Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Green Building and Curriculum Resources for Teachers

Links for building your own environmentally progressive school, and to eco-friendly lesson plans.

April 1, 2009

This resource article accompanies the feature "Students Learn Environmental Lessons from a Green School Renovation."

More and more, schools are going green -- in the topics they're covering in their curriculum, as well as in the construction and remodeling of the schools themselves. Green buildings have multiple advantages: lower energy costs and a smaller carbon footprint -- plus, they create living-learning environments that educate students to be more Earth conscious. Here, you'll find resources for building green schools, curricula to help educators teach about conservation, and more.

Green Building Resources

Build Green Schools

Looking into a school remodel or new construction? The U.S. Green Building Council's Web site promotes the benefits of green building and offers informative videos, checklists, and other worthwhile resources, as well as informative sections on LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

A wealth of resources to help you find out about green building projects, discover what architects are doing to decrease costs and increase efficiency, and more.

Green Schools Checklist

This very thorough checklist (download a PDF of the list) highlights those things schools should consider when beginning to think about going green.


The American Society of Interior Designers Foundation and the U.S. Green Building Council present their best practice guidelines for sustainable residential projects. Ideas provided via webinars, product checklists, and case studies on outdoor and indoor green revamps will be useful in school building projects as well.

U.S. Green Building Council

For those looking to build green schools, this site presents a wide range of educator resources (such as LEED information), professional courses, green building research, presentations, and more.

Green Teaching Tools and Curricula

Alliance to Save Energy's Green Schools Program

Working with schools to get students involved in real-world energy-saving activities, the ASE has helped schools decrease energy use as much as 15 percent.

Green Schools

This nonprofit organization focuses on green awareness for students and staff with programs, resources, and events to promote healthier food and nutrition, indoor air quality, and the 3Rs: reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Green Schools Alliance

From students' videos to ideas for best building practices, this site offers a wide range of useful resources for building green schools and showing what students can do to make caring for the environment a reality.

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association

This site provides curriculum units for kindergarten through high school, professional-development programs, and the organization's Healthy Schools Project.

The Green Schools Initiative

This organization, according to its Web site, creates "opportunities for kids, teachers, and parents to lead efforts to implement environmental and health improvements in their schools and communities." Kids do environmental audits and analyze and design their own solutions to problems.


Greenovation was designed with K-12 learning in mind. Students discover how to monitor energy usage in their classroom, and they can join a social network to collaborate with other students (or teachers) on green projects.

U.S. Green Schools Foundation

A source of green curriculum, this nonprofit group is dedicated, according to its Web site, to the "implementation of environmentally sustainable and energy efficient systems and practices in K-12 schools."

Shari Wargo is a former editorial assistant at Edutopia.

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