The purpose of creating a Student Green Team is to empower and provide leadership opportunities for students to organize and implement sustainable activities at school. Having a Green Team in place will set a standard for environmental stewardship for school stakeholders: students, faculty, administration, staff and parents. With the assistance of a team coordinator, this student based group identifies issues, makes recommendations and takes action towards greening the school. Since many activities, such as recycling and waste reduction, involve the schools administration and maintenance staff, efforts need to be coordinated with school operations prior to implementation.
This should be the first step to coordinate student involvement at your school. For example, this may be as simple as coordinating a time with your principal or AP to request permission for students to assist with recycling collection or making general announcements to encourage recycling in the cafeteria. Support from the top down will ensure an effective initiative.
Students should view being a member of the Green Team as an exciting opportunity to effect change at their school. A competitive component may be helpful to eliminate those students who are less serious about this opportunity and support this endeavor as serious and respectable.
Depending on how you decide to structure your team, this can be as simple as scheduling a meeting to divide up responsibilities for collecting recyclables within the school or more involved if your school has a 3-way waste sort collection station in the cafeteria. Monitoring these stations during lunch would entail utilizing sign-up sheets to rotate lunch duty schedules. A few examples of details to consider when thinking through job descriptions are listed below:
Lack of awareness about recycling is a barrier to increasing recycling participation. All students, faculty and staff should know how to recycle and be aware of the benefits. As leaders, green team students need to provide accurate information about which items are accepted for recycling and other key issues, such as composting and waste reduction. CCEM recommends that the following steps be taken when forming a Green Team:
In order to keep students interested in participating, providing innovative activities is recommended. Suggestions for keeping students engaged are listed below.
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