Camas High School and other schools have recently chosen to re-certify with Washington Green Schools. We thought we'd take a minute to ask a few questions and find out why they decided to pursue re-certification and find out how that differed from the standard certification process.
Becky Bronstein from Washington Green Schools shared her thoughts on re-certification:
"Your Washington Green Schools certification lasts two years because your school's environmental action should evolve and progress, embedding sustainability within your campus community. To maintain your status as a green school, you can either certify in another category or re-certify. By filling out a brief online form for re-certification, you will elevate your school's certification to the Sustaining Level."
CHS: We wanted to further our Waste and Recycling certification. By using our activities from the beginning of the year to encourage students to be more involved in Waste and Recycling, we worked to further our plans in connecting with students and staff to be a greener School. We wanted to keep our certification current, and not risk losing Washington Green School status.
CCGS: What surprised you most about the process to re-certify?
CHS: Washington Green Schools was quick to respond to questions and they have kept in touch with Camas High School's Green Team advisor, Ali Coker, and our Green Team leadership.
CCGS: How did the re-certification process differ from full certification?
CHS: The process was simple. We had more time to further our certification and by re-certifying CHS Green Team has done more to add on to our first certification. We were able to build on what we had already done. Some of our activities include: continuing to supervise the sorting tables, starting recycling of more popular items like Expo whiteboard markers with Crayola Colorcycle, incorporating glass recycling, and continuing to recycle plastic film with TREX. We have also added posters around the school on Waste and Recycling.
CCGS: What advice do you have for other schools going through the certification or re-certification process?
CHS: For re-certifying, my advice would be to continue on with certified activities as well as adding more activities for re-certification, involving more staff members and students also helped.
CCGS: Has the process of certification with Washington Green Schools given your projects more structure?
CHS: Yes, this gives us more insight on what to focus on for our next certification in all the other categories as well as certifying again in Waste and Recycling. It helps us feel like there are always ways to improve our school in "green" ways.
CCGS: Anything else you want to share?
CHS: Don't be shy connecting with students and staff in your school. Involve the community in local events and other youth, like tree planting with local churches and hosting events at public libraries.