- A framework of SEVEN STEPS guides you through the process.
- Choose from a variety of sustainability PATHWAYS.
- Celebrate your achievements with a BRONZE, SILVER, or GREEN FLAG awards.
Walking Mountains is offering support to K-12 Eagle Valley schools in implementing an internationally acclaimed free program, Eco-Schools USA, that helps integrate sustainable principles and energy efficiency practices throughout the school and curriculum.
To become an Eco-School and receive a Bronze, Silver, or Green Flag award, your school must complete the following 7-step process:
1. Form an Eco-Action Team
2. Complete an Environmental Audit
3. Create Eco-Action Plan
4. Monitor & Evaluate the Action Plan
5. Link to Curriculum
6. Involve the Community
7. Create a Mission Statement or Eco-Code
Action Teams can consist of a class, club, existing student council, or whatever works best for your school. Schools must also find a staff member to be the Eco-Schools champion and leader for the students.
The Action Teams can choose to focus on 1 or more of the 10 Sustainability Pathways:
With the Eco-Schools program, you can turn your school into a learning laboratory and reduce energy consumption through no-cost operations and behavior changes. Additionally, you can empower students to grow as leaders, apply academic knowledge to solve real-world challenges, and move your school and our community toward a greener future.
To learn more, visit the Eco-Schools USA website by clicking here, or contact Walking Mountains Girls in Science Coordinator, Nicole Abrams, firstname.lastname@example.org or Walking Mountains Vice President and Director of Sustainability and Stewardship Programs, Kim Langmaid, email@example.com.
2016-2017 Eco-Schools $500 Sustainability Mini-Grants
Walking Mountains Science Center is providing $500 mini-grants for Eagle Valley schools that commit to earning an Eco-Schools award for any of the 10 Eco-Schools sustainability pathways. This money can be used in whatever way the applicant deems necessary to support the Eco-Schools program at the recipient’s school. For example, funds can be used to purchase tools or resources, to help implement a specific action, or to provide funds for a field trip. Up to half of the funds may be used to compensate staff for planning and instructional time for the Eco-Schools program.
Check out the reported energy savings at participating Eco-Schools!
Projects and Accomplishments of Participating Schools
Energy Efficiency & Conservation
● Students carry out energy audits on their school buildings & use the information to develop action plans to save energy.
● Eco-Action Teams engage the school community and create school-wide “power patrol” systems to turn off lights, shut down electronics, and close windows and doors at the end of the school day.
● Students share energy information with students, staff, and families in newsletters, bulletin boards, blogs, movies, and school-wide public service announcements. They give presentations at staff and PTA meeting and at assemblies.
● Students enact special “power-downs” prior to school vacations by working with staff and helping unplug “energy vampires” (electronics that consume energy even when turned off.)
● Green Teams use grant money to make energy efficiency upgrades such as replacing incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs. They also purchase power strips to make powering down classrooms easier for teachers and students.
● Eco-Clubs host lights-out days to demonstrate savings achieved by turning out lights.
● Students create bookmarks for the library promoting ways to save energy.
● Students create signage reminding building occupants to turn off lights and computers.
● Students gain firsthand experience with types of lighting, how to improve lighting without increasing electricity usage, which devices are the biggest consumers, and simple methods to reduce usage as well as lower overall utility cost.
● Green Team reduces energy use by picking up trash and coordinating with custodians to vacuum fewer days each week.
Consumption and Waste Reduction
● Students carry out waste audits to gather information about trash and recycling at their schools.
● Eco-Teams use the audit information to develop action plans to reduce paper use and food waste and to increase recycling.
● Eco-Action teams create signage for recycling bins.
● Green teams educate students and staff about what can and can’t be recycled through signage, presentations, and announcements.
● Eco-Teams work with custodial staff to improve recycling systems in classrooms and cafeterias.
● Student help empty recycling bins.
● Eco-Clubs create composting systems for cafeterias.
● Students and teachers organize campus clean ups.
● Teachers and students create school vegetable garden.
Take a look at the Eagle Valley’s 10 participating Eco-School webpages for more information!
- Avon Elementary School | Award Level: Silver
- Brush Creek Elementary | Award Level: Silver
- Edwards Elementary | Award Level: Bronze
- Gypsum Creek Middle | Award Level: Participant working towards Bronze
- June Creek Elementary | Award Level: Bronze
- Red Hill Elementary | Award Level: Participant working towards Bronze
- Red Sandstone Elementary | Award Level: Bronze
- Stone Creek Charter | Award Level: Bronze
- St. Clare of Assisi | Award Level: Bronze
- Vail Mountain School | Award Level: Bronze
What students and teachers have to say about Eco-Schools:
“Our Eco-Action team came up with a poem, “going green is going clean, being on the Eco-Action Team is a dream.” This is my first year participating in the Schools program. I have found it inspiring to see the enthusiasm from our team towards saving our Earth’s resources. They are committed individuals who are looking for creative ways to educate and inspire other students to conserve energy and resources.” -Edwards Elementary Science Teacher
“We learned the importance of saving energy in the classroom with the Power Patrol and as a school by making changes in the heating system controls, and plan to bring this information home to our families and share our success with those in our school and wider community. Thank you, Eco-Schools, for this chance to “turn off the lights” and “turn down the heat”!” -St. Clare of Assisi Science Teacher
“Green Team is important because it helps save the environment.” -VMS student