Communicate Your School’s Sustainability Values

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Signs and murals are great public ways for a school to show its commitment to healthy and sustainable learning environments

On a smaller scale, signs remind people to turn off lights or not leave a faucet running, resulting in better operational practices and more savings for your local schools and campuses. Great signage can teach students and the rest of the community about the green (or could-be-greener) features of classrooms, bathrooms, cafeterias, and hallways. A mural is a larger-scale way to remind visitors and the school community about the school’s values.

Get started on signage

  • Tour your school to see where adding signage could make a difference. During the tour, take photos to note where signs are already placed.
  • Talk to maintenance staff about policies for hanging signs in the school and find out how they can help with your project.
  • Hold a competition among students to see who can create the best signage about the environmental components of the school.
  • Before getting new signs, consider the durability and how they will remain in place.

Get started on a mural

  • First, talk to the school principal about a mural and the message that it should communicate.
  • Identify a team of staff and parents to help with the mural planning.
  • Consider working with an art class or a local studio to design a mural that highlights the school's sustainability features. Allow the students and the rest of the community to lend a hand.
  • Decide on a location.
    • Think about high-traffic places where many people will see it, such as the main entrance, a long hallway, or outdoors on the playground (even on the concrete or blacktop).
    • Work with the school's art teacher, custodial team, and local vendors to determine what kind of paint you'll need on your chosen surface.
  • On reveal day, plan a day of other activities like live music and games so people will have fun. You can also provide plenty of healthy snacks.

Additional resources

  • Investigate what language and graphics work best to get your message across. This video of Manassas Park Elementary School contains great examples of signage.
  • Research best practices for green printing and environmentally friendly signage. Check out this summary from Third Sector of what to consider when printing.
  • Check out the Green Team’s recycling and composting signs for inspiration on how to get started.

Project spotlight

Christian Teaching Institute in Lebanon

This group transformed plastic bottle caps into murals, awareness banners, and artwork!