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Sustainability Spotlight: LBUSD Green Summit

Release Date: 2019-12-26

Long Beach Unified School District held its first ever Green Summit in November to launch a district-wide recycling program and long-term sustainability plan that will engage staff, parents, and students. The new district-wide recycling program includes a Waste Reduction Stewardship Award Program where schools can receive recognition and funding for participating in four levels of sustainability initiatives. The four levels encourage initiatives from recycling and food donation to creating Green Teams and implementing additional school-wide policies.

A group of concerned students that attended the LBUSD board meeting on March 27 expressed their concern about sustainability on campus. Over the summer the program was created, and the Green Summit was planned. The event was held on Saturday morning, November 16, at Hughes Middle School. Staff, parents, and students learned about recycling and sustainability initiatives and participated in a resource fair to learn about local nonprofits and city resources.

“We’re excited that the school district is really committed to improving recycling practices in the school, increasing partnership in the community, and prioritizing food donations,” said Erin Rowland, Waste Diversion Officer at Environmental Services Bureau. This is the first time the district has implemented a comprehensive recycling and rewards program to encourage and support further green initiatives.

A Green Resolution was adopted by the district that outlines efforts to reduce resource consumption, toxics, emissions and more. The district is also planning paid professional development, providing the tools necessary to equip Long Beach educators and staff to carry out green initiatives and ensure a future of sustainability across all Long Beach schools. “We’re really excited to see Long Beach and LBUSD lead the way in this green effort,” said Pamela Weinstein, Green Team leader and 6th grade teacher at Rogers Middle School. “We’re grateful for the partnership with the City, and we know that what we do is going to benefit the entire City.”

Current efforts are focused on securing a Green Site Coordinator from each school to take the initiative and lead the sustainability efforts going forward. Coordinators will receive compensation for attending quarterly meetings. All educators and district staff interested in participating will also have access to online courses to help them learn how to implement various sustainability initiatives. Contact your school’s administrator to find out if you have a Green Site Coordinator or how you can become a coordinator, and how you can get involved at your school. Students and parents are also welcome to attend the quarterly meetings to learn how they can get involved.

Students are encouraged to contact their administrators to find out if their school has a green team, club, or class and find out how they can contribute to a more sustainable future for their school. “Administrators would love to see that initiative from students to come forward and find a staff member who is willing to be an advisor and create a green club,” said Weinstein.