Environmental Sustainability

Northwest School Awarded Green School Certification

In late June, The Northwest School received official Gold-Certified by Washington Green Schools, demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability and awareness in our community. Students in the Environmental Interest Group (EIG), with help from faculty members in the Sustainability Committee, helped Northwest obtain certification in the three following areas: transportation, waste and recycling, and school grounds and gardens.

"At Northwest, we have a strong environmental ethic already baked into our mission, our practices, and how we operate," says Jenny, director of environmental education and stewardship. "Washington Green Schools is a unique program in the country, and we are proud to be connecting with other like-minded schools and leading by example."

Washington Green Schools facilitates a framework for students to investigate environmental issues at school, and certifies schools in six categories: energy, healthy school buildings, school grounds and gardens, transportation, waste and recycling, and water. Schools are certified by completing all of the items on a report card, which includes assessing the current state of affairs, an action project to make a change, analyzing the impact of the project, and sharing the results with the community.

"I'm so excited we were able to do three projects that both had an impact on students, in terms of raising awareness, leadership development, and environmental understanding, and also have some degree of sustainable environmental impact," says Jenny Cooper.

One of this year’s projects that drove certification was the brand new Urban Farm and Garden. The project, facilitated by members of the EIG, sought feedback from every grade level to create a flexible outdoor space for the entire community. According to Jenny, Washington Green School's goal is to get students to engage on environmental issues, and get teachers to tie environmental issues into their curriculum.