North Brunswick Township High School awarded Green Ribbon

NORTH BRUNSWICK – North Brunswick Township High School has been rewarded for taking a comprehensive approach to sustainability.

Now cited as a New Jersey Green Ribbon School and a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, the school will continue improving its impact on the environment.

“It’s great to win New Jersey,” said Amy Rafano, assistant principal for the Class of 2021. “When I got the email about winning the U.S. I was taken aback. I was really, really overwhelmed.”

According to Rafano, the school has reduced paper use, uses more electronics, doesn’t physically send out report cards, emails a Friday Folder with information, puts its newspaper on the web, makes sure buses have energy efficient devices, recycles more while reducing the amount of garbage, and uses local trees and appropriate landscaping on school grounds.

“Gone are the days of sending letters to parents,” Rafano said. “We are sending to our website and posting to student portals. … We are looking at ways to get out information more effectively and quickly, and being more efficient in our sustainability.”

The Green Team is composed of administrators, an energy manager, buildings and grounds, nurses, Chartwells Schools Dining Services, the science department, the technology department and the Environmental Club.

The efforts are aligned with the pillars of the program, which include reducing environmental impact, improving water quality, reducing waste production, improving the health and wellness of students and staff, and preparing students for advanced careers.

To do so, Rafano said tips are provided during morning announcements. Clear garbage bags are used to provide a visual impact of trash. There is a movement toward environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies. Children are encouraged to talk to their parents about smoke detectors and radon testing. The students in the POSSibilities program conduct surveys.

Outside partners are also consulted, such as Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Rutgers Gardens, Rite Aid for flu shots, Optical Academy for eye exams, Saint Peter’s University Hospital for information on vaping, and the Teen Outreach Program to promote good decisions for at-risk teens.

Rafano said the number one obstacle is to change behaviors, so the goal is to establish a partnership with the middle school to get more students involved in the climate at the high school.

“The work continues. There is a lot more we need to do,” she said. “It is important for us to keep our areas clean. It’s important for us to leave a positive footprint in our community.”

Administrators will attend the 2018 Recognition Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C., in September.

Contact Jennifer Amato at

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