainability efforts.
Parents can impact the sustainability of your children’s school and even the school district. Your voice is an important one!
- Take time to learn about current school practices, ask questions, and volunteer in school-supported sustainability efforts. (Keep in mind that school personnel are usually doing the best they can within the existing system’s established practices and current knowledge. Respect their efforts and experience.)
- Incorporate sustainability practices into your current volunteer efforts. (See the “Eco-friendly Fundraiser” list.
- Encourage support from the parent-teacher organization and participate yourself.
- Encourage your children to take an active role
- Provide leadership and energy for your children’s school(s)
- Connect your children’s school / district to outside resources.
Students represent the future leadership and can play an important role in helping schools become sustainable.
- Utilize school projects and community service hours to reduce your own school’s negative impacts.
- Contribute through student clubs and student government.
- Be a source of energy and innovation.
- These efforts will:
- Strengthen your resume as you apply for universities or jobs, especially if you have been recognized with some kind of special award.
- Prepare you to be a sustainability leader now and in the future
Businesses, Non-profit Organizations and Government Agenciescan help make it happen!
- Provide sustainability expertise, mentors or coaching for local school districts.
- Provide sustainability-related internship opportunities for students and staff, to deepen their understanding and provide experience they can apply in their schools.
- Provide funding to support school sustainability. Make a broad impact by supporting an organization such as this one that supports the whole system, or support your local school / district.
- Interested community members without children in school can also help with some of the same things! Ask your local school.
- Support funding, policy and legislation for local school efforts
- An active city or local community sustainability effort can reach out to their local schools and districts. Several school districts have found this to be an important step.