Clark County Green Schools
|Washington Green Schools
What is the Clark County Green Schools Program?
Clark County partners with Washington Green Schools, Waste Connections, and the City of Vancouver to provide environmental education and technical support to all schools in Clark County. Our collaborative team aids in fostering sustainable and environmentally friendly habits in our school communities. Clark County staff and partners work together with schools to train, coach, audit, plan, execute and sustain successful projects that make our schools and our community proud.
What to Expect
Schools in this program have the opportunity to focus on and become certified in one or all six environmental certification categories: waste, water, school grounds, energy, transportation and healthy buildings.
Becoming certified in a category involves understanding the system their school or district has in place by using the individual school data and trends; identifying opportunities to eliminate waste; and implementing projects based on the data that reduce or eliminate wasteful trends. (See the graphic below)
To begin, schools create a cross functional green team that includes students, teachers, administration, and community partners to lead the school in learning and implementing their projects. This program is a great system to learn about using the “lean” process to create a more sustainable environment and community. The “lean” process is defined as, to minimize waste and create more value by using fewer resources.
The learning is designed by the Washington Green Schools program to satisfy the state curriculum requirements. There are various events throughout the school year for teachers and students to engage with their peers in the process including the Annual Student Summit. These events are designed to inspire, educate, and recognize the groups for their hard work. (See our calendar for a list of upcoming events for schools and in the community).
School Success Stories
Some of the projects schools have implemented:
- Use reusable plates and flatware in the lunch room to eliminate plastics, and paper plates (Camas High School)
- Students as well as staff separate food waste from regular trash to be collected by Waste Connections and hauled away to be composted (formally known as the Save Organic Scraps program)
- Gardening and onsite composting at LaCenter High School