Green Schools National Network

Click the links above to learn more about publication-specific writing guidelines and submission information.

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 the Green Schools National Network.

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.

Green Schools National Network Blog

Blog posts should address one or more of the themes based on the core practices found in the GSNN GreenPrint. A list of these themes can be found here: https://greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org/green-print.


Additional blog guidelines:

  • Blogs should be between 500 – 800 words in length.
  • Include a headline/title.
  • Narrative or essay in first or third person perspective.
  • 1-2 sentence bio for each of the authors.
  • Include live links to related/supporting material and/or suggest resources or tools of interest.
  • A minimum of 1 photo is required.
    • 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.


Submission guidelines for blog posts:

  • Submit blog posts 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 blog posts for consideration to Cyndy Merse at cmerse@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org. Include “Write for GSNN: Blog” in the subject line, along with your intended topic (e.g., “farm to school” or “place-based learning”).


GreenNotes Monthly Newsletter

GSNN’s newsletter, GreenNotes, focuses on one overarching topic per month. We will consider articles for the month that best matches the topic. A list of upcoming themes can be found below. Have a question about an upcoming theme?  Contact cmerse@greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org.


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.


Additional 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.
  • Use of APA style citations in articles is preferable over footnotes
  • 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) (approximately 100 words) 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.


Submission guidelines for GreenNotes articles:

  • 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 

Technology and Sustainability Education — May 2018

Submission deadline: April 27, 2018

The ever-increasing role that technology plays in our lives is often to blame for our equally increasing disconnect from the natural world, especially among younger generations. However, technology can be a powerful tool in connecting young people to the natural world and in solving some of our most pressing sustainability challenges. This issue of GreenNotes takes a look at how using technology in the classroom to support environmental and sustainability literacy engages students in authentic learning that connects them to human and non-human communities, promotes a stewardship ethic, and inspires a lifelong commitment to caring for our planet.


Catalyst —–June—-Environmental Literacy


Promoting Lifelong Fitness/Recreation in the Outdoors — July 2018

Submission deadline: June 29, 2018

Being active outdoors is a positive lifestyle choice for all ages. However, physical activity in the outdoors benefits more than mind, body, and soul. It has the potential to connect people more deeply with the natural world. More and more, schools and school districts are realizing that PE need not be confined to the gymnasium. This issue of GreenNotes shines a light on innovative fitness and recreation programs that are not only getting students out of the classroom and into nature, but exposing them to recreational opportunities they can partake in for a lifetime.  


Social-Emotional Learning in Green Schools — August 2018

Submission deadline: August 3, 2018

Green, healthy, and sustainable schools nurture not just their students’ physical health and well-being, but their social and emotional health as well. These schools embody a culture that promotes respect, trust, empathy, integrity, and compassion for those within and outside the school community, humans and non-humans alike. This issue of GreenNotes highlights schools and school districts that are implementing social-emotional learning best practices that lead to whole child development: not just the mind, but the heart as well.


Catalyst —–September—-The Role of Schools in Community Health and Resilience


Green Schools Addressing Grand Challenges — October 2018

Submission deadline: October 5, 2018

In 2008, an international committee identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st century. Many of these challenges address issues that are pertinent to sustainability and a healthier environment, including access to clean water, alternative forms of energy, restoring balance to natural systems, and improving infrastructure. Since then, K-12 schools have used these challenges as the foundation for curricula that span all core subjects and engage students in solving real-world problems. This issue of GreenNotes will introduce you to schools and school districts that are tackling these Grand Challenges in their classrooms and equipping students with the skills they need to overcome these challenges for a more sustainable future.


Net Zero: Waste and Energy — November 2018

Submission deadline: November 2, 2018

According to the EPA, Net Zero means consuming only as much energy as is produced, achieving a sustainable balance between water availability and demand, and eliminating solid waste sent to landfills. Net zero can seem like an ambitious goal, but schools and school districts across the U.S. are adopting practices to make this goal a reality. This issue of GreenNotes will introduce you to some of those schools and school districts, highlight their best practices and lessons learned, and explore the latest trends in reducing energy use, conserving water, and eliminating waste.


Catalyst —–December—-Climate Change Education


Green Schools and the Community — January 2019

Submission deadline: January 4, 2019

Schools are widely recognized as centers of their communities, places where people gather to learn, celebrate, and take shelter in times of crisis. More and more, schools are adopting the mantle of climate resiliency, preparing students for the social, environmental, and economic challenges of the 21st century. In this issue of GreenNotes, you will meet some of the schools and school districts that are on the leading edge of this movement, and learn how their leadership and curriculum are having an impact on their communities.