How to Start a Green Team at Your School

Development & Marketing Coordinator
How to Create a Pollinator Garden that Supports Trees

By: Darien Aassar

Does TreesCharlotte’s mission to preserve Charlotte’s iconic tree canopy sound good to you? Are you looking to get involved to help the environment but aren’t sure how? A great way to get started is to start a Green Team at your school! Children and teens are leading the environmental movement (​​UNICEF) and you can join in too. Read on to learn more about what a Green Team is, how you can start one, and what activities your Green Team can do, including nominating your school for a TreesCharlotte tree planting!  

What is a Green Team? 

A Green Team is a group of people who work on tackling environmental issues at their school and in their community (Green Schools Initiative; Zero Waste Schools). Green Teams can be very diverse—members could be students, teachers, administrators, and/or maintenance staff (Green Schools Initiative). All it takes is one person to have the idea to start a Green Team for the ball to start rolling. Follow the steps below, and you can start up a Green Team in no time!

Tips to Start a Green Team

  1. Talk to your teachers. See if they’re interested in helping you organize your Green Team! You probably will need a faculty sponsor to make an official club at your school, so ask around and see if any of your teachers would be willing to help you start your Green Team. 
  2. Get permission. To make sure your Green Team can accomplish all that you want it to, you should make sure to get your principal’s approval. This will make it a lot easier to do wide-scale projects that have the chance to make a real impact on environmental issues facing your school (Green Schools Initiative). 
  3. Hold regular meetings at a convenient time. Setting up meetings so that they’re at a time that works best for everyone (most likely after school or during lunch) and on a regular schedule helps make sure you get maximum participation in your Green Team (Green Schools Initiative; Zero Waste Schools). 
  4. Create committee roles. Committee roles (such as President, Vice President, and Secretary) ensure that your Green Team has a clear leadership structure in place that can set priorities for your green team. Members of the leadership team could create an agenda, assign tasks to other members of the team, and take meeting notes.  
  5. Create goals and plans to achieve them. During your first meeting, it may be helpful to write out a mission statement so that everyone is on the same page about what the goals of your Green Team are (Zero Waste Schools). Set goals that you will be able to achieve as a group over a short timeline to make sure you are able to make progress on your team’s mission (Green Schools Initiative). 

Activities for Green Teams

There are many different ways Green Teams can advance their mission and help the environment. Green Teams can start recycling programs, create and participate in waste reduction strategies, start a composting program, and do crafts that reuse materials that would otherwise get sent to landfills (National Service Center for Environmental Publications). The EPA’s Student Center is a great resource for Green Teams, because it has many different resources on all kinds of activities your Green Team can complete; click here to access the EPA’s Student Center to find more activity ideas for your Green Team. 

TreesCharlotte also has many resources for Green Teams! Have your teacher fill out this form to have us come talk to your Green Team and do an activity with you. On the same webpage, we also have resources on different activities your Green Team can do together, like going on a leaf scavenger hunt, measuring trees, and finding out the age of the trees at your school or in your neighborhood. Because trees are a vital part of the natural environment, learning about trees and all that they do for us living creatures should be a high priority of your Green Team. 

With your principal’s permission, you can also nominate your school for a TreesCharlotte tree planting event! Click here to learn more about TreesCharlotte’s CommunityWoods program and view our application.