Advising Corporate Green Teams & Sustainable Workplace Behaviors

Overview

A partnership between Urban Green Lab, the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation's Division of Solid Waste Management, and Vanderbilt University, Sustainable Classrooms trains teachers how to integrate sustainability into the classroom.  The statewide program includes a one-year study of metro educators, development of a Sustainable Living Curriculum supplement supporting STEAM academic standards, two-day professional development trainings on how to infuse sustainable living into the classroom, and hands-on student-led household waste audits that reinforce literacy and engage student families in the learning process.

Sustainable Living Curriculum

The Sustainable Living Curriculum, developed by Urban Green Lab and a steering committee of partner organizations, is a supplemental curriculum that reinforces the state Next Generation STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) standards and aligns with the Mayor’s Livable Nashville Plan.  Based on national samples but specific to Tennessee, the Sustainable Living Curriculum is a packet of seven simple printed monthly lesson plans focused on daily household behaviors that reduce waste, protect natural resources, like energy, water, and food, and foster a sense of individual responsibility.

Household Waste Audits

Practice, practice, practice!  Each of Sustainable Living Curriculum lesson plan is tied to a simple take-home student-led household waste audit exercise, giving students practical, hands-on application of the sustainability lessons they are learning in the classroom.  Topics include energy waste, water waste, food waste, recycling analysis, a carbon footprint calculation, etc.  The audits reinforce the curriculum while collecting invaluable data on waste trends, linking households to local waste reduction services (retrofitting, composting, food recovery, etc.), and engaging student families in the learning process.