Mercer Island schools earn Sustaining Green Schools recognition
Five Mercer Island schools have been recognized as Sustaining Green Schools by the King County Green Schools Program: Island Park Elementary, Lakeridge Elementary, Mercer Island High School, Northwood Elementary and West Mercer Elementary.
This program helps schools and school districts engage students and employees in learning about and practicing resource conservation. It provides hands-on help, guidance for Green Teams, and the tools schools need, such as information, indoor recycling bins, and a variety of conservation signs, to make improvements.
To earn the Sustaining Green Schools recognition, schools must have achieved three levels of practice for waste reduction, recycling, energy and water conservation and pollution prevention, and completing an additional conservation action or educational strategy.
The program helps teach students and staff to only recycle materials they know can be recycled. To reduce contamination in recycling bins and ensure markets for the collected recyclable materials, important messages such as “no liquids or food in recycling bins” are emphasized. Students in turn bring these lessons home.
“The schools we’re recognizing this spring have initiated or improved sustainable practices such as reducing paper use, reducing food waste, recycling, and conserving energy and water, all of which reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change,” said Dale Alekel, King County Green Schools Program manager.
Student Green Teams participate in activities such as monitoring energy use in classrooms, promoted walking, biking and carpooling to school, encouraged their peers to use durable water bottles, and created videos about a variety of conservation practices.
Photo: Mercer Island schools Green Teams were honored at a recent School Board meeting.