Green Moms & Public Schools: Top 10 Green School Projects – Pick One!

August 30th, 2010

If your child is heading off to school for the first time, prepare yourself: you may suffer Green Mom Culture Shock, like I did when my son entered public school two years ago.

For eco-conscious parents who have agonized over a zillion purchasing decisions related to choosing the greenest, healthiest products for home cleaning and only the freshest, local, organic and sustainable foods, it can be hard to cope when you discover your local “green” school doesn’t seem so green, particularly when compared to your own home.

While most schools these days (at least here in Montgomery County, Maryland and the surrounding DC suburbs) do have a Green Committee at the PTA level, you may find, as I did, that “green” means different things to different people.  To some, the main function of the green committee should be tending to a school garden. For others, it’s recycling or “waste free lunch.”   What happens if there’s so much to do, you just don’t know where to start?  And is it really possible that maybe, just maybe everything “green” has been “done” at your school?

I’ve put together a “Dream List” of Ten Green School Projects you may want to tackle this year, and I’ve  linked to posts that relate to the project whenever possible. Am I suggesting you try to get the PTA to tackle all ten? Uh, no. (You might want to first read my post, Green Schools: Five Lessons Learned the Hard Way).  But maybe, just maybe,  you can work to get one new project added to your Green Committee’s existing project list.

Take a look and let me know what you think. I’m particularly interested in hearing from parents who’ve tackled the walkable school initiatives. What’s worked and what hasn’t worked for you at your kids’ schools?

Top 10 Green School Projects

  1. Waste Free School Lunch
  2. Ban the Bottled Water  – Switch to Bottles and Jugs!
  3. Solar, Wind, and Alternative Energy at School
  4. Just Say No to Mandatory AntiBacterial Hand Sanitizers and Soaps
  5. Healthier School Lunches
  6. Just Say No to Cheap Plastic Crap: Oh, the Trinkets!
  7. Why Throw Out Unopened Milk? Forced Dumping of Unopened School Milk Bottles in the Garbage
  8. Energy Audits: Wearing T-Shirts In The Classroom During Winter = An Energy Efficiency Problem in Your School
  9. Buses? Try Walkable Schools!
  10. Healthy Schools, Healthy Cleaners. (Or Did You Ever Consider Your Child’s Mysterious Head Aches Might Be Related to the Cleaners Used at Your School?)

This is a post for the Green Moms Carnival on Back to School – our third annual! – hosted by the lovely Micaela at Mindful Momma. After you leave your comment, be sure to check out the other posts!

— Lynn

Copyright OrganicMania 2010

4 Responses to “Green Moms & Public Schools: Top 10 Green School Projects – Pick One!”

  1. Tweets that mention Organic and Green Mom Blog | Green Moms & Public Schools: Top 10 Green School Projects – Pick One! at Organic Mania -- on August 30, 2010 9:11 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Green Moms Carnival and Lynn Miller, Gabrielle H Cullen. Gabrielle H Cullen said: My Top 10 #Green #School Projects for Ambitious #GreenMoms! (from blog) #ecomonday (via @organicmania) […]

  2. Mindful Momma on August 31, 2010 5:56 am

    I’m so glad you wrote this Lynn! There is so much that can be done to make schools a greener & healthier place for our kids.

    On the topic of walkable schools…did you see my post about the walking school bus? My neighbors (at a different school) got a grant for safety vests and signs and organized parents to get kids to walk to school!
    .-= Mindful Momma´s last blog ..Back To School with the Green Moms Carnival =-.

  3. Lynn on August 31, 2010 6:08 am

    Thanks so much, Micaela! And no, I didn’t see your post….I will have to check that out! Here the arguments against walkable schools date back to integration concerns (kids were bussed to bring greater socio-economic diversification to the schools). But I wonder, now that we have an African American President, The First Lady has her Let’s Move agenda, and American kids’ BMIs are hitting all time records…is it time to re-evaluate?

    And you won’t believe the NEW “green Mom culture shock I’m going through….mandated plastic water bottles?” I couldn’t make this up. Post coming!

  4. Gigi on September 4, 2010 8:43 pm

    Thanks for the list of school projects. Every little bit helps.

    Here’s a green project that I thought you might appreciate. It’s about an urban community that turns their junkyard into a sustainable garden in just one day.

    Take a look at how Kia is driving change.


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