1. Change Your Lightbulbs and Go One Step Farther

2. Initiate a Recycling Program

  • Paper, glass, cardboard, plastic, aluminum/tin, compost, printer cartridges - refill/recycle

3. Reduce Paper Consumption

  • Reduce handouts to parents - encourage email or district website postings

4. Use Green Cleaning Products

  • No: APEOs, EDTAs, phosphates or potassium salts, butyl, toxins, animal testing, aquatic toxicity
  • Yes: no or low VOCs (volatile organic compounds), low eye and skin irritation, biodegradable packaging, non-combustible.
  • Look for items with 3rd party certification (Green Seal, Ecologo)

5. Incorporate Green Cleaning Best Practices

  • Damp dusting, HEPA vacuum cleaner filters, Microfiber dust cloths and mops
  • 3-step walk off mats (1lb of dirt = $500)
  • Establish list of prohibited chemicals/provide classroom teachers with one approved all-purpose cleaner, discourage air freshener use

6. Responsible Building Maintenance and Renovation

  • Low or no-VOC products, PVC-free materials, no added formaldehyde
  • Floor refinishing: skip a year or two
  • Integrated pest management

7. Institute a No-Idling Policy for Buses and Parents

8. Establish & Support Farm to School Programs

  • Work directly with local farmers/food producers to bring their food to the cafeteria
  • Request organic products, demand hormone-free milk/meat from food vendors

9. No Waste Lunches

  • Consider a recess followed by lunch schedule
  • Provide metal utensils, biodegradable cups/napkins; set up a compost system
  • Inform parents on how home lunches can be zero waste

10. Educate your Children

  • Build these principals into the culture of your school family


Created by Montana State University Extension Housing and Environmental Health Program

Contact Myla Kelly at 406-994-6948 or [email protected]

Download a printable poster (.pdf)