NWF Hosts Eco-Schools USA

US schools join international effort to green campuses and curriculum

11-23-2009 // Mary Burnette

The National Wildlife Federation has been chosen as the United States host for the international Eco-Schools program. Public, private and charter K-12 schools can start registering now to participate in this school greening movement.

The new Eco-Schools program is part of a rapidly-growing international network of 30,000 schools in 47 nations worldwide. Each school that registers strives to make their school building, grounds, and curriculum more green and make their students more aware of environmental issues.

One of the major benefits of the Eco-Schools USA program is its ability to improve the way students perform in the classroom. Research shows that students who engage in hands-on applied environmental education are more interested in learning, and do better on tests.

Eco-schools action team

In the state of Washington, schools with environmental education programs showed higher test scores on state standardized tests in math, reading and writing. Students exposed to environmental education improved their GPAs, stayed in school longer, received more scholarships and were generally more responsible in school and at home.

In addition to the academic benefits, Eco-Schools saved money, decreased their carbon footprint, reduced school waste, and lowered energy and water consumption.

Through NWF’s Eco-Schools program, schools across the globe can network, share ideas, and discuss projects. Schools can even connect on Eco-School’s Facebook page where they can post photos of their projects.

Schools which register create an eco-action plan listing which green projects they plan to implement. The plan can focus on water, transportation, climate change, consumption or waste. Additionally, each school must develop an energy-savings plan. When various stages of the plan are complete, schools earn awards culminating in a Green Flag award when the action plan has been completed.

Schools can register at nwf.org/ecoschools.

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