1. Characteristics of a Green School

Characteristics of a Green School

Published on 06 Jun 2023
General Article

A green school is an environmentally friendly school that aims to create a sustainable and healthy learning environment for their students and staff. These schools focus on reducing their environmental impact and promoting a culture of sustainability in education and in their community. This article discusses the key characteristics of a green school that distinguish it from other schools.

Credit image: iStock

Sustainable Infrastructure 

One of the primary characteristics of a green school is sustainable infrastructure. A sustainable building design focuses on minimizing the environmental impact throughout the construction, operation, and lifecycle of the school building. It encompasses various elements and strategies that contribute to energy efficiency, resource conservation, and the overall well-being of occupants.

These schools are designed to be energy-efficient, water-efficient, and environmentally responsible. They use renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal heating and cooling systems to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources. They also use rainwater harvesting systems, low-flow faucets, and water-efficient landscaping to conserve water.

There are numerous schools in Malaysia, both local and international, that have a sustainable infrastructure. Some are more advanced in their sustainability efforts than others, but the increasing awareness of environmental responsibility is encouraging more schools to adopt sustainable practices.


Credit image: iStock

Water Reduction and Recycling 

Green schools have effective waste reduction and recycling programs that encourage students and staff to reduce, reuse, and recycle. They use composting programs to turn food waste and other organic materials into nutrient-rich soil for the school gardens. They also have a recycling program that includes the proper disposal of electronic waste such as computers, printers, and cell phones.

Did you know that by reducing your shower time by just one minute, you can save approximately 2.5 gallons (9.5 litres) of water? It may not seem like much, but when multiplied by the number of showers taken worldwide, it can make a significant impact on water conservation efforts.


Credit image: iStock

Sustainable Transportation 

Green schools promote sustainable transportation practices that reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Many schools provide bus services for students, particularly for those living farther away from the school. They organise efficient and reliable bus pick-ups and drop-offs and ensure that each vehicle. This not only aids students who have issues coming to school on time and safely but it also reduces the number of cars on the road, resulting in reduced traffic congestion and lower emissions.

Did you know that carpooling has many advantages, including reducing traffic congestion and lowering carbon emissions? If four people carpool instead of driving separately, they can reduce their carbon footprint by up to 75%. Not to forget all the fun karaoke sessions that you can have with your friends!

Credit image: iStock

Sustainable Food Systems 

Green schools promote sustainable food systems by serving healthy, locally-sourced food in their cafeterias. Some schools will partner with local farmers or food co-ops to source fresh, seasonal produce for their school meals, while some may go a step further by growing some of their own food. 

Some schools have their own garden where students can actively have hands on learning opportunities in growing fruits, vegetables and herbs. Students will also be able to learn about the importance of sustainable farming and develop an appreciation of how and where their food comes from and how food is being sourced among others. 

Did you know that reducing your consumption of meat reduces a person’s carbon footprint significantly? This is because meat production, particularly in industrial-scale animal agriculture, has a substantial environmental impact, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, water pollution, and excessive resource consumption.

Credit image: iStock

Curriculum and infrastructure 

Green schools incorporate sustainability education into their curriculum and instruction. They use real-world examples of sustainability challenges to teach students critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They also provide opportunities and events for students to engage in sustainability-related projects. For example, students may design and implement a waste reduction campaign within the school, create a school garden, or even develop an energy conservation plan. These projects allow students to gain practical experience, develop teamwork skills, and make tangible contributions to the school's sustainability efforts.

Credit image: iStock

Community Engagement

When communities actively engage in sustainability initiatives, they not only contribute to a healthier environment but also experience various social and economic benefits. Studies have shown that neighbourhoods with strong community engagement in sustainability projects often have increased social cohesion, improved quality of life, and enhanced resilience in the face of environmental challenges.

Green schools understand the importance of involving the community in sustainability initiatives. Therefore, they actively engage their community in sustainability initiatives to foster a culture of sustainability beyond the school walls. They actively collaborate with local organizations, organizing community-wide events such as recycling drives, awareness campaigns, and tree planting initiatives. Additionally, they invite community members to share their expertise and insights with students, fostering a deeper understanding of sustainability-related topics.

Check this article out on some places in the city and Klang Valley that not only brings the community together but also promotes sustainability. 

In conclusion, a green school is an educational institution that is committed to creating a sustainable and healthy learning environment for its students and staff. These schools have several characteristics that make them different from conventional schools. These include sustainable practices and features in infrastructure, waste reduction and recycling programs, transportation, food systems, curriculum and instruction, community engagement, and a healthy and safe learning environment. By implementing these characteristics, green schools not only reduce their environmental impact but also promote a culture of sustainability that can have a lasting impact on the community.


This article at a glance.

The following are some of the key characteristics of a green school:

  • Sustainability Infrastructure 
  • Water Reduction and Recycling 
  • Sustainable transportation 
  • Sustainable Food Systems 
  • Curriculum and Infratructure
  • Community Engagement 


Continue reading:

Our Sponsors