School student tour is a good experience

The New Brunswick, N.J., school system recently was recognized for promoting healthy environmental policies, according to an article on the Tap Into New Brunswick website. The district received a bronze award from Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a program based in the Sustainability Institute at the College of New Jersey in Ewing.

Sustainable Jersey cited the district's green cleaning policies as well as the its creation of a "green team" to identify and implement environmental conscious policies and procedures.

The district plans to launch additional environmental efforts next year and seek a silver certification.

Of the nearly 600 school districts in New Jersey, 310 districts participated in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. There are 227 bronze certified schools among the 310.

The four-year-old program provides training for schools to conserve resources. Districts that achieve certifications are expected to cut costs for energy, water and garbage bills, and will receive tools and resources through training and workshops to develop sustainability programs.

Another option for schools looking to launch sustainability is to find guidance and support with a corporate partner.

For instance, at Beulah Payne TK-6 Elementary School in Inglewood, California, joined with employees from EcoSafe and WAXIE, who worked alongside school staff to drive sustainability efforts. The partnership successfully eliminated waste through student education and streamlined waste management.

Their efforts included a “Free the Napkin” campaign in which designated “Eco Heroes ” among the school’s staff taught students to begin trash sorting efforts at their lunch tables. The Eco Heroes further ensured proper trash sorting by guiding students through the process at compost, recycling and landfill stations set up by WAXIE and EcoSafe.