GREEN CAMPUS CHECKLIST
This checklist is a guide to the types of activities that can be taken to improve the
environmental sustainability of your campus in the following action areas:
At a minimum, you are encouraged to form a Green Team and use them to identify the
one or more areas on which you would like to focus. You may try a blanket approach where
you commit to one or two items in each sustainability action area or pick one or more action
areas to do a deep dive to implement as many of the suggested actions as possible. You can
even outline a plan to work on one area per semester or year.
For additional implementation resources for each sustainability action area, visit:
http://www.austinisd.org/advisory-bodies/esac/resources/other.
Have questions or just want a friendly face to help you get started? Contact Jen Cregar,
AISD Sustainability Coordinator, at jennifer.cregar@austinisd.org or (512) 414-3072.
1
Organization

Do you have a campus green team?

Does it include key stakeholders?
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Administration
Teachers
Students
Facility manager
Head custodian
Cafeteria manager
Parents
Volunteers

Does it meet regularly?

Is it empowered to recommend projects to campus leadership?

Is it empowered to implement projects?
Measurement and Monitoring

Have you assessed your campus’ environmental impact via:
o
o
eco-audits?
environmental footprint calculators?

Have you established an environmental mission/vision for your campus?

Have you set environmental goals for your campus?

Do you have an action plan for implementing and monitoring progress towards goals?

Have you pursued a green school designation? (Eco-schools USA, Green Ribbon
Schools)
Education and Outreach

Do you encourage sustainable behavior via:
o
o
o
o

education campaigns?
incentives? (stickers, buttons, gift cards, hall pass, special lunch seating)
contests?
awards?
Are sustainability concepts and environmental literacy integrated across disciplines?
2

Are teachers encouraged to teach sustainability concepts, including the relationship
between the environment, society, and economics?

Do staff model sustainable behavior for students, peers, and community?

Do students model sustainable behavior for staff, peers, and community?

Do you share your learnings internally via:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

morning announcements?
assemblies?
classroom presentations?
training/professional development?
posters/bulletin boards?
newsletter?
website?
Do you share your learnings externally via
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
green community events?
newsletter?
website?
parent mailers?
participation in AISD Green Team?
involvement with the AISD Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee?
student/professional organizations?
afterschool/community groups that use the school?
____________________________________________________________________________
Energy Conservation

Have you done an energy audit? (personal, classroom, campus)

Do students and staff know where their energy comes from?

Do you track your energy use and cost? (personal, classroom, campus)

Do you offer energy conservation lessons and programs? (Alliance to Save Energy)

Do you encourage responsible energy use via:
o
o
o
o
education campaigns? (Lights Off, Power Down, Energy Conservation Month
[October])
incentives?
contests?
awards?
3

Do you use natural lighting when possible?

Do you use task lighting instead of overhead area lighting?

Have you installed lighting occupancy sensors? (via Facilities Department)

Do you immediately report inoperable occupancy light sensors via a Facilities Work
Order?

Have you evaluated existing lighting for opportunities to reduce lighting in over-lit areas?

Do you turn off lights, computers, and other equipment when not in use?

Do you use natural ventilation/windows when possible?

Do you close your blinds during warmer seasons to block out heat and open blinds
during cooler seasons to keep in heat?

Have you enabled the power management settings on your computers/monitors/all-inone machines?

Have you disabled computer screen savers?

Do you choose laptops over desktops?

Do you purchase ENERGY STAR® certified equipment?

Do you minimize the use of personal appliances, such as microwaves and refrigerators?

Have you maximized the efficiency of your refrigerators/freezers by:
o
o
o
o
o

unplugging mini refrigerators/freezers and using communal ones?
setting energy-efficient temperatures for your refrigerators (36°- 40° F) and
freezers (0°- 2° F)?
ensuring refrigerators/freezers properly seal?
keeping the refrigerator/freezer full?
cleaning condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator/freezer?
Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to conserve
energy in line with the school’s practices?
Renewable Energy

Do you have solar, geothermal, or other forms of renewable energy installed on your
campus? (via Facilities and Austin Energy)

Have you purchased renewable energy certificates for your campus’ electricity use?

Do you offer renewable energy lessons and programs? (SECO Infinite Power of Texas)
____________________________________________________________________________
4
Water Conservation

Have you done a water audit? (personal, classroom, campus)

Do students and staff know where their water comes from?

Do you track your water use and cost? (personal, classroom, campus)

Do you offer water conservation education lessons and programs? (Austin Water
Dowser Dan School Assembly Program)

Do you encourage responsible water use via:
o
o
o
o
education campaigns? (Skip the Drip)
incentives?
contests?
awards?

Do you immediately report leaks via a Facilities Work Order?

Do you provide hand sanitizer as an alternative to hand washing with water?

Have you installed low-flow faucets, automatic faucets, and/or faucet aerators? (via
Facilities Department)

Have you installed low-flow shower heads (if applicable)? (via Facilities Department)

Have you installed low-flow toilets and urinals? (via Facilities Department)

Do you purchase WaterSense® labeled products?

Do you use collected rainwater for onsite watering needs?

Do you use collected condensation from A/C units for onsite watering needs?

Have you installed rain gardens, berms, swales, or other natural structures and
vegetation to retain water onsite and minimize potable water use?

Do you use native, drought-tolerant landscaping and grass?

Have you optimized your irrigation system (if applicable) to:
o
operate at night or early morning hours to minimize evaporation?
o
water the minimum time and frequency necessary for the applicable vegetation?

Do you use reclaimed water? (via Facilities Department and Austin Water)

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to conserve
water in line with the school’s practices?
5
Water Quality

Do you monitor water quality in nearby waterways?

Do you offer water quality education lessons and programs? (Keep Austin Beautiful
Clean Creek Campus, City of Austin Earth Camp, Austin Youth River Watch)

Have you installed rain gardens, berms, swales, or other natural structures and
vegetation to naturally treat storm water before it leaves your campus?

Do you practice integrated pest management using natural, non-polluting treatment
methods?

Do you practice organic gardening and landscaping using natural, non-polluting soil
amendments and pest control products?

Do you keep your campus and community clean to minimize trash polluting waterways?

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to protect
water quality in line with the school’s practices?
____________________________________________________________________________

Have you done a transportation audit? (campus)

Do you encourage green transportation options via:
o
o
o
o

education campaigns? (Million Mile Month [April], Bike Month [May], BOWWOW
[Bike on Wednesdays, Walk on Wednesdays])
incentives?
contests?
awards?
Do you provide green transportation infrastructure such as:
o
o
o
o
safe, connected, and accessible walkways and pathways?
bike paths and/or lanes
bike racks
green vehicle priority parking? (fuel-efficient, alternative fuel, carpool)

Do you provide green transportation matching services? (carpools, bike chains, walking
school buses)

Do you offer walking/biking field trips?

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to
offer/promote green transportation options in line with the school’s practices?
____________________________________________________________________________
6

Have you done a purchasing audit? (campus)

Do you have a green product list for items such as:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
green cleaning products?
paper/paper products with minimum recycled content (at least 30% postconsumer waste) and responsibly managed and harvested trees?
refillable pens/pencils?
no- to low-odor (VOC) markers?
no- to low-VOC paints? (via Facilities)
plates, cups, and serving ware that are reusable, contain minimum recycled
content, and/or are recyclable/compostable?
compostable bags for compost collection?
rechargeable batteries and chargers?
ENERGY STAR certified computers, monitors, printers, refrigerators, and other
energy-using equipment?
WaterSense labeled faucets, toilets, showerheads, and other water-using
equipment?
printers with duplexing (double-sided) functionality?

Do you track your purchasing to ensure adherence to any green product guidelines?

Do you provide used school/office supplies to minimize new purchases?

Do you reuse and/or upcycle graduation gowns (if applicable)?

Do you reuse and/or upcycle athletic clothing and equipment (if applicable)?

Do you shop secondhand for classroom decorations and supplies?

Do you limit the purchase of single-serve bottles and containers?

Do you have water fountains/stations that promote easy filling of reusable water bottles?

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to offer
sustainable products in line with the school’s practices?
____________________________________________________________________________
Indoor Air Quality

Have you done an air quality audit? (campus)
7

Do you use toxic-free cleaning products?

Do you use no- to low-odor (VOC) markers?

Do you use no- to low-VOC paints? (via Facilities)

Do you practice integrated pest management using natural, non-polluting treatment
methods?

Do you have indoor plants to naturally clean the air?

Do you use natural ventilation/windows?

Do you regularly replace air filters? (via Facilities)

Are A/C intake vents at least 10 feet from odor or emission sources (dumpsters, chicken
coops, compost piles, pick-up/drop-off locations)?

Do you minimize desktop/individual printer use in favor of central print stations/rooms?

Have you located printers in well-ventilated areas that minimize frequent/repeated
exposure to students/staff?

Do you practice regular housekeeping practices to minimize dust and allergens?

Are mold, asbestos, and other air quality concerns immediately reported via a Facilities
Work order?

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to minimize
indoor pollution in line with the school’s practices?
Outdoor Air Quality and Climate Change

Have you done an air quality audit to assess what products and practices contribute to
air pollution around your school?

Have you calculated your carbon footprint? (personal, classroom, campus)

Do students and staff understand the relationship between local air pollution such as
ground-level ozone and greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change?

Do you promote green transportation options that reduce vehicle air pollution?

Do you encourage bus drivers/parents to not idle their engine during pick-up/drop-off via:
o
o
o

education campaigns?
incentives? (bumper stickers, gift cards)
signage?
Do you provide Ozone Action Day education to limit polluting activities on poor air quality
days by:
o
o
forwarding email Ozone Action Day Alerts to parents and staff?
posting signs on Ozone Action Days?
8

Have you optimized your pick-up/drop-off times and logistics to minimize congestion and
reduce engine idling that causes air pollution?

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to
practice/promote air pollution reduction activities in line with the school’s practices?
____________________________________________________________________________

Have you done a waste audit? (personal, classroom, campus)

Do you know where your trash goes when it leaves your campus?

Do you track the amount of waste that leaves your campus?

Do you have accessible, consistent zero waste stations set up campus-wide that include
all applicable waste disposal options (landfill, compost, recycle) with containers that are:
o
o
o
o
o

Do you encourage a zero waste culture via:
o
o
o
o
o

education campaigns? (Landfill-free Lunches, Trash on Your Back, “One Sheet”
paper towel challenge)
incentives?
contests? (inter-grade and inter-campus zero waste challenges)
awards?
zero waste events?
Do you practice creative reuse via:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

placed in high-traffic areas where waste is created?
placed in the same order: landfill = left, compost = center, recycle = right?
color-coded: landfill = black/gray, compost = green, and recycle = blue?
appropriately sized for the expected amount of waste, including reducing the size
of landfill containers to encourage reducing, recycling, and composting first?
consistently labeled with large, eye-catching signage to help with sorting?
recycled art projects?
upcycled fashion shows?
discarded single-sided printer paper notepads?
onsite composting to “feed” onsite gardens that, in turn, grow food for the school?
reusing waste bin liners to minimize plastic bag waste?
identifying opportunities to reuse Styrofoam® and other packaging?
providing a reuse space for lightly used binders, file folders, manila envelopes,
pens, and other reusable supplies?
Do you reduce cafeteria waste via:
o
o
reusable trays, plates, bowls, cups/bottles, and serving ware?
minimizing use of products with excess packaging? (plastic-wrapped utensils)
9
o
o

engaging students to properly sort waste?
engaging parents to reduce packaging waste and single-serve containers?
Do you reduce paper waste via:
o
o
o
o
o
o
encouraging digital reading, note-taking, and activities?
setting printers and computers to default to duplex (double-sided) printing?
reducing margins and white space on documents that must be printed?
printing multiple pages per sheet?
minimizing paper correspondence with families?
opting out of unwanted mail?

Are all stakeholders engaged in campus zero waste efforts with kids and adults
practicing proper recycling and composting?

Do you provide recycling collection for additional recyclable materials—like plastic bags,
CFL (spiral) light bulbs, batteries, drink pouches, candy wrappers, and electronics—that
cannot go in the single-stream blue bins?

Are cleaning products, grease, strippers, batteries, fluorescent lighting, science lab
materials, and other potentially hazardous products disposed of properly?

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to reduce,
reuse, recycle/compost in line with the school’s practices?
____________________________________________________________________________
Food

Have you done a food audit?

Is local, sustainable food integrated in cafeteria menus?

Do students and staff understand the difference between processed and fresh food?

Do you offer student, staff, and community access to food grown in onsite school
gardens and/or via delivery from local farms?

Do vending machines and school-provided meals offer and encourage healthy options?

Do cafeteria and other staff seek to minimize the amount of food waste via:
o
o
o
o
proper meal planning?
providing desirable food?
encouraging students to take only what they think they will eat (within legal
requirements)?
providing opportunities to share leftover food (within legal requirements)?
10

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to provide
local, sustainable food options in line with the school’s practices?
Nature and Outdoor Spaces

Have you done an outdoor spaces audit?

Are students and staff provided access to and encouraged to use school grounds via:
o
o
o

school leadership expectations?
designated outdoor times?
incentives?
Are school grounds used as an opportunity for learning through:
o
o
o
o
formal outdoor classrooms?
informal gathering areas?
natural play areas?
professional development?

Have you created a school grounds master plan and implementation timeline?

Have you taken action to green your schoolyard through implementation of:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
onsite composting?
rain gardens, berms, swales, or other natural drainage features?
rain barrels and other rainwater collection systems?
greenhouses?
food gardens?
habitat gardens?
pollinator gardens?
hydro/aquaponics?
native and drought-tolerant landscaping?
ponds?
livestock, fowl, bees, and other animals?
natural trails?
tree planting and care?
natural elements such as cob or wood sculptures and benches?

Have you consulted with AISD’s Outdoor Learning Specialist?

Are afterschool program administrators and community groups encouraged to use the
schoolyard as a learning and play space in line with the school’s practices?
11
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