Manzo Elementary School green projects
Center for Green Schools Manzo Elementary School green projects

The U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools released its second annual Best of Green Schools list on Wednesday. Aside from schools, the list includes districts, policy makers, and communities. Demonstrating the economic effect that green schools can have, the Center for Green Schools stated in a release that “green schools can save approximately $100,000 on operating costs annually—enough to hire two new teachers, buy 5,000 textbooks, or purchase 200 new computers.”

Names on the list include the Bertschi Science Wing at Seattle’s Bertschi School Living Science building, profiled by ECO-STRUCTURE (K-12 school); Oberlin College (four-year institution); Education Secretary Arne Duncan (policy maker); and Connecticut Green LEAF Schools Program (collaboration).

In addition to the savings they provide, teachers use these facilities to demonstrate green living strategies to the young students, such as composting, gardening, and recycling.  At the university level, students are learning about LEED certification and organizing groups to achieve near-zero waste at both the school and city level. Beyond the school walls, students and community members are organizing international green movements and turning entire schools and towns into living labs to teach about green living and building.

The Best of Green Schools list is broken into ten categories: K-12 schools, two-year higher education institution, four-year higher education institution, school district, policy makers, moment for the movement, ambassador, business innovation, community-based event, and collaboration.

The full list is available on the Center for Green Schools website.