Engineering our Future
Green Classroom Pledge Contest
The Green Classroom Pledge outlines simple ways a classroom can have a significant impact on the environment. Although the actions may seem small and insignificant on the individual level, by working together the classroom can have a big collective impact. Students are also encouraged to help their families save energy, waste and water at home by implementing some of the items on the pledge.
DeadlineEntries must be received by the last day of National Green Week, April 30. You may submit entries via email or regular mail however, to preserve the quality of photos we request that you email the original photo file.
EligibilityK-12 classrooms across the globe are encouraged to apply!
How to Apply
- Download and print the pledge by clicking here.
- Review the action steps with your students and discuss the positive impact that small changes of behavior can make. By working toghether, you will be cultivating a healthier, more responsible classroom environment!
- Ask students to sign the pledge.
- Take a picture of your class and complete a contest disclaimer form. The form is to give GEF permission to use it on the GEF website. Not all photos will be used.
- Submit materials to GEF so they arrive by April 30. Materials can be submitted by email or regular mail, however, email is preferable to preserve the quality of photos.
Mail to: Green Education Foundation
153 Washington Street, 4th Floor
Walpole, MA 02032
Below, we've included background information related to each of the action steps in the Green Classroom Pledge:
- Use both sides of paper Saving paper helps reduce the amount of trash going into landfills, and it will also reduce energy use and pollution associated with manufacturing, transporting, and recycling new paper products.
- Use scrap paper for art projects and practice work
By simply reusing and recycling paper, your class can make significant steps towards creating a sustainable classroon.Paper products make up the largest part of our trash (approximately 40%). In addition, every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.
- Recycle (aluminum, glass, plastic, paper, cardboard)
Implement a straightforward recycling system in your classroonm or school, and conserve energy while also reducing the amount of waste in landfills. Energy saved from one recycled aluminum can will operate a TV set for 3 hours, and is the equivalent to half a can of gasoline. Glass is one of the very few products that can be completely recycled again and again. However, if it ends up in a landfill it will never decompose. Another alarming statistic: plastic bags and other plastic thrown into the ocean kills as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.
- Use environmentally-safe cleaning supplies
Avoid Sick Building Syndrome! In the United States, 1 in 3 people suffer from allergies, asthma, sinusitis or bronchitis (US National Center for Health Statistics). Non-toxic cleaning supplies ensure healthier buildings and healthier occupants.
- Ban plastic water bottles
In the United States, 1,000 plastic water bottles are opened every second. Americans drink 115 liters of water every year, mostly from single-serving disposable containers. Meanwhile, in most cases, tap water is perfectly safe to drink. Encourage students to bring in reusable water bottles, and refill them from the water fountain throughout the day.
- Adopt-a-Plant to help purify indoor air
NASA recommends one indoor plant for every 100 square feet of living space to improve indoor air quality. Indoor plants naturally and safely clean the air and enhance the classroom space. GEF also offers a free lesson for middle school science classrooms.
- Turn off water faucets tightly
Only one percent of the earth's water resources are useable for drinking - the rest is permanently frozen or salt water. Given the implications of rapid global population growth, it is critical that water conservation is practiced daily.
- Unplug electronic devices at the end of the day
Plugged in electronics are energy vampires - even when powered down! In the average home, up to 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.
- Turn off lights when leaving an empty classroom
Simple habits can lead to big savings - for the environment and for your school budget.Turning off the lights when leaving any room is a great place to start!