MICHIGAN GREEN SCHOOLS
Briefly document at least 10 Green School Points below. Please describe what
was done to achieve a specific point, who was involved, when and for how long
was the activity done, and any special achievements under each point. Please
enclose any pictures of activities for the statewide newsletter and website.
Application deadline is March 1, 2011
It must be turned in to your Michigan Green School County Coordinator no later
than this date to be eligible.
Name of School Mock Application
School District Mock Application
Category I: Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Use of Renewable Resources at School
Our school’s accounting department has switched to MUNIS electronic purchase
order system. This system eliminates carbonless paper forms. PO approvals
are now done electronically, as is document storage. We also use this system to
report absences for employees who do not need substitutes; these absences will
be automatically exported into the payroll system, saving further paperwork.
Also, we no longer print hundreds of copies of our directory. It is now available
online, as is the searchable database for a variety of information that we used to
print. By going to the electronic version of the professional development
brochures, three times a year we have saved printing 4,000 copies of the 16-20
page document. (192,000-240,000 sheets of paper—think of the trees!)
Our school recycles! We have large bins outside and boxes inside for each
classroom, including the teacher’s lounge and library. These boxes were
decorated by the art classes. Our student council students make weekly
collections from each room to sort and deposit in the large outdoor bins. We
recycle paper, cardboard, printer cartridges, and cell phones. Some teachers are
reusing copies that were incorrectly run or not used, or use both sides of the
paper. Kindergarten is using magazines for letter recognition, 1st grade is making
“junk” art from magazines, newspapers, cereal boxes and milk cartons. Our
biology teacher reuses Styrofoam and plastic containers for insect collection and
pizza boxes for cell models. Our science teacher reuses cardboard boxes for
plate tectonics assessments. We also made a six foot diameter geodesic dome
out of tightly rolled newspapers. Also, we have signed on with the TerraCycle
brigade and we get money back to our school for sending in our juice pouches,
plastic baggies, glue bottles, yogurt containers and cookie wrappers.
TerraCycle uses these to make unique items such as purses, wallets and
shopping bags. Our goal is to educate the students that recycling is necessary
and can be fun!
Category II: Energy
Our school is part of the district’s energy savings program, and we work with the
local power utilities to see progress toward the goal of 5% less usage. We
installed direct digital controls on the heating system which has allowed the
building significant savings in controlling the start and shut down times of the
heating system based on building usage and outdoor temp. All lights were retro
fitted with high efficiency bulbs and ballasts, automatic light sensors were
installed, draft guards were made by our art class (out of old tights and rice),
windows were caulked, refrigerator and freezer coils were dusted, furnace filters
were checked, and hot water heaters were set 1 degree lower. We also studied
how deciduous trees are wise for south facing windows (summer vs. winter).
With the improvements in the building we have saved $15,076 this year.
Our school’s 2nd and 3rd grades built a passive solar collector. This 2’ x 4’ black
box collects the sun’s rays through the classroom windows and converts it to
heat, therefore reducing the amount of fuel consumption for that room.
Aluminum ducts in the box conduct and collect heat. Almost all of the parent-
donated materials were used items rather than purchased. Our 6th grade math
and science classes are calculating the savings based on last year’s numbers.
We are teaching the students about measurable outcomes; how we can get
significant savings from minor changes.
Category III: Environment
For the past two years, students have conducted water quality monitoring on the
Grand River in downtown Jackson and learned about its watershed. The Upper
Grand River Watershed is a sub basin of the Great Lakes watershed. We have
performed chemical, physical, and biological surveys on the river. Students have
collected and identified macroinvertebrates as bio-indicators of the water quality,
calculated the flow of the river, and completed a habitat assessment for the
section of river we visit. In Environmental Science we use the MEECS Water
Quality unit. Students examine land use, and pollution, as well as conduct water
quality monitoring at the river. This data will be saved and used as a starting
point for future classes to continue monitoring changes.
Our school has several native Michigan trees and plants around our campus. In
the spring and around/on Earth day science classes and others take the
opportunity to plant annuals-begonias, geraniums, petunias, and impatiens in our
Memorial Garden. Our Memorial Garden also has hostas, spirea and a beautiful
magnolia tree. Parents were asked through our e-newsletter to donate plants or
portions of native plants they may have in their home gardens. Our campus has
several pine trees, redbud and maple trees. We have benefitted from an all
school renovation that has included landscaping and exterior renovations. The
district has worked to complete exteriors with long lasting environmentally
positive choices. Our students are benefitting from the choices that have been
made and our teachers are taking the opportunity to teach students about our
native plants. Our student council is in charge of mulch spreading and in science
class they learn the importance of mulch as a soil preserver and enricher.
Category IV: Miscellaneous Projects
Our school hosted two eco-speakers from the Dahlem Conservancy. One gave
a presentation called “The Life Cycle of Stuff” where our students interactively
explored the concepts of natural resources, human impact and how we can all
protect the environment through reducing, reusing, and recycling. Another
speaker gave the presentation called “Skulls, Scats and Tracks”. Our students
saw and touched Michigan mammal skins and skulls, explored mammal
classification, adaptations, and predator/prey relationships. Students also
investigated animal signs such as scats and tracks they can search for in their
own backyard. Our students learned the importance of environmental protection.
Our school’s Environmental Awareness Club and the Student Government are
planning Earth Day activities this year. Students meet in March to plan activities
for Earth Day. They do a quick message at the student assembly the week
before Earth Day and give out freebies. Posters encouraging reducing, reusing,
recycling will be posted around the school and Earth Day will be a class
competition “dress up” day. Students are encouraged to wear green and blue in
honor of Earth Day. Students also participate in an after school “Campus
Beautification”, which includes weeding the vegetable garden and picking up
trash, and sprucing up the Monarch butterfly gardens in the front lawn. For
participating, students earn service-learning hours. Students will also plant a
shade tree near the school to reduce energy costs. The club has purchased
“green” recycled grocery bags and put our school logo on them along with a
recycling logo. These are sold at various student, parent, and community events
with profits going to fund future Green School initiatives.
Additional Points may be taken from any of the above categories, please
just make sure that you label the category you are submitting from.
Our 6th grade students came up with the idea for a waste-free lunch challenge.
This was to encourage students and parents to rethink their packaged lunches
and to think before taking food from the hot lunch line that they might not eat.
Each grade competed against each other, and with separate trash bags, we
weighed each grade’s waste at the end of the lunch period. The grade with the
least amount of waste won extra library or recess time. All students calculated
the difference and saw that the 5th grade had 23 more pounds of lunch waste
than the 1st graders! We tied this in with lessons on landfills, incinerators and
conservation for grades 4-6. We also changed our Styrofoam trays to
biodegradable trays made from sugar cane. We plan to do a waste-free
challenge within the grades one day each month next year.
Our school has a greenhouse where our students grow vegetables. The heat
produced for the greenhouse is from a corn burner, and we purchase corn from
local farmers. Our students are able to purchase the vegetables in the student
farm market and we grow the lettuce to be used in the school’s salad bar. We
also use manure in our garden from local farms as fertilizer to eliminate the need
for chemical fertilizer. We recently started a compost pile utilizing worm bins to
process our school lunch waste.
Insert your comments here.
Suggestions to improve the Michigan Green Schools Program:
Insert your suggestions here.
Please submit this application by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principal’s phone number:
Principal’s email address:
Building Coordinator’s phone number:
Building Coordinator’s email address: