7 Green Schools You Should Know About

Lauren Dalmatoff | June 23, 2022 | 5 min read

What makes a school “green”?

Educating the next generation of environmental change-makers is an important strategy to help build a greener future. And around the world, green schools are leading the way with programs that are designed to prepare students to grow and live in more sustainable ways. 

From building outdoor learning areas to using green building materials to developing extensive recycling programs and sustainable curriculums, every green school is unique. What they all have in common is that they educate with the future in mind, designing a learning experience for students that will prepare them to build a healthier, cleaner, more sustainable world.

Here Are 7 Eco Friendly Schools That Are Changing the World, One Student At A Time

green school bali

1. Green School Bali

Inspired by Alan Wagstaff’s “Three Springs” educational design concept, Green school Bali is a wall-less, action-based Pre K-12th grade school located amongst the jungles and rice fields of Bali.  Built entirely out of bamboo, it's doors officially opened in 2008. Today, there are 3 more Green Schools located in Tulum, South Africa and New Zealand. Using a holistic, student-guided approach, they educate for sustainability, through community-integrated, entrepreneurial learning in a natural environment. Students focus on developing environmental solutions and taking action to make a real impact.

arizona state university campus

2. Arizona State University

Ranked #1 in the US for Sustainable Development Goal impact, ASU is at the forefront of sustainability and innovation for higher education in the US. Through countless initiatives, they're working to be an exceptionally environmentally conscious campus focused on addressing the climate change crisis. Their campus is a living laboratory for innovations in sustainability, and they're guided by 8 overarching sustainability goals: circular resources, climate positive, collaborative action, community success, food reconnection, optimized water, personal action, and resilience.

manassas memorial park forest

3. Manassas Park Elementary School

Located in Manassas, Virginia, Manassas Park Elementary School follows the philosophy that “nature is a place to play” — and they have a campus to support that. Their award winning campus was designed with the goal of providing access to fresh air, natural daylight and a connection to nature — all of which have been shown to improve student health and performance. As part of their curriculum, they work to cultivate environmental stewards in their community of teachers, learners and parents — and to foster a connection with the surrounding woodland and watershed.

performing arts high school

4. Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Kensington Creative and Performing Arts High School was designed with sustainability in mind. To achieve LEED Platinum Certification, they've incorporated a range of sustainable concepts, including on site water cycling, green roofs, geothermal HVAC and hot water systems, extensive daylighting, energy efficient building envelope and a revolutionary “recycled landscape”, which features demolition and found materials from the original building site. 

modern high school

5. San Marcos High School

When the San Marcos school district needed to update their aging high school building, sustainability was top of mind. A landscaped quadrangle helps foster community and connects to outdoor teaching and informal student gathering spaces. Sustainability was imbued into every aspect the design, including natural daylighting and high-efficiency lighting and mechanical systems, a large rooftop photovoltaic array, recycled materials and high performance building envelopes, low-flow plumbing fixtures, efficient irrigation, native landscaping, storm water reclamation, and more!

earth ship solar panels

6. Somos Tagma

In Canelones, Uruguay, the first 100% sustainable public school in Latin America was built. The 270-square-meter building took just 7 weeks to build and used approximately 4,000 bottles and 8,000 cans. The structure is 100% powered by photovoltaic panels and has a collection and treatment system for rainwater, which is used for human consumption, irrigation, and cisterns. Its curriculum teaches students environmental responsibility, how to grow food organically, and the importance of properly recycling, reusing and disposing of waste.

school garden plant student

7. Coolbinia Primary School

Coolbinia Primary School works to provide students with the knowledge, skills and values they need to live sustainable lives. The curriculum includes a variety of programs focused on improving its eco footprint, including energysmart (installing solar panels and replacing kerosene lanterns with solar lanterns), wastewise (worm farming/composting and Nude Food lunches), waterwise (tap/leak checks and using rainwater tanks), biodiversity (veggie gardens and tree planting) and travelsmart (Fume Free Fridays and Walk Over October).

Educating the next generation about how to live sustainably is a vital part of building a greener future. We hope you're inspired by the eco schools that are making a difference, one student at at time.

At One Tree Planted, we're also dedicated to educating the next generation through our T.R.E.E.S. School Program, which brings environmental education into Grade School, High School and University programs and campuses with free lesson plans, activities and resources for teachers and students looking to incorporate sustainability into their classroom, learn how to participate with your school by visiting our Schools Page.

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. Today, we're raising funds to jumpstart forest fire recovery in British Columbia. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Restore landscapes damaged by a historic season of wildfires
  • Create habitat for iconic biodiversity like the moose and grizzly bear
  • Support old-growth management areas to maintain complex ecosystems
  • This reforestation initiative is helping to restore the landscape in British Columbia after the Hanceville fire burned over 590,000 acres in 2017 and natural regeneration has not occurred. The fire has impacted the forest, soils, riparian ecosystems, wildlife, and water quality. Local indigenous communities have seen their ability to hunt and gather food drastically altered. But your support will go a long way! The goal of planting trees here is to not only re-establish a healthy forest, but also to plant species that will be resilient in the face of climate change. Thank you so much for your support of healthy forests! 🌲
  • Planting trees will catalyze the process of returning the area to a forested state. Newly planted trees will begin the process of sequestering atmospheric carbon, and over time improve the hydrological benefits of the forest. The ecosystems that have been greatly simplified by extreme fire conditions will once again become complex ecosystems, This project will also create habitat for many local wildlife species including mule deer, moose, black and grizzly bear, wolves, sandhill cranes, various raptors, songbirds, and small mammals.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • B.C.'s rich forest diversity includes more than 40 different species of native trees, with some of Canada’s most interesting and valuable tree species. In this project, we made efforts to maximize species diversity, including the following species: Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, hybrid spruce, ponderosa pine, trembling aspen.

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