Starting a Green Team
A Green Team is a student group, class, ASB, community service club, science club, or other group that takes on a project to conserve natural resources at school or in the community. Teams can be any size and can be part of an existing club or class.
Looking to begin a student Green Team? Read our Green Team Guide. If your school is currently participating in the Green Schools Program, you can request guidance for your student team. Email us at GreenSchools@cplusc.com. If your school has not yet signed up to participate, see Sign up for the Green Schools Program.
Green Team Resources
- Use our sample application form to help with student recruitment.
- Use our sample announcement messaging in emails, newsletter, in PA announcements, etc. to promote the program and request volunteers.
- Read our guide for leading a building tour to showcase your Green School.
- Download our template for creating membership cards for your team
- See our best practices guide for each Green Schools program level for activity ideas and resources.
Educational tools about resource conservation
- Educational tools about resource conservation – includes links to curriculum, lesson plans, videos, and more
Activity guides for student teams and their advisors
- Campaigns to Reduce Lunchroom Waste
- Carpool Project
- Paper recycling campaign and Communication tips
- Plastic Bottle Reduction and Recycling Campaign
- Quiz Show
- Climate Change
- Earth Day activities
- Earth Day, Earth Month, or any day or month
- Environmental Justice
- Food systems and food waste reduction
- Sustainability education and action for Autumn or anytime
Guides for creating short videos on waste prevention
Elementary school class or team activity guides
Home waste surveys students can complete at home
Green Team Recognition
Student teams are eligible for recognition if they complete at least 1 new project to reduce waste, improve recycling, conserve energy, conserve water, protect habitat, or another conservation goal. While the actions of student teams are important to the success of many Green Schools, we like to recognize student teams separately for their activities and projects. Recognized student teams receive a digital certificate and social media icon.
To receive student team recognition in Spring 2024, complete this Student Team Recognition form by April 30, 2024.
We also encourage schools to recognize the accomplishments of their student Green Teams, individual students, staff, and volunteers at assemblies and staff meetings.
Elementary School Green Teams – project examples
Get inspired by these projects completed by elementary school green teams. Read about student team project success stories for schools in your district, city, and throughout King County.
Green Team students at Mount View Elementary School in Highline Public Schools helped set up a program to collect organics (food scraps and other compostable materials) during all six lunch periods during the 2022-23 school year. Students labeled indoor food scrap bins and created videos about composting to share in classes.
At Sawyer Elementary School in Kent School District, during the 2022-23 school year, 78 student team members took turns as cafeteria monitors to ensure students placed recyclable materials in recycling bins and garbage in garbage bins. At a STEM learning night, the student team organized a booth where people could learn about plastic waste in oceans and practice how to sort recyclables and garbage correctly. To demonstrate how to reuse materials, the team used empty plastic water bottles and paper tubes to create bird feeders.
The student Green Team at Nautilus K-8 School in Federal Way Public Schools created paper reuse boxes for each classroom. When paper used on one side is placed in the bins, students and teachers can use the other side. The students also created a paper reuse box for the staff workroom.
At Highland Terrace Elementary School in Shoreline School District, 20 students from grades 3-5 participated in the Green Team in 2022-23. Students used Green Schools Program stickers to label recycling and trash bins throughout the school, made weekly announcements at lunch to encourage students and staff to reduce waste and recycle, and led informational quizzes on how to reduce wasted food. This information was posted in the school newsletter for families.
Green Team students at Scenic Hill Elementary School in Kent School District reduced school energy use by nine percent through a simple campaign. Students made "Turn off the lights" handprints to post near light switches and doorways throughout the school. This project was a follow-up to a previous school-wide campaign to reduce garbage and increase recycling.
The Green Team at French Immersion School of Washington planned and led two trainings in 2022-23 about waste reduction and recycling – one for teachers and the other for administrative staff. The team made recycling posters for school hallways; weighed and analyzed trash generated at lunch and snack times over a one-week period; created and performed skits about recycling; and led games in lower-grade classes to teach students and staff how to reduce waste and what materials can be recycled.
A class in Mark Twain Elementary School in Lake Washington School District used lessons they learned about advertising to lead an informational campaign about waste reduction and recycling. Posters and announcements were used to convince students to pack lunches from home in reusable containers to conserve natural resources and save landfill space.
The fourth-grade Green Team at Snoqualmie Elementary School in Snoqualmie Valley School District began Waste Free Wednesdays at their school. On Wednesdays, students were encouraged to reduce wasted food by thinking about what food items they select and then eating the foods they take.
Students at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Lake Washington School District organized school-wide projects for Earth Day, including a Waste Free Lunch Day. They decorated over 500 used paper grocery bags to hand out at a local grocery store. Green Team members picked up litter around the community and removed invasive plants at a local park.
Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Clark Elementary School in Issaquah School District prepared a guide about the school's native garden and staffed information booths at the school's watershed festival.
Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Martin Sortun Elementary School in Kent School District established native plant gardens on school grounds. They used art to illustrate the connection between native plants and healthy watershed ecosystems.
Secondary School Green Teams – project examples
Get inspired by these projects completed by secondary school green teams. Read about student team project success stories for schools in your district, city, and throughout King County.
In the 2022-23 school year, the student Environmental Club at Raisbeck Aviation High School in Highline Public Schools created and hung posters around holiday seasons to share information about sustainable ways to give gifts. The club used its Instagram page to educate students about a variety of environmental practices. At a fundraising event for their club, club members sold reusable tote bags.
At Innovation Lab High School in Northshore School District, the student Climate Action Club carried out several projects in 2022-23. Club members made sure each classroom had a recycling bin and sign, planned a climate rally, and participated in Fridays for Future climate strikes. They posted tips and facts in the weekly student bulletin about reducing waste and recycling; made 3-dimensional posters with empty bottles, cartons, and other recyclable materials glued to them to hang above cafeteria bins; and posted signs at water filling stations and vending machines to remind students to bring reusable water bottles. The club set up a bin for donated reusable water bottles so students could help themselves to the bottles.
Khalsa Gurmat School in Federal Way formed a student team in 2022-23. Team members learned about resource conservation practices, then created and led presentations to their school community. The team’s major project was to help organize collection of recyclable and compostable materials at the annual Vaisakhi celebration in April 2023. Almost 6000 people attended the event. All “waste” generated at the event was sorted by volunteers, including students, into recyclable materials, compostable materials, and garbage.
In 2022-23, students were invited to join the Green Team at Lake Washington High School in Lake Washington School District through morning announcements, broadcast advertisements on the student-led weekly news broadcast, a table at the student club fair, posters, and Instagram promotions. The team's main campaign focused on reducing cafeteria waste, starting with a waste audit conducted with PTSA and Green Schools Program support. The team started collection of compostable materials and a food share table in the cafeteria, and created videos to share the waste audit results and tips on how to sort waste. The team led a campaign to reduce the amount of garbage generated at Halloween; conducted an anti-idling demonstration at school; and participated in multiple campus clean-ups.
Green Team members at McKnight Middle School in Renton School District created posters to hang above cafeteria recycling and garbage bins, and served as monitors at cafeteria recycling/garbage stations to encourage students to sort correctly. To help conserve water, students checked for leaks in the bathroom and classroom faucets. To educate fellow students, team members created videos about water quality, recycling, and plastic pollution to show during homeroom classes.
In 2022-23, the student Climate Crew at Northwood Middle School in Kent School District encouraged recycling and energy conservation practices by educating students and staff through morning announcements, posters, and educational sessions for small groups at lunch. Climate Crew members researched water conservation methods and created posters to share this information with the school.
The Green Team at Skyline High School in Issaquah School District worked with Cedar Grove Composting and the Green Schools Program in 2022-23 to improve waste sorting in the school cafeteria and to collect restroom paper towels separately from garbage. Restroom paper towels were added to food scraps and other compostable materials for pickup by Cedar Grove Composting, the regional composting facility. The team and ASB created an educational video about reducing waste, recycling, and composting to show during an assembly.