Write for GSNN


GSNN’s blog, GreenNotes, features articles that address one or more themes based on the core practices of GSNN’s GreenPrint. Each month, the blog shines a spotlight on a specific topic related to green, healthy, and sustainable schools. A list of upcoming themes can be found below. Have a question about an upcoming theme? Contact cmerse@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org.


Why Write for GreenNotes?

Writing for GreenNotes is a win-win for you and the green schools movement. As an author, you will gain validation and recognition for the work you do in your classroom, school, district, and/or state to advance green, healthy, and sustainable schools. Your stories and case studies will reach thousands of K-12 educators, school leaders, and green schools advocates, enabling you to grow your network and share your successes, challenges, and best practices with like-minded peers. Most importantly, you will be contributing to a body of knowledge that supports and advances the need for green, healthy, and sustainable school environments for ALL students.


We are looking for a variety of articles for GreenNotes, including:

  • Case studies of schools and school districts doing exemplary work in environmental and sustainability initiatives.
  • Profiles of leaders and advocates in the green schools movement.
  • News and current events of interest to the green schools movement.


GreenNotes Guidelines

  • Articles should be between 1000 – 1500 words in length.
  • Articles should address  one or more of the following:
    • best practices;
    • lessons learned;
    • benefits to students and/or teachers;
    • tools/resources (as appropriate); and
    • examples/case studies of real-world applications.
  • Include a headline/title.
  • Include quotes from educators when possible.
  • A minimum of 1 photo is required to accompany the story.
    • Images must be a minimum of 1200 pixels wide.
    • Include the source of the image so credit can be assigned.
    • Please do not embed images in the body of the document.
  • Include a one paragraph bio(s) for the contributing author(s) to accompany the story.
  • Preference will be given to articles that include live links to related/supporting material and/or suggest resources or tools of interest.

GreenNotes Submission Guidelines

  • Submit articles in MS Word. Documents should be single spaced and in an 11-point font.  Avoid extra formatting.
  • When submitting, include your name, title, organization, and contact email and phone number.
  • Email draft articles for consideration to Cyndy Merse at cmerse@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org.  Include “Write for GSNN: GreenNotes” in the subject line, along with your intended topic (e.g., “farm to school” or “place-based learning”).

Upcoming GreenNotes Themes 


Food Systems — September 2019

Submission deadline: August 23, 2019

Sustainable food systems do more than promote healthy eating. They account for the lifecycles of how our food is produced, consumed, and disposed of; are resilient and diverse in the face of a changing climate; and justly support the livelihoods of farmers and workers. This issue of GreenNotes features research and case studies that explore the role that schools play in supporting sustainable food systems – at local, regional, and global scales – from policy and programs like farm-to-school to innovative classroom initiatives that are encouraging students to get involved and take a stand for the future of food.

Teaching Biomimicry in the Classroom
— October 2019

Submission deadline: September 16, 2019

Biomimicry uses the natural world as inspiration to create innovative processes, systems, and products that address global challenges in an environmentally sustainable way. Educators are beginning to use the principles of biomimicry and “generous ecosystems” in their classrooms to teach students science and engineering skills using creative problem-solving, design thinking, and systems thinking. This issue of GreenNotes explores some of the ways educators are using biomimicry to support real-world, problem-based learning.


Celebrating Diverse Cultures in Green Schools — November 2019

Submission deadline: October 28, 2019

The students of today are the global citizens of tomorrow. It’s important that educators prepare them to live in an increasingly complicated, interconnected, and globalized society. This starts with understanding and celebrating the diverse cultures, traditions, and perspectives that make up our school communities. This issue of GreenNotes explores how schools are designing curricula that provide opportunities for students to build global skills and knowledge through learning about their peers’ cultures and perspectives.


Civics and Character Education/Civic Engagement — December 2019

 Submission deadline: November 22, 2019

Preparing students to be caring, compassionate, and active citizens in a democratic society is more important than ever. High-quality civics education and engagement can help students foster the skills and competencies needed to participate in both their local and global communities. This issue of GreenNotes features research and case studies that explore how schools are integrating civics and character education into daily instruction as well as providing students with real-world opportunities to be influential civic leaders in their local communities.

Fostering a Stewardship Ethic through Fieldwork Experiences
— January 2020

Submission deadline: December 16, 2019

Providing students with rich fieldwork experiences is important for fostering stewardship and a love of the land. They also provide a means of connecting curriculum to the natural and social environments that make up our local, regional, and global communities. Opportunities for authentic fieldwork abound, from on-campus outdoor classrooms to study in nearby fields, forests, and streams to days-long excursions spent in state and national parks. This issue of GreenNotes introduces you to some of the ways in which schools and school districts are incorporating fieldwork into classroom learning.

Meaningful Family Engagement in Green Schools — February 2020
Submission deadline: January 27, 2020
Families are important partners when it comes to shaping healthy school environments and positive school cultures. That’s why it’s critical for schools and school districts to involve families, whether it’s through leadership in decision-making and policy development, volunteer support in the classroom, or during after school activities. This month’s GreenNotes highlights schools and districts that engage student families in sustainability initiatives, making them equal partners in the school’s/district’s green vision and mission.

Transportation – March 2020

 Submission deadline: February 21, 2020

How students get to and from school matters. Whether taking the big yellow bus, riding a bike, or walking to school, these choices influence how children perceive and navigate their world, as well as contribute to a school’s carbon footprint. This issue features research and case studies that highlight some of the innovative policies, programs, and initiatives that schools and school districts are adopting around transportation to save money, keep their students healthy, and above all, tread more lightly on the planet.

General Guidelines for GSNN Authors

Target Audience

GSNN’s audience consists of K-12 teachers, school administrators, facilities staff, green schools advocates, and partners in the business and nonprofit sectors who are invested in the green schools movement.


GSNN is looking for content that is informative and grounded in quantitative and qualitative evidence.  We will prioritize case studies, stories that are embedded in best practices, and other articles that demonstrate impact on one specific pillar or multiple pillars of a green, healthy, sustainable school (decreasing the environmental footprint of schools and school districts; health and well-being; and curriculum that advances environmental and sustainability literacy).  Preference will be given to content that has a professional, yet relaxed tone that addresses topics in a way that appeals to, and can be understood by, a wide range of audiences.

Do Not Send

GSNN will not publish articles that have a political bias, endorsements of specific products and services, and rants or inflammatory opinion pieces.  GSNN has the authority to reject articles it deems inappropriate for publication.

Be Transparent

GSNN values honesty from its writers in order to produce credible content grounded in best practices.    If you are in any way connected to a story you are writing, please disclose this information upfront for the reader.  This includes revealing any material relationships (e.g., the subject is an employer or employee).


GSNN prioritizes content that is written exclusively for the Network’s publications.  You are more than welcome to promote the content on your website and on social media, just as long as you link back to GSNN.


The publication of articles that tell the story and provide information about research and practice in the green schools movement is an essential building block in the development of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of work of the author, the institutions that support him or her, and GSNN.

Authorship of the Paper

Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the study or topic.

Originality and Plagiarism

The author should ensure that he or she has written entirely original works, and if the author has used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted.

Multiple, Redundant, or Concurrent Publication

An author should not publish an exact manuscript via GSNN.  We will consider, however, a modified version on the same research or topic if it is relevant to our audience.

Acknowledgement of Sources

Proper acknowledgment of sources is required for publication.

Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest

All submissions must include disclosure of all relationships that could be viewed as presenting a potential conflict of interest.

Fundamental Errors in Published Works

When an author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his or her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal editor or publisher and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.

Reporting Standards

Authors of reports of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. 

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