Back to (Healthy and Sustainable) School



1. What is a Green School?
Check out the Center for Green School’s Every School Can Be a Green School: Getting Started Checklist or the BPS Healthy School Environments Toolkit to promote healthy and sustainable Boston Public Schools.

2. Be a BPS Healthy & Sustainable Schools Champion
Interested in representing your school through a sustainability leadership role? Fill out the BPS Healthy & Sustainable Schools Interest Form. Opportunities include:

  • School Zero Waste Coordinator
  • Member of the district BPS Zero Waste Committee
  • School Energy Conservation Coordinator
  • Member of the district Healthy School Environment Committee, a sub-committee of the District Wellness Council

3. Use Green Cleaners
Promote the use of green cleaners in schools by following the BPS Green Cleaners Policy. The Green Cleaners Policy applies to all Boston Public School buildings and grounds, including offices, classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, hallways, pathways, kitchenettes, stairwells, etc.

  • TIP: Every school has a chemical dispensing system managed by the school custodial staff. Collaborate with custodial staff to set up a “Green Cleaner Station” where teachers can leave reusable spray bottles to be filled with the general green cleaner. Use the green cleaner with paper towels instead of any pre-soaked wipes. Discourage any use of pre-soaked wipes. Contact Katherine Walsh about reusable spray bottles.

4. Energize for Conservation
Promote energy conservation at your school as part of BPS participation in the City of Boston’s Climate Action Plan. Reducing utility costs = reducing operating budgets = increasing teaching and learning budgets.

5. Strive Towards Zero Waste
Per the BPS Recycling and Zero Waste Policy, all schools must have a recycling program. Use or the BPS Zero Waste Guide to start or enhance your program. Post and share the new BPS Recycling and Trash signage.

6. Use these Tips for a Successful Integrated Pest Management
Review the BPS Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Resource Guide to understand the components and requirements of IPM, and access tips and resources for a successful school IPM program.

7. Integrate Sustainability into the Curriculum
Bring sustainability into the classroom with standards-aligned, bilingual, project-based learning from the online K-12 curriculum platform, Learning Lab. Access additional sustainability curriculum resources on our Curriculum page.

8. Bring Teaching Outside
Your school’s schoolyard and/or outdoor classroom are wonderful resources for bringing teaching outside. Schoolyard and outdoor classroom resources are available here.

9. Promote Healthy Air Quality
Register your school for the OnAir Campaign, an educational initiative of Green Schools Alliance that inspires students to take actions that improve our air quality, including promoting anti-idling of vehicles at schools.

10. Join the Green Team, sponsored by MassDEP
Register your school for The Green Team, an interactive educational program that empowers students and teachers to help the environment through waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation and pollution prevention. Participating classes receive certificates of recognition and are eligible to win awards. In 2017-2018, 25 BPS schools registered as Green Team schools. (Registration is required annually.)

Contact Sustainability & Environmental Resources Manager Katherine Walsh, or 617-635-9576, for support on any green school questions and initiatives.