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 

Entrepreneurial Mindsets Innovate for a Sustainable Future — April 2020

Submission deadline: March 23, 2020

The sustainability challenges of the 21st and 22nd centuries require that today’s students acquire a whole new set of skills, not the least of which include the ability to ideate, design, adapt, take risks, learn from mistakes, and collaborate with others. In short, students must develop an entrepreneurial mindset to co-create a sustainable future. Through project-based learning and fostering a design thinking culture, more schools are giving students opportunities to hone these skills. This month’s GreenNotes takes a look at how schools and districts are fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in their students, as well as some of the K-12 student entrepreneurs who are innovating a sustainable future, today. 

Transportation — May 2020

 Submission deadline: April 20, 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.


Unpacking Indoor Environmental Quality in Green, Healthy, and Sustainable Schools — June 2020

Submission deadline: May 18, 2020

Indoor air quality is a common topic of conversation when discussing green school buildings. However, good indoor air quality is just one component of a healthy school environment. Indoor environmental quality presents a more holistic portrait, taking into account not just air quality but lighting, acoustics, thermal comfort, and ergonomic design. This month’s GreenNotes examines strategies that schools and districts are implementing to create school environments that are healthy, safe, and conducive to learning and innovation. 

The Role of Policy in Shaping Green, Healthy, and Sustainable Schools — July 2020

Submission deadline: June 22, 2020

What does it take to implement real, meaningful change in a school or school district? When shifting to a sustainability mindset, school and district leaders often need to make bold changes to how they operate, lead, and teach. Policy, whether at the local, state, or national scale, can greatly influence change, especially as it pertains to green, healthy, and sustainable practices. The month’s GreenNotes explores how school and district leaders are leveraging policy to reduce operating costs, improve their school’s/district’s environmental footprint, promote healthy behaviors, and create learning opportunities that prepare students to co-create a sustainable future.

Student Voice — August 2020

Submission deadline: July 20, 2020

Student-centered learning plays an integral role in the 21st century classroom and the power of student voice and choice is being felt (and heard) beyond the four walls of the school building. Today’s students are taking action to create change in the world, in their schools, and in their communities. In this issue of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, you will hear directly from students themselves about how they are working to reduce the environmental footprint of their schools and communities; promote health and wellness; and engage in meaningful projects that bridge classroom and community.


Making a Splash with Water Conservation — September 2020

Submission deadline: August 17, 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 — October 2020

Submission deadline: September 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.

School Safety — November 2020

Submission deadline: October 19, 2020

School safety is a hot button topic and for good reason. Every child deserves to attend a school where they feel safe, accepted, and cared for. This starts with schools and school districts that take a proactive stance when it comes to addressing student trauma and promoting positive school cultures and climates. This month’s GreenNotes explores how schools and school districts can create learning environments that nurture the social-emotional and mental health of students.

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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