The Johnson Park School and the Littlebrook School have earned “Sustainable Jersey for Schools” bronze-level certification for 2022, based on their efforts to encourage sustainability, according to the Princeton Public Schools.
Both elementary schools earned points for the school district’s basic efforts to track their energy and water usage, quantifying their carbon footprint, performing energy efficiency upgrades and exploring workplace charging through a staff survey, officials said.
The Johnson Park School received 155 points to earn bronze certification for involving students in the day-to-day recycling efforts at school by working together with art teacher Linda Gates to create signage in the cafeteria for various bins that encourage recycling, officials said.
There is a compost bin for food waste, and a blue recycling bin for paper, cardboard, glass, cartons and plastic bottles. The gray bin is for liquid waste, such as leftover milk or juice, and a black bin for everything else, officials said.
The Littlebrook School earned 175 points to earn bronze certification for its outdoor courtyard garden that has seven raised beds, and for its hydroponic vertical garden in the school lobby, officials said.
The school received points for holding a bicycle safety program last fall, which was followed by a walk/bike to school event on Earth Day in April. It also earned extra points for students’ efforts to decorate reusable grocery bags with a teaching message – “Stop trashing plastics” – for McCaffrey’s Markets patrons at the Princeton Shopping Center on Earth Day.
School district Business Administrator Matthew Bouldin said sustainability is important to the school district and praised the Green Teams from the two elementary schools. Their efforts “certainly deserve recognition,” he said.
A school must earn at least 150 points for bronze certification, based on a list of possible actions under the voluntary certification program developed by Sustainable Jersey for Schools in 2014, according to www.sustainablejerseyschools.com
The list ranges from student safety, green cleaning, energy efficiency, food and nutrition, waste management and recycling, healthy school environments, school grounds, and climate mitigation and renewable energy, according to www.sustainablejerseyschools.com