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 

Reimagining the Potential for Virtual Learning — September 2020

Submission deadline: August 17, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools around the world to rethink what learning looks like. It has also unmasked troubling truths surrounding equity and access to technology and related supports. One thing is certain: virtual learning is here to stay, in one form or another. How can we make it work in a sustainable, equitable way? This month, GreenNotes explores some of the tools and practices that schools are using to make virtual learning accessible and provide meaningful, authentic learning experiences for ALL students.


Best Practices in Culturally Responsive Teaching — October 2020

Submission deadline: September 14, 2020

 Our nation’s classrooms are more diverse than ever before: racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically. To equip students with the tools they need to co-create a sustainable future, educators need to engage them in authentic, culturally relevant learning that acknowledges their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and learning styles. This month, GreenNotes highlights how educators, schools, and school districts are incorporating culturally responsive teaching practices into their classrooms while taking a hard look at their own biases and cultural frames.

Addressing Mental Health and Trauma in a Green, Healthy, and Sustainable School — November 2020

Submission deadline: October 19, 2020

The events of the past year have taken a toll on our nation’s mental health, from spring’s COVID-19 school closures to summer’s protests and social unrest. Students across this country were deeply impacted by these events, some more than others. Now, more than ever, it’s important for schools to provide supports and resources to help students deal with the stress and trauma they are experiencing. This month, GreenNotes explores some of the many ways in which schools are meeting the mental health needs of their students so they can succeed in the classroom and in life.

Making a Splash with Water Conservation — December 2020

Submission deadline: November 16, 2020

Schools and school districts use water in many places: cafeterias, restrooms, locker rooms, for heating and cooling, and landscaping outdoors. As concerns around water scarcity and drought conditions continue to grow, it’s important that schools and school districts re-evaluate their water use and management practices to consume less and have a lighter footprint on their local and regional watersheds. This month’s GreenNotes takes a look at some of the best practices that schools and school districts are implementing to not only conserve water but reduce runoff and pollution.


Serving up Nutrition Education and Healthy Meals in Green Schools — January 2021

Submission deadline: December 14, 2020

Nutritious, well-balanced meals provide the fuel students need to be healthy and succeed in the classroom. However, the topic of healthy food encompasses more than nutrition. It’s about procuring local, seasonal, and less processed foods to serve in school cafeterias. It’s about cooking from scratch and making meal time an enjoyable experience. It’s about teaching students where their food comes from and how it reaches their plate. This month’s GreenNotes highlights schools and school districts that are making nutrition education and healthy eating a priority for their students.


Venturing Beyond the Schoolyard: Informal Environmental Educators as Allies in Sustainability Literacy – February 2021

Submission deadline: January 18, 2021

Outdoor classrooms come in many shapes and sizes – not all have to be located on school grounds! Nature centers, state parks, zoos, and museums offer programs and resources that educators can tap into to bring environmental and sustainability education to life in a place-based context. This month, GreenNotes highlights some of the many informal environmental education programs that are partnering with schools and school districts across the country.


Reducing Your School’s Environmental Footprint in the Age of COVID-19 – March 2021

Submission deadline: February 15, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed how schools around the world operate. Many schools are being asked to do more with less in the face of massive budget cuts. Is it possible to be environmentally-friendly and budget-conscious when it comes to operations and maintenance? This month, GreenNotes explores how schools and school districts are adapting their sustainable operations and maintenance practices to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic while making the case for sustainability in a COVID-19 world.


Leveraging Community Partners in Sustainable and Equitable Schools – April 2021

Submission deadline: March 15, 2021

Schools and school districts that embrace place-based learning understand that authentic learning happens when students are engaged in solving real-world problems in their communities. Community partners make these learning experiences possible through projects, internships, and field trips, among other opportunities. This month, GreenNotes introduces you to some of the school-community partnerships that are inspiring student interest in sustainability and equity issues while making a difference in the community.


Expanding the Definition of the Outdoor Classroom – May 2021

Submission deadline: April 19, 2021

What comes to mind when you hear the words, outdoor classroom? A school garden, perhaps. Maybe a dedicated space for outdoor instruction with wood benches or tree stumps. However, some schools are taking their definition of outdoor classroom to a whole new level. Think nature centers with trails for hiking and exploring. Greenhouses that serve as laboratories. Restored native habitats that teach others about local ecosystems. This month, GreenNotes shines a light on some of the novel uses of school grounds as outdoor classrooms and the lessons they are teaching students and communities.


Traveling the Path to Zero-Waste – June 2021

Submission deadline: May 17, 2021

Possessing a comprehensive waste management and reduction program is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reducing waste in schools. Schools that aspire to become zero-waste need to create programs and strategies that eliminate entire waste streams. Recycling and composting programs are easy entry points. Yet there are many paths schools can travel in their journeys to zero-waste. This month, GreenNotes takes a look at practices and programs that schools and school districts are adopting to make their zero-waste aspirations a reality.

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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