As an educator at heart, my entry into the green schools movement was through the impact that curriculum and instruction has on students.  The promotion of environmental and sustainability literacy came naturally and was a no-brainer.  As I deepened my engagement with green buy ambien online canada schools, however, I struggled to understand how the built environment, both buildings and operations, fit into the green and sustainable universe.  Was there such as a thing as a “green” building?  I was determined to find out.


Through my work, I have been fortunate to connect with a number of “teachers” who have helped me understand the concept of a green school from the perspective of the green building movement.  People like Tim Cole, Rachel Gutter, Wyck Knox, Steve Davis, Bill Orr, and Sharon Danks have been influential in my education on green buildings, grounds, and operations, as well as the importance these three components play in shaping our students’ learning environments.  Now, when I tour a sustainable school building, my eyes are opened to the possibilities presented by the building as a teaching tool for its students.


How can a school building be a teacher, you may ask?  Over the years, I have found that buildings and grounds offer opportunities to learn in their own unique ways.  Specifically, they serve as tangible, hands-on tools (and models) that invite students to learn how they function in real-time.  In the case of green schools, you can touch, see, and experience what it means to be sustainable and eco-friendly, concepts that are very hard to grasp when presented abstractly in a book, lecture, or worksheet.  Green roofs, solar panels, HVAC, landscaping, even building orientation…it is one thing to read about them in a textbook and quite another to see them up-close and to interact with them.


The stories in this month’s GreenNotes are a reflection of the cutting edge practices being adopted by schools around the country.  You will learn how schools Fayette County, Kentucky are using Renovation 101 Teams to teach students about sustainability features in their own schools; how LEED-certified schools in Virginia are using the school building to support 21st century skills in the classroom; and how a North Carolina elementary school is integrating the building as a teaching tool across all grade levels.  In addition, you will read about a competition in Washington DC’s public schools that is connecting energy efficiency, building operations, and learning, as well as how the Collaborative for High Performance Schools is helping school districts adopt an occupant first approach to greening their buildings and operations.


Students spend the majority of their day in and around school buildings and grounds.  They deserve to spend that time in structures that promote health, well-being, and a curious mind, three things all great teachers must do.


Have a Happy Fall!