Involving students in sustainability leadership

Published on: 
4 Sep 2015
Joe Nelson

It’s that time again! Students of all ages are racing back into school buildings across the country to be joined by their friends, ready for new lessons and challenges. They are learning some new names and asked to share what they did over the summer. Hundreds of students, grades 2-12, will likely be talking about the environmental service projects that they planned, ran, or volunteered at as part of their membership in the National Green Schools Society (NGSS).

Not only does NGSS, a program of Green Schools, provide a number of environmental programs and resources to develop the next generation of green students and schools, but it seeks to recognize student leaders who are the up-and-coming sustainability superstars of their generation. This year, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC and NGSS are teaming up to support students’ efforts to transform local schools through environmental service projects as a part of the 2015 Green Apple Day of Service on September 26.

Start your year off strong by registering a NGSS chapter at your school--all you need is a teacher or mentor to serve as an advisor, and a commitment to completing 20 service hours. NGSS will provide a handbook to get started and other resources to help the chapter become student-led.

You can begin logging hours immediately as part of this year’s Green Apple Day of Service on September 26--or any day that works best for your team in 2015. Identify your own project to help make a school you love healthier, safer, and more productive and efficient, or choose from any of the Green Apple project ideas, including:

It's easy to get started today with a project that makes an impact in your community and gets you recognized as a student sustainability leader. Create a sharable event page today to promote within your network and to find volunteers. You will be well on your way to completing your environmental service hours and becoming a community hero. But in case that’s not enough, having the best story to share the next time anyone asks what you’ve been up to recently is pretty cool too!