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School District: Federal Way
School Location: Federal Way
Began participating in the Green Schools Program: September 2009

Level One of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in June 2010
Level Two of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in May 2011
Level Three of the Green Schools Program: Achieved in May 2012

Waste reduction and recycling (level one)

  • In 2009-10, Nautilus increased its recycling rate from 25 percent to 33 percent, saving $217 per month in garbage collection costs by reducing the outdoor garbage dumpster size.
  • The school improved classroom recycling and initiated lunchroom recycling of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and milk cartons.
  • In 2010-11, Nautilus began to collect food scraps and other compostable materials and increased its recycling rate from 33 percent to 41 percent. Nautilus continued to maintain a 41 percent recycling rate in 2011-12.
  • School staff placed recycling stickers that list what can and can’t be recycled on classroom and lunchroom recycling containers.
  • The student green team generated a list of projects and completed the following:
    • Created and presented PowerPoint presentations and skits in the lunchroom during Earth Week.
    • Made daily announcements about recycling.
    • Taught lower grade level students how to monitor the lunchroom recycling containers.
    • Held a “no contamination” contest for classrooms. The Associated Student Body presented trophies they made out of recycled materials to the classes that had no contaminants in their recycling bins.
  • Nautilus students and staff completed a school-wide clean up on Earth Day.
  • Sixth and seventh grade students participate in an annual neighborhood ravine clean-up project, coordinating with the cities of Federal Way and Des Moines for garbage pickup.
  • Students wrote letters to government officials about reducing carbon dioxide emissions that cause ocean acidification.

Energy conservation (level two)

  • Maintenance staff replaced all school bulbs with more energy-efficient lights.
  • Middle school students made posters and put them up around the building reminding students to conserve energy and help save our planet.
Nautilus K-8 students with recycling trophy
Nautilus K-8 students with recycling trophy
Nautilus K-8 students with recycling trophy
After winning the student-run “No Contamination in the Recycling Bins” contest, three Nautilus classes pose with their trophies which were made by ASB from recycled materials.
  • The PTA newsletter includes a conservation tip in its monthly publication. All tips are written by a middle school student.
  • The leadership students placed “Turn off the Lights” stickers by all light switches.
  • Middle school students shared conservation tips over the intercom during the morning announcements.
  • Staff received reminders to turn off lights, shut down computers, and close blinds at the end of every day.
  • Signs were posted in computer labs to turn off monitors when transitioning from one class to another.

Water conservation and pollution prevention (level three)

  • Students created and posted water conservation signs next to every sink in the building that say, "Turn off water when not in use," and include a picture of a dripping faucet.
  • Students participate in the annual Lakehaven Utility Water Conservation Poster Contest.
  • In 2011-12, students measured water flow from faucets around the school, compiled the data into tables and graphed the results.
  • Students made regular morning announcements to share interesting water facts and information on how to conserve water.


  • Nautilus teacher, Lisa Torres, received a King County Earth Hero at School award in April 2012.

For more information about this school’s conservation achievements and participation in the Green Schools Program, contact:

Stacy Lucas, principal
Contact Us

 Call: 206-477-4466

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0197

King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal