BOSTON — State environmental officials today recognized students from 44 schools across the Commonwealth for outstanding environmental actions as members of the “Green Team,” a statewide environmental education program sponsored by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
“The Baker-Polito Administration congratulates all the Green Team teachers and students, who showed outstanding leadership and initiative during the past school year to raise environmental awareness in their schools, homes and communities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “When schools closed in March, these students continued to work on environmental activities at home, including recycling, composting, gardening, and creating outreach materials to share with their classmates, setting a tremendous example for both their peers and the entire Commonwealth.”
Students of any age can participate in the Green Team program, an initiative composed of students that share the goals of reducing pollution and protecting the environment. More than 111,000 students in 391 classes at 341 schools joined the Green Team this school year, a record level of participation for the program.
Students took part in a range of activities, including expanding school recycling programs, collecting textiles for donation and recycling, starting a compost pile using organic waste from the school cafeteria and using the compost it generates to nourish a garden to grow vegetables, making their school driveways “Idle-Free Zones,” increasing energy efficiency in their schools and communities, and reducing their carbon footprint at school and at home.
These activities incorporated classroom disciplines from the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), reading, writing, art, and other non-classroom, interrelated projects.
“Each year, Green Team students take the concept of environmental stewardship right into their own schools and communities with practical approaches to energy conservation, recycling, composting and pollution prevention projects,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Participants in the Green Teams each year put into practice ideas that create a positive impact on our environment, and take steps to expand recycling and energy efficiency efforts.”
Participating teachers received a Green Team Kit containing classroom posters, lesson plans, recycling tips and access to a library of other resources. In addition, 33 schools received recycling equipment from the Green Team to initiate or expand school recycling programs. Eighteen schools received signs reading “Idle-Free Zone” from the Green Team that serve as a visual reminder to drivers to turn off their engines while waiting in the schoolyard.
Participating classes entered in a drawing for prizes, and 44 classes received prizes for their efforts (see list below). Thirteen schools won grand prizes for schoolwide participation, and will receive remote interactive performances by environmental “edu-tainer” Jack Golden, or gift cards to local garden centers for trees and gardening supplies to further “green” their schools. The other 31 classes will be invited to participate in the remote environmental shows.
To learn more or to participate in the 2020-2021 school year, the 19th year for the Green Team, teachers may sign up online here.
To see a list of the winners, click here.