Environmental groups and resources serving K–12 schools
This article includes information about environmental groups and resources (such as those provided by government, its agencies, and existing or proposed legislation) that serve K–12 schools in the United States and internationally. The entries in this article are for broad-scope organizations that serve at least one state (within the US) or similar region (outside of the US).
- 1 Specific organized groups
- 1.1 Algalita Marine Research Foundation
- 1.2 Alliance for Climate Education (ACE)
- 1.3 Center for Ecoliteracy
- 1.4 Center for Green Schools
- 1.5 Classroom Earth
- 1.6 Climate Change Education
- 1.7 Cloud Institute
- 1.8 The Collaborative for High Performance Schools
- 1.9 Cool the Earth (CETI)
- 1.10 Drizzle Environmental Society
- 1.11 EarthTeam
- 1.12 Eco-Schools
- 1.13 Energy Action Coalition
- 1.14 Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI)
- 1.15 EnergySmart Schools Program
- 1.16 Energy Star for K-12 School Districts
- 1.17 Facing the Future
- 1.18 Focus the Nation
- 1.19 Free the Planet!
- 1.20 Global Green USA
- 1.21 Go-Green Initiative
- 1.22 Green School Buildings
- 1.23 Green Schools
- 1.24 Green Schools Alliance (GSA)
- 1.25 Green Schools Caucus
- 1.26 Green Schools Fellowship
- 1.27 Green Schools Initiative
- 1.28 Green Teacher
- 1.29 Green Youth Alliance
- 1.30 Growing Greener Schools
- 1.31 Healthy Schools Campaign
- 1.32 Healthy Schools Network
- 1.33 Kids F.A.C.E.
- 1.34 Inconvenient Youth
- 1.35 International Climate Champs
- 1.36 Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots
- 1.37 LEED for Schools
- 1.38 Lexus Eco Challenge
- 1.39 National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Sustainable Schools listserve
- 1.40 National Center for Science Education (NCSE)
- 1.41 National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
- 1.42 Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) Green Squad
- 1.43 No Impact Man
- 1.44 North American Association for Environmental Education
- 1.45 Project BudBurst
- 1.46 Protect Our Winters
- 1.47 Second Nature
- 1.48 Sierra Student Coalition
- 1.49 Sierra Youth Coalition
- 1.50 A Smart Energy Future
- 1.51 Student Environmental Action Coalition
- 1.52 Sustainable Schools Project
- 1.53 Teens Turning Green
- 1.54 Teens Turning Green Schools
- 1.55 US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
- 1.56 Zero Footprint Foundation
- 2 Groups with a focus on specific areas of interest
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Specific organized groups
As of 2008, many environmental groups exist, but they tend to overlap and duplicate efforts. The information here does not currently attempt to reconcile these issues but, rather, presents information as provided, when available, by each of the organizations described.
Listed below are formally organized groups in alphabetical order.
Algalita Marine Research Foundation
The Algalita Marine Research Foundation is dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and its watersheds through research, education, and restoration.
In keeping with their mission statement, the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF) is engaged solely in
- Protection of the marine environment and its watersheds, through investigative research on the impact of plastic marine pollution;
- Providing authoritative, educational findings to the public, private and scientific communities.
Algalita Marine Research Foundation educations goals are met through our K-12 school programs (including curricula and/or DVDs set to California's science standards), through public outreach, and through our unique educational literature. They make presentations at the local, state, federal and international levels on the topics of marine debris and ocean health. They have also created a series of videos intended to inform the public about ocean pollution.
Alliance for Climate Education (ACE)
Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) aims to inspire, educate and empower students in the fight against global warming because they believe that young adults can have a substantial and near-term positive impact on the global climate crisis. Through age-appropriate and engaging presentations, Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) intends to deepen the understanding of climate change among our next generation of leaders. Their primary goal is to equip students with the knowledge and tools they need to confront the global warming challenges our planet faces. ACE teaches the most current and accurate climate science so students will best understand the global warming crisis, and take initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through more informed lifestyle choices. ACE aims to empower students to share this knowledge by building awareness among family and friends as well as their broader communities. ACE will provide exciting opportunities for young people and schools to take action by awarding grants and scholarships to those who do.
Center for Ecoliteracy
The Center for Ecoliteracy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education for sustainable living. It seeks to advance schooling for sustainability by inspiring and supporting K-12 educators, parents, and other members of the school community who are helping young people gain the knowledge, skills, and values essential to sustainable living. Through its Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability initiative, it offers both a theoretical framework and practical resources for combining hands-on learning in the natural world with curricular innovation in K–12 education.
Center for Green Schools
The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is helping to engage educators in creating sustainable learning environments for their students and apply solid research to inform leadership—from school boards to college presidents—about the benefits of healthy, high-performing schools. They are working with state and local governments to draft smart, practical policies, and they provide trainings and helpful resources to those who need it most—K-12 schools serving lower-income families, under-resourced institutions and community colleges. The Center serves to convene conversations with key decision makers, collaborate with leading education and environmental associations and create tools and resources that help make green schools possible.
Classroom Earth as launched by the National Environmental Education Foundation in partnership with The Weather Channel is a program designed to enhance and strengthen environmental education in high school classrooms nationwide. By harnessing the expertise and passion of teachers and students around the country, Classroom Earth will enrich the high school curriculum by encouraging the inclusion of environmental education into all high school subjects - from biology to art - and make it easier for teachers to access best practices online. The primary goal of the program is to increase the environmental literacy of high school students and to provide models for including environmental education in high school classrooms through the Web.
Climate Change Education
Climate Change Education provides a portal web site dedicated to global warming education, climate change education, science, and solutions for teachers, students, kids, families, educators, everyone.
The Cloud Institute is a highly regarded organization that offers a variety of products and services to help public and independent schools, school systems, and their communities teach and learn for a sustainable future. All services have to be purchased.
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools, whose mission is to facilitate the design, construction and operation of high performance schools: environments that are not only energy and resource efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit, and containing the amenities for a quality education.
Cool the Earth (CETI)
Cool the Earth (CETI) is a program that educates K-8 students and their families about global warming and encourages them to take simple actions to reduce their carbon emissions. The program runs in 100 schools in Northern California. Cool the Earth Inc's mission is to educate children and their families about climate change and motivate them to take simple, measurable energy conservation actions that reduce their carbon footprint. CTE has a program training and tracking system on the web, making their program replicable throughout the country.
The 4-6 month program launches with a school-wide assembly featuring an age-appropriate play, which educates children about global warming and empowers them to take action. Students then go home with a coupon book containing energy saving actions. The coupons highlight the economic and environmental benefit of each action. To ensure that environmental considerations become an integral part of our participant’s everyday living, the families and children commit to taking actions over the entire year. Finally the school displays a highly visible tracking banner to illustrate to the school community that collectively their actions significantly impact climate change.
Cool the Earth measures the effectiveness of its climate change program and tracks the number of energy-saving actions taken by participants and pounds of carbon saved at each school through the Cool the Earth website. It is estimated that within 3 months of running the program each school population running Cool the Earth takes an average of 550 new energy-saving actions to reduce their footprint, reducing their carbon emissions by 350,000 pounds annually.
Cool the Earth uses a child driven model to encourage energy conservation. This model, in which the family acts together out of concern for the dangers of global warming, has recently been cited as an effective method to create positive environmental change by The Center of Excellence in Climate Change Communication Research at George Mason University.
CTEI has partnered with the Bay Area Air District, Girl Scouts of Northern California (2008), PG&E (2008), Marin Community Foundation, Marin Conservation Corps, Strategic Energy Innovations, Marin Municipal Water District, Safe Routes to School (2008) and The Climate Project.
Drizzle Environmental Society
Drizzle Environmental Society, established in 2014, provides environmental education initiatives, campaigns, and programs to teenagers and young adults through digital media. The organization is based in Vancouver, Canada. The organization's main initiative is the Youth Environmental Challenge which encourages youth from around the world to commit to completing five eco-friendly actions of any size over the course of one year.
EarthTeam has a stated mission to create a new generation of environmental leaders by introducing into the classroom and the community environmental experiences that are so active and engaging that they inspire dedication to a healthy environment. With a focus on the San Francisco Bay Area, over 2,000 students at roughly 60 schools they're involved in EarthTeam’s programs during 2006-2007.
Eco-Schools, which is affiliated with Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is a program for environmental management and certification, and sustainable development education for schools. Its holistic, participatory approach and combination of learning and action make it an ideal way for schools to embark on a meaningful path to improve the environments of schools and their local communities, and to influence the lives of young people, school staff, ::families, local authorities, NGOs, etc. By the end of the 2004/2005 school year, there were about 14,000 schools participating of which more than 4,000 were Green Flag award-winners. The Eco-Schools Green Flag, awarded to schools with high achievement in their program, is a recognized and respected eco-label for environmental education and performance.
As of 2008, Eco-Schools is represented in the United States by the National Wildlife Federation, and the US-based program is called Eco-Schools USA (). As of 2012, there are 53 countries participating in the international Eco-Schools program (including, within the United Kingdom, England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland) in Europe, Africa, South America, Oceania, and Asia.
Energy Action Coalition
Energy Action Coalition is a project of 48 leading youth and environmental organizations throughout the US and Canada. The Challenge leverages the power of young people to organize on college campuses and high schools across Canada and the US to win 100% Clean Energy policies at their schools. The Challenge is growing a generation-wide movement to stop global warming, by reducing the pollution from our high schools and colleges down to zero and leading our society to a clean energy future. Energy Action has run multiple campaigns to achieve these ends. In addition they planned the first national youth climate change conference, Power Shift '07 at the University of Maryland, College Park and at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Energy Action is currently planning the second national youth climate summit, Power Shift '09 which will take place February 27 through March 2, 2009 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.
Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI)
The Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI)/ was approved by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2008 to provide funding to K-12 schools for energy efficiency projects. The initiative has $90 Million available to fund energy efficiency in K-12 schools in Tennessee. Financial Incentives EESI has both grants and low interest loans available to offset the cost of energy efficiency projects. School districts installing high efficiency equipment can qualify for up to $22 per student in grants and $66 per student in loans. While most incentives are pre-qualified, custom incentives are also available for “out of the box” projects. A wealth of technical information and assistance is available to help schools through the complexities of saving energy. In addition to technical information, more hands on technical assistance such as energy audits and energy benchmarking are available at no cost to the schools.
EnergySmart Schools Program
EnergySmart Schools Program is a United States Department of Energy program through which the department "seeks to catalyze significant improvements in energy efficiency in the nation's K-12 schools at a time of enormous opportunity."
Energy Star for K-12 School Districts
Facing the Future
Facing the Future is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and motivating today's students to be responsible stewards of tomorrow's world. The organization develops and delivers standards-based hands-on lessons, student textbooks, curriculum units, and professional development opportunities for educators that promote critical thinking on global issues, sustainability and positive solutions. Facing the Future curriculum is in use in all 50 U.S. states and over 60 countries by teachers and students in grades K-12, in undergraduate and graduate classes, and across multiple subject areas.
Free curriculum downloads are available on their site for grades K-12.
Focus the Nation
Focus the Nation for K-12 is a national educational initiative on global warming solutions for America that will culminate January 31, 2008 in symposia held simultaneously at over a thousand colleges, universities, K-12 schools and other institutions. Focus the Nation provides a high school model on their web site.
Free the Planet!
Free the Planet! has a stated mission to expand and strengthen the student environmental movement, provide resources for student activists, and work with students to win campaigns for strong environmental protections.
Among activities undertaken by Free the Planet! are the following:
- Expanding the student environmental movement by recruiting students who are concerned about the environment to take action, networking student activists with each other and the larger environmental movement, and providing fresh opportunities and ideas for activists.
- Providing resources for student activists through their Project LEAD Training, Activist Advising program, How To Free The Planet!: Trainings and Briefings for Environmental Action, action guides, and other materials.
- Working with students to win campaigns for strong environmental protections by providing them with the resources to work on national campaigns together and guides to running effective on-campus campaigns.
On their web site, the last listed accomplishments and newsletters were dated 2004, and no membership numbers are provided online.
Global Green USA
Global Green USA's Green Schools program has worked for more than 10 years to build and upgrade schools to be healthier and more energy-efficient. Through their projects and initiatives, they have helped more than 55,000 students and teachers thrive and saved schools thousands of dollars.
Go-Green Initiative is a simple, comprehensive program designed to create a culture of environmental responsibility on school campuses across the nation. Founded in 2002, the Go Green Initiative unites parents, students, teachers and school administrators in an effort to make real and lasting changes in their campus communities that will protect children and the environment for years to come. No membership numbers are listed on their web site, but they do claim that schools in 46 states and the District of Columbia, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Europe have adopted the Go Green Initiative.
Green School Buildings
- Learn what makes green schools better for students
- Learn about local, state and federal initiatives to promote and support green schools
- Learn about LEED, the national benchmark for high-performance schools
- Find videos, research, case studies and other resources
- Read the most recent green schools news
- Get involved
Green Schools is based in Berkeley, California. Its website has a wealth of resources for school districts starting down the path of becoming green/sustainable, such as: Checklist for Getting Started, Tips for parents and students, Teaching Stewardship, 7 Steps to a Green School, and Sustainability Curriculum.
Green Schools Alliance (GSA)
Green Schools Alliance (GSA) is a non-profit organization created by schools for schools, connecting schools to resources and measurement and reporting tools to meet their energy and sustainability goals, raise environmental awareness, and empower students, faculty, and staff. This network of schools galvanizes concerns about climate change and the environment into collective action to protect our shared future.
An alliance of K-12 public, private, and independent schools, the Green Schools Alliance helps to set goals, measure progress and celebrate success. The GSA seeks to remove obstacles for all schools to participate. Membership in the Green Schools Alliance is FREE, based only on a commitment of environmental leadership:
- A school joining the GSA at the Climate Steward level pledges to calculate their school’s carbon footprint by establishing an energy and carbon emissions baseline, and achieve carbon reductions over time.
- Some schools choose to join at the Climate Champion level, pledging to reduce their school’s carbon footprint by at least 30% within 5 years, and achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2020.
In its first 18 months, the GSA grew to include nearly 2,000 schools in 37 US states and 10 countries. As of 2015, the alliance has over 8,000 member schools in 41 U.S. states and 53 countries. Composed of students, administrators, faculty, facility managers, business officers, and parents, the GSA leverages schools experience, expertise and passion to build a green community across boundaries. This network help schools to maximize the environmental benefits to the greatest number.
GSA provides a menu of opportunities that engage all members of the school community to work together to ensure a safe and healthy environment for future generations through the implementation of sustainable, energy-smart solutions today. GSA programs, created by schools, integrate education and action. Programs include: the Green Schools Climate Commitment; Green Cup Challenge; Student Climate and Conservation Congress (Sc3); Green Schools Resource Fairs; curriculum resources; and more.
In 2009 the Green Schools Alliance partnered with National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) to launch the Student Climate and Conservation Congress, Sc3, to empower students with the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to plant the seeds of change in their schools and communities. Fellows study and discuss environmental, social and economic interconnections and develop individual and collective action plans to meet 21st century challenges. Sc3 participants learn the practical skills needed to set sustainable, energy-smart goals and measure progress in their schools, homes or communities. Fellows continue to connect with their cohorts, coordinators and experts on an ongoing basis for the year following the Congress to implement their Personal Action Plans. Past speakers include Sylvia Earle, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Bill McKibben (Founder of 350.org), Ian Cheney (Director of King Corn), and Rob Watson (Founder of LEED).
Green Schools Caucus
Green Schools Fellowship
Green Schools Fellowship was launched by the US Green Building Council in 2010 and will begin placing full-time sustainability officers in school districts across the country in July 2011. Green Schools Fellowship is an effort to effectively and rapidly transform the environments in which children in the US learn.
Green Schools Initiative
Green Schools Initiative was founded by parent-environmentalists who were shocked by how un-environmental their kids’ schools were and mobilized to improve the environmental health and ecological sustainability of schools in the U.S. They believe it is essential to protect children’s health – at school and in the world beyond school – and they work to catalyze and support “green” actions by kids, teachers, parents, and policymakers to:
- eliminate toxics
- use resources sustainably
- create green spaces and buildings
- serve healthy food, and teach stewardship
They are working to leverage the schools sector to transform the school environment – and the markets that supply schools – to improve health and sustainability. Using the Precautionary Principle as their policy foundation, they are advocating that school boards and state policymakers develop comprehensive action plans and build the local capacity to implement these plans. They are starting their efforts with schools throughout California; they collaborate with and support organizations and individuals in other states and nationally.
Green Teacher is a non-profit organization which publishes resources to help educators, both inside and outside of schools, to promote global and environmental awareness among young people from elementary through high school. The organization’s primary activity is the publication of Green Teacher, a quarterly magazine full of teaching ideas from successful “green" educators. Each issue of Green Teacher offers perspectives on the role of education in creating a sustainable future, practical cross-curricular activities for various grade levels, and reviews of the latest teaching resources.
Green Youth Alliance
Green Youth Alliance is an environmental leadership service organization with the following goals:
- Consciousness Raising: Develop student leaders who can raise awareness about the potentially cataclysmic effects of human-induced climate change
- Action: Create opportunities for students to actively engage in projects that will help reduce our carbon footprint in schools, homes, and communities.
- Political Engagement: Encourage students to participate in the political process of monitoring and interacting with our political representatives to ensure that environmentally friendly political policies are adopted.
- Leadership: Nurture the next generation of environmental leaders by encouraging students to develop their leadership abilities.
Growing Greener Schools
Growing Greener Schools, MPC initiative, is both a PBS television event and a movement, empowering students, teachers, and parents to incorporate green ideas into their physical school buildings and classroom curricula, paving the way for a sustainable future. Greener, healthier schools have a broad positive impact on students’ attitudes and grades, on local communities, and the country as a whole. Benefits of the green schools movement include conserving valuable resources such as water and energy, saving money, improving health and nutrition, reducing our carbon footprint, and preparing students for green jobs and environmental leadership. Available from their website is Growing Greener Schools: A Handbook & Curriculum Guide.
Healthy Schools Campaign
The Healthy Schools Campaign is a 501(c)(3), an independent not-for-profit organization, and a leading authority on healthy school environments. With two primary program areas, environmental health and nutritional health, HSC works to promote policies and practices that allow all students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment. HSC published the Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools which has been distributed to more than 90,000 schools across the US to help schools adopt green cleaning programs. The Quick & Easy Guide to School Wellness is also a publication to aid schools in implementing wellness policies. Current major efforts include promoting non-toxic cleaning programs, supporting passage of a health supporting Child Nutrition Act and engaging school stakeholders to become advocates for improving school health environments. HSC's annual high school culinary competition, Cooking up Change, is an annual event highlighting both the creativity of students creating a healthy school lunch, and a platform to discuss the importance of investing in school food with our political leaders.
Healthy Schools Network
The Healthy Schools Network is a 501(c)(3) national environmental health organization that does research, information, education, coalition-building, and advocacy to ensure that every child has a healthy learning environment that is clean and in good repair. Founded in 1995, they have documented and publicized school environmental problems; shaped and won new education, health, and environmental policies; fostered dozens of local and state policy groups; won systemic federal and state reforms; and helped thousands of parents and schools make classrooms and buildings healthier through their EPA award-winning Healthy Schools/Healthy Kids Clearinghouse (Information and Referral Services). Major efforts include: building the platform and the forum for school environments through the collaborative Coalition for Healthier Schools which they founded and convene with more than 400 local, state, and national partners; leading National Healthy Schools Day; offering steady assistance through the Clearinghouse's publications and referrals; and refining their model New York Program. Throughout, they are focused on: 1) High Performance School Design/Construction consistent with children's needs for healthy environments; 2) Greening Existing Schools; and 3) Environmental Public Health for Children who are disproportionately affected by environmental exposures.
Also known as Kids for A Clean Environment, Kids F.A.C.E. has a stated mission to provide information on environmental issues to children, to encourage and facilitate youth's involvement with effective environmental action, and to recognize those efforts which result in the improvement of nature. As of January 2008, they claim to have more than 2,000 club chapters in fifteen countries and more than 300,000 individual members.
Inconvenient Youth, is a network of teens across America who give a damn about our future. They feel that the time has come to act in the face of climate change. They believe that, given the urgency of this incredible problem, they can no longer rely on others to take responsibility on our behalf.
International Climate Champs
International Climate Champs, is based on a successful UK program run by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in 2006. This project gives youth a voice, increases positive media coverage and helps individuals, schools, communities and many others tackle climate change. These champions are young people of school age, selected to help spread the word about climate change and to get others involved. They are working with in-country partners, initially the G8+5 (Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, UK, USA) (as of 2008), to help set up Climate Champion initiatives. Other countries will follow on later. Each country involved selects three people to be International Climate Champions. The Champions are aged 16–18 years.
Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is the youth-led community action and learning program of the Jane Goodall Institute. The program builds on the legacy and vision of Dr. Jane Goodall to place the power and responsibility for creating community-based solutions to big challenges in the hands of the young people. Through the program, young people map their community to identify specific challenges their neighborhoods face. From there, they prioritize the problems, develop a plan for a solution, and take action.
LEED for Schools
LEED for Schools is provided by the US Green Building Council. The LEED for Schools Rating System recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools. Based on the LEED for New Construction rating system, it addresses issues such as classroom acoustics, master planning, mold prevention and environmental site assessment.
Lexus Eco Challenge
Lexus Eco Challenge was developed to educate students about the environment and inspire them to create a better world. In conjunction with Scholastic Corporation, Lexus designed this national competition to challenge middle and high school students to create and implement environmental programs in their communities.
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Sustainable Schools listserve
The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) (NAIS) Sustainable Schools listserve is available to give all practitioners of matters related to sustainability a forum to pose questions and solicit input and feedback from others working on these issues in independent schools.
National Center for Science Education (NCSE)
The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a not-for-profit, membership organization providing information and resources for schools, parents. and concerned citizens working to keep evolution and climate science in public school science education. They educate the press and public about the scientific and educational aspects of controversies surrounding the teaching of evolution and climate change, and supply needed information and advice to defend good science education at local, state, and national levels. Their 4500 members are scientists, teachers, clergy, and citizens with diverse religious and political affiliations.
National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities provides information on planning, designing, funding, building, improving, and maintaining safe, healthy, high performance schools. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) Green Squad
The Natural Resources Defense Council Green Squad teaches kids about the relationship between their schools and environmental and health issues. The site is designed primarily for students in fifth through eighth grade, but also offers information for younger and older students as well as parents and teachers. The Green Squad was made possible through the support of Citigroup Foundation and The F.A.O. Schwarz Family Foundation. The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national environmental group with more than 500,000 members, and the Healthy Schools Network, an organization that works to protect children's environmental health in schools.
No Impact Man
The No Impact Man web site has a curriculum to help middle and high school students explore the effects their everyday behavior has on the environment, their health, and their well-being. It also challenges students to think about how the systems in our present society influence our lifestyle choices in ways that often are not good for environment. Finally, it guides students to take action both individually and with others to bring about positive change.
North American Association for Environmental Education
The North American Association for Environmental Education promotes excellence in environmental education and serves environmental educators for the purpose of achieving environmental literacy in order for present and future generations to benefit from a safe and healthy environment and a better quality of life. The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is a network of professionals, students, and volunteers working in the field of environmental education throughout North America and in over 55 countries around the world. Since 1971, the Association has promoted environmental education and supported the work of environmental educators. There are many environmental interest groups, and many organizations dedicated to improving education. NAAEE uniquely combines and integrates both of these perspectives, and takes a cooperative, nonconfrontational, scientifically balanced approach to promoting education about environmental issues.
Project BudBurst is a national field campaign for citizen scientists designed to engage the public in the collection of important climate change data based on the timing of leafing and flowering of trees and flowers, and the project provides resources and opportunities for K-12 teachers and students. BudBurst participants take careful observations of the phenological events such as the first bud burst, first leafing, first flower, and seed or fruit dispersal of a diversity of tree and flower species, including weeds and ornamentals. The citizen science observations and records are reported into the BudBurst data base. Thousands of citizen scientists participated in the inaugural pilot test of Project BudBurst in 2007 and as a result useful data was collected in a consistent way across the country. Scientists can use this data to learn about the responses of individual plant species to climatic variation locally, regionally, and nationally, and to detect longer-term impacts of climate change by comparing with historical data. The enthusiastic response and robust participation in the 2007 pilot effort made it clear that there was sufficient interest from the American public to expand Project BudBurst in 2008! Project BudBurst was moved from UCAR to NEON in 2011.
Protect Our Winters
Protect Our Winters is a non-profit organization that serves as the collective voice of the winter sports industry against climate change. They were founded in 2007 by pro snowboarder, Jeremy Jones after he had seen first hand the effects of climate change on the snow pack in mountainous areas. Their education program is called Hot Planet Cool Athletes, which brings professional winter sports athletes into schools to teach kids about climate change and why their voices matter. Because of this program, nearly 30,000 kids have been able to hear their role models (which consist of Olympic medalists and X-Games Athletes) talk about why climate change matters to them. Protect Our Winters has also put together a grant program called the Powder Grant that allows kids to receive up to $5,000 that will be used towards a project of their choice that helps their community or school become more Earth friendly.
Second Nature focuses on colleges and universities, but partners and support groups that work with K-12 schools in various ways.
Sierra Student Coalition
The Sierra Student Coalition is a broad network of high school and college students from around the country working to protect the environment. They have over 250 affiliated groups based at schools around the country (although just over 100 contacts are listed on the web site as of January 2008). The SSC is the student arm of the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization. Like the Sierra Club, the SSC is run by volunteers who work on national and local campaigns that promote smart energy solutions and protect the environment. They develop environmental leaders through their award winning grassroots trainings programs and work to maximize their campus-based effectiveness through the creation and maintenance of state and national networks of high school and college students. A small staff supports the work of the Sierra Student Coalition’s volunteer-run activities.
Sierra Youth Coalition
- Involve: empower youth in Canada to become active members of their community;
- Educate: create a widespread understanding that all things are connected;
- Change: challenge unjust and unsustainable systems by using a solutions based approach; and to
- Invoke Seven Generations: ensure that the voices of future generations are clearly heard by decision-makers
- Envisioned as a place to learn and grow, SYC aims to provide volunteers and employees with satisfying and meaningful work. This is achieved through a non-hierarchical and consensus based decision making model that allows equal access to information and a fair distribution of responsibility.
A Smart Energy Future
A Smart Energy Future (http://www.asmartenergyfuture.com), the nation’s first comprehensive curriculum-based program for students to learn about how technology is changing the future of energy and is a new curriculum designed to educate students on ways the smart grid will impact their lives. A Smart Energy Future is made possible by Silver Spring Networks, Inc. and its curriculum partner, Education Development Center (http://www.edc.org), Inc., an international, non-profit organization that focuses on education and health.
Student Environmental Action Coalition
Student Environmental Action Coalition is a grassroots coalition of student and youth environmental groups working together to protect our planet and our future. Through this united effort, thousands of youth have translated their concern into action by sharing resources, building coalitions, and challenging the limited mainstream definition of environmental issues. Since 1988, through campaigns, conferences, and a lot of hard work, SEAC has grown to hundreds of junior high school, high school college, and community groups throughout the United States and Canada.
Sustainable Schools Project
Sustainable Schools Project includes many resources on their website including for curriculum such as those titled Big Ideas, Standards, and Reflections.
Teens Turning Green
Teens Turning Green, or TTG, is a student-led movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools, and communities. Just kicked off in 2012: Kids Turning Green – Start a Chapter.
Teens Turning Green Schools
Teens Turning Green Schools provides a tool kit and case studies.
US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
The US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development consists of individuals, organizations, and institutions in the United States dedicated to education for sustainable development(ESD). The K-12 and Teacher Education Sector Team of the US Partnership includes experienced educators who help guide the development of a national ESD network of formal K-12 educators who are engaged in sustainability-related education, and who share the goal of preparing students to be informed participants in the development of sustainable communities. The intent of the K-12 and Teacher Education Sector is to focus on promoting ESD and its network as a whole, not to provide ESD services directly. The website has teaching resources.
Zero Footprint Foundation
The Zero Footprint Foundation challenge encourages students across the world to take climate change into their own hands by competing to reduce their school’s environmental impact.
Groups with a focus on specific areas of interest
- Farm to School organizations exist at national, state, and local levels, and, in general, they help to develop and implement program through which schools buy and feature locally produced, farm fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, honey, meat, and beans on their menus.
- Green fundraising programs, such as Trees for a Change, allow school groups to raise funds while helping the planet. These programs teach students about wildfire, forest restoration, team building and responsibility.
- "Algalita Marine Research Foundation - Education". Algalita.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Plastics Are Forever". Plastics Are Forever. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Algalita Marine Research Foundation - Education - School Assemblies". Algalita.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Terri Eddy (2012-01-27). "Alliance for Climate Education - Free Multimedia Climate Change Assemblies for High Schools - Climate Change Education - Student Green Projects - Grants | ACE". Acespace.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Education for Sustainability | Center for Ecoliteracy". Ecoliteracy.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Welcome to the Center for Green Schools at USGBC". Centerforgreenschools.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "A Program of the National Environmental Education Foundation". Classroom Earth. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Global Warming Education: School Lesson Plans, Climate Change". Climatechangeeducation.org. 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "CHPS.net". CHPS.net. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Cool The Earth". Cool The Earth. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- From 2007 household survey by Porter Novelli Center for Excellence in Climate Change Communication at George Mason University of 13,000.
- "Earth Team Environmental Network - Home". Earthteam.net. 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Eco-Schools". Eco-Schools. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Energy Action Coalition". Powershift09.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Energy Efficient Schools Initiative". Tn.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
-  Archived March 13, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- "For K-12 School Districts : ENERGY STAR". Energystar.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Sustainability & Global Issues Curriculum". Facing the Future. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Preview and Buy Curriculum". Facingthefuture.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Professional Development for Educators". Facing the Future. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Free Units | Preview and Buy Curriculum". Facingthefuture.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
-  Archived December 17, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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- "Welcome to the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council". Buildgreenschools.org. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
-  Archived January 8, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- "Green Schools Initiative : Index". Greenschools.net. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Green Teacher". Green Teacher. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Healthy Schools Campaign". Healthy Schools Campaign. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Healthy Schools Network, Inc". Healthyschools.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Kids F.A.C.E". Kids F.A.C.E. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Inconvenient Youth". Inconvenient Youth. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Climate Change". British Council. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "LEED for Schools". USGBC. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "The Lexus Eco Challenge: Empowering Teens to Take Action and Help The Environment". Scholastic.com. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Join the NAIS Sustainable Schools listserve!". Nais.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities". Ncef.org. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "NRDC's Green Squad: Intro". Nrdc.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Welcome to". NAAEE. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Welcome to Project BudBurst". Neoninc.org. 1999-04-13. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
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- Jeremy Jones (freerider)
- "Sierra Student Coalition". Ssc.sierraclub.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Sierra Youth Coalition / Coalition jeunesse Sierra | Sierra Youth Coalition". Syc-cjs.org. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "Tree Gifts, Memorial Tree Gifts, Pet Memorials, Green Fundraisers". Treesforachange.com. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Greening America's Schools: Costs and Benefits, October 1996, is a report that was sponsored by the following:
- American Federation of Teachers
- American Institute of Architects
- American Lung Association
- Federation of American Scientists
- U.S. Green Building Council
- and is intended to answer the fundamental questions: How much more do green schools cost, and is greening schools cost effective?
- Grid Neutral Schools Program, State of California
- Grid Neutral: Electrical Independence for California Schools and Community Colleges (Related article: California Offers Schools a Guide to Getting Off the Grid (California State & Consumer Services Agency, 2008))
- Student environmental groups as listed on the Open Directory Project (ODP)