Mapping Your District's Green Vision

By Rachel Gutter

Your district has made a commitment to green its schools. Did the board pass a green resolution? Did you form a sustainability task force that is ready to work? Are you itching to move forward, excited to plant the elementary school’s organic garden or interested in partnering with local businesses to raise money for the high school’s solar panels?

Before you dive headfirst into those new recycling bins, you need a clear vision for getting from good to green. You wouldn’t start a road trip without consulting a map and plotting your route, would you?

Mapping out your district’s green vision and sharing it with your community is an important step in solidifying a sustainability strategy, growing consensus, and ensuring ongoing support. As a board member or administrator, you can set your district on a sure path to greener schools. As the driver of this process, you also should keep all involved parties and partners moving in the right direction.

Districts that are leaders in the green school movement have several common traits. They:

• Pass green resolutions or action items and engage a diverse group of decisionmakers in developing a green vision.

• Build in-house expertise, beginning with an individual appointed to spearhead sustainability initiatives.

• Make a public commitment to healthy, high-performance schools.

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