Kids spend a big chunk of their days inside a school, so it's critical that the school environment:
• has good indoor air quality
• does not expose kids to toxic chemicals
• serves healthy food
• allows for recess and physical education, and generally promotes health and well-being.
Be part of the solution – take action this school year! Follow the ideas here and the steps in our Parent Toolkit to make sure your school is healthy, safe, and sustainable.
1. Check the Health and Sustainability of your School
One in five people in the U.S. – 55 million children, teachers, administrators, janitors, and nurses – spend their days in K-12 schools. A growing body of research shows that a poor environment at school is detrimental to children’s health and learning. Yet, the U.S. Environmental Protection agency estimates that the environmental conditions in as many as half of all schools is unhealthy.
Check the health, safety, and sustainability of your school using the following helpful checklists and tools:
• Healthy Schools Network - tips on how to get started
• Take the Green Schools Quiz - Find out how green your school is with our online quiz. If you score 31 or higher you may be eligible to be part of our Green Schools Honor Roll.
• Green Cleaners – Use our Green Cleaning Toolkit to get your school to switch to non-toxic cleaners to improve indoor air quality and reduce asthma and absenteeism.
• Indoor Air Quality App - There’s an App for That from US EPA: a mobile app to assess the indoor air quality at schools and provides access to their Indoor Air Tools for Schools Action Kit. The tool will help identify and prioritize IAQ improvements district wide.
• What is a “green school” – Check out our "Little Green Schoolhouse" graphic that shows the 4 key elements of a green school built on the foundation of the Precautionary Principle (Download the graphic as a PDF).