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                                      GEF offers free K-12 sustainability education
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K-12 Schools Nationwide Participate in the Largest Waste Reduction Campaign in History February 6 through Earth Day, April 22, 2012

January 17, 2012 – Green Education Foundation (GEF) is mobilizing millions of students from across the country to participate in National Green Week 2012, the largest waste reduction campaign in history. Green Week officially kicks off the week of February 6-10, but schools can choose any week, or day, to participate between February 6 and Earth Day, April 22. Already, almost 5,000 schools have registered reaching nearly six million students. GEF anticipates surpassing last year’s results, which saved over 100,000 pounds of trash (in just 5 days) and tens of thousands of dollars in utility bills.

At the highest level of government and industry there is an urgent recognition that people today lack the preparation and skills necessary to impact the new green economy and preserve the environment. “As the President says: ‘This is not just going to boost our economy in the short term, this is going to lay a platform for the future.’ Education and sustainability are the keys to our economic future—and our ecological future” quoted U.S. Education Secretary Arnold Duncan.

The world is changing, and it is the mission of GEF to enable individuals to be active participants in a sustainable future. The National Green Week program is completely free. It provides schools and educators with the tools and resources they need to introduce sustainability concepts in their classrooms and launch new sustainability initiatives. By participating in National Green Week’s stand-alone lessons and activities, or joining an eco-challenge or contest, students are empowered to make small behavior changes that have a great collective impact.

The curriculum associated with National Green Week includes five day lesson sets that are easily incorporated into science, math, language arts, and social studies curricula. To find additional curriculum by grade level and subject, visit GEF’s Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse, which is sponsored in part by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools. All lessons in the Clearinghouse are available at no charge.

National Green Week’s sustainability education lessons are also coupled with engaging eco-challenges:
  • The Green Energy Challenge calls on schools across the nation to improve their energy efficiency through simple changes of behavior. This K-12 sustainability education program empowers children to take small steps that can have a big collective impact on our environment, our economy, and our societies. Participants audit their school building and homes for energy consumption and make recommendations for improvements.
  • The Waste-Free Snacks Challenge asks schools to measure the waste they generate in a single week due to throw-away snack packaging. Then, students pledge to carry their drinks and snacks in reusable containers the following week, taking a new measurement of the trash generated at the end of the week. The goal is to eliminate 200,000 pounds of trash from schools and landfills. 
  • The Green in Action contest asks schools and youth groups to submit chronicles of their sustainability initiatives and activities. The winning groups and projects are showcased on GEF’s website and in national press.

“By participating in National Green Week 2012, students will learn that simple decisions such as turning off lights, adjusting thermostats and packing drinks and snacks in reusable containers can add up to big savings in energy and waste,” commented Victoria Waters, president of Green Education Foundation (GEF). “Children are in the best position to impact the future of the environment by developing green behaviors that become lifelong habits.”

To find out more about National Green Week and the resources and tools that accompany the program, visit GEF’s website. To participate, simply register for free as a GEF member and select National Green Week.


About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
GEF is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability Education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.

Become a member for free to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities at Join the sustainability education conversation by following GEF on twitter @greenedufdn and on Facebook at

Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Download, share, and comment on hundreds of sustainability lessons in GEF's K-12 lesson clearinghouse! Find the right lesson, activity or audit for your students by searching by grade level and subject area. Access is unlimited and free to GEF members!

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"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi