Green schools are better for communities because they bring a community together.
By inviting the community to be part of a collaborative process to green its schools, as well as including everyone in ongoing sustainability initiatives, a green school can become a source of civic pride.
- School as the center of community: School buildings that are embedded within existing communities utilize existing infrastructure (roads, parking, utility lines), and can serve as valuable community assets after the school bell rings each afternoons, hosting community meetings, weekend farmers markets and disaster-relief shelters.
- Enhance learning by cultivating local experts: Local builders and facilities managers can help students track the energy savings generated from the use of solar panels. Landscape architects can be invited to conduct research with biology students on native plants, soils and wildlife habitat. Students can plan community-wide recycling programs based on the success of their own school’s efforts. Students can become ambassadors of social and environmental responsibility, educating their family, friends and community about the value of sustainable lifestyles.
- Green schools increase property values: According to the Turner Construction 2005 Survey of Green Buildings, 87 percent of school executives who have invested in green buildings report improved community image as one of the top benefits of green schools. Well-regarded schools increase property values, encourage business investment and job creation, and serve as the cornerstone of vibrant communities.
- Quality schools are a deciding factor for many home buyers: According to the 2017 National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the quality of the school district was a deciding factor for 26 percent of all homebuyers and 35 percent of home buyers ages 37–51.