The Green Schools Alliance (GSA) is a global network of schools guiding schools, working together to address 21st Century environmental and climate challenges through the implementation of sustainable, energy-smart solutions.
There are more than 120,000 public and private K-12 schools in the U.S. alone that directly touch the lives of more than 80 million people every day. According to the U.S. Department Of Energy, taxpayers spend $8 billion dollars on energy for schools each year. Green schools can reduce these costs by an average of 35%. Nationally, this could equal nearly $3 billion dollars, EACH YEAR, while providing students with hands-on learning opportunities, and empowering them for the future.
GSA began in NYC with a handful of schools. Today, it has become an inclusive grassroots movement with 2,000 public/charter, private and independent K-12 school members -- including the entire NYC public school system -- reaching nearly 2 million students in 43 states and 40 countries -- and is growing by word of mouth alone!
Uniquely created by schools, GSA’s goals are: 1) to help schools measure-reduce-report their carbon footprint and non-renewable resource consumption; 2) to build a peer-to-peer community that shares best practices and accelerates the implementation of sustainable solutions; and 3) to educate the broadest number of people about the importance of 21st Century leadership through environmental stewardship, and to prepare students for the new green economy.
GSA programs integrate education and action, and aggregate progress across geo-political, socio-economic and generational boundaries. Best practices ripple outward from schools, to families, to the workplace. GSA programs such as the Green Cup Challenge, Student Climate & Conservation Corps (Sc3) and Sc3 Congress, and soon-to-be launched GSA On-line Network, are open to member and non-member schools alike and involve the whole school community -- faculty, students, business officers, facility managers, heads of school, administrators, staff and parents -- in a broad range of sustainability and energy actions. GSA schools use the building and campus as a teaching tool: Students work alongside faculty and staff doing everything from recycling, weatherizing, conducting energy audits, changing lights and replacing old boilers, to improving science and technology education, restoring wetlands and planting green roofs.
Membership is built around a climate and sustainability “Leadership Commitment,” which helps schools set and meet sustainability goals, and become conscious of the connection between their choices and empowered to take action now and into the future.