About the Green Apple Day of Service

Our mission

With more than 700 million students worldwide and one-eighth of the world's population entering a K-12 school building each day, there's no questioning the enormity and urgency of the task before us.

How we educate and take care of our schools sends a tangible signal of a community's willingness to provide a strong education to all its students. Many of our schools simply send the wrong message: stuffy, poorly lit, overcrowded and sometimes toxic environments unfit for learning.

Poor air quality leads to more colds, flus and asthma attacks. Deficient ventilation makes it difficult to focus and stay alert; inadequate lighting can cause headaches and disrupt sleep cycles; and bad acoustics render kids unable to hear lessons.

When we educate a child, we choose the future we hope he or she creates. We choose a sustainable future, and so we must educate students to prepare them to create it — in a place that inspires them.

Learn more about the state of America's K-12 facilities »

Our kids deserve better. Where they learn matters.

Green Apple gives schools, individuals, companies and organizations the opportunity to transform all our schools into greener, healthier places to learn.

Interested in participating in this school year?

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What is Green Apple Day of Service?
Green Apple Day of Service is a unique moment to join schools across the world to celebrate the central role that schools play in preparing the next generation of leaders in sustainability. A school’s event is an opportunity to give students hands-on experience with sustainability, strengthening civic leadership, environmental literacy, and project management skills. Since it began in 2012, the Day of Service has inspired over a million people in 80 countries to act in support of sustainability at their schools.
What kind of projects can I do for Green Apple Day of Service?
Your project should make measurable change on one or more of the three pillars of a green school: environmental impact, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability literacy. To be a Green Apple Day of Service project, it should make this impact at a school in a way that directly and positively affects the students. Our Project Ideas page and the “99 Project Ideas” resource can help you think through what might work best for your school community.

If you’re looking for an in-depth, data driven approach to your Green Apple Day of Service project, the Center for Green Schools’ Building Learners Program engages every member of the school community in measuring, educating, improving, and celebrating a school’s sustainability.

When should I do my project?
Projects register at the start of the school year and then can happen any time. Projects can only receive official support with funding, volunteers, and other resources if they are registered. We encourage schools to think about the right time for a day of action at your campus and build on existing efforts or momentum.
We already have a school service day. What’s different about Green Apple Day of Service?

Green Apple Day of Service is unique for three reasons: its scale, its goals, and the resources it offers to schools.

The Day of Service involves tens of thousands of volunteers each year in dozens of countries around the world. You and your school can be part of something that has big impact beyond your campus.

The goals of the day are unique: bringing sustainability action and a focus on K-12 education together in one day. The Day of Service celebrates action around the globe to both impact the environment at a school campus and teach students important lessons about sustainability. A regular school service day can be a Green Apple Day of Service if it is addressing these goals.

Finally, the Day of Service is special because it gives schools direct support for their days of action. If you register your project through greenapple.org, you can receive planning support, funding and volunteers that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you.

How can I get funding for my Day of Service project?
Depending on your project, you may need funding for materials, equipment, expertise, and professional support. Members of your community and/or local businesses are often willing to help. We've outlined several options in our Fundraising Tips resource. For materials and supplies, these tips include registering your project on the crowd funding platform DonorsChoose.org. During Green Apple Day of Service project registration, which takes place on your account page, you'll find instructions for how to link your DonorsChoose.org page to your Day of Service project. When the two are linked, your project qualifies for limited funds from Green Apple Day of Service. These mini grants are given on a first come, first served basis, up to $200 per project. Please note that DonorsChoose.org accounts are only available to educators in public and charter schools in the U.S. Find out more on our Fundraising page and on DonorsChoose.org.
How can I get volunteers for my Day of Service project?
Most Green Apple Day of Service projects recruit volunteers from local booster clubs, parent groups, professional associations, and service-oriented local clubs. If you need additional help, USGBC's local staff may be able to recruit volunteer professionals with skill sets to help you with sustainability at your school. When you register your project, the registration page will ask you if you would like help from USGBC in locating volunteers—simply check off the box indicating your interest, and we will reach out.
My company wants to get involved in Green Apple Day of Service. How do we start?
The Center for Green Schools is asking companies and organizations to join us in supporting schools for Green Apple Day of Service by funding scholarship packages for specific communities or for projects with a specific sustainability topic. Scholarship packages start at $5,000 and enable an organization to: (1) support schools and teachers by funding service day materials, (2) inspire increased school participation through incentives for action, and (3) support our effort to spread the word about Green Apple Day of Service through a targeted communications campaign. Please contact us at schools@usgbc.org if you are interested in learning more.

About the Center for Green Schools

The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the organization behind Green Apple Day of Service, was founded to ensure green schools for every child in this generation. At the Center, we believe that all students deserve the opportunity to attend schools that sustain the world they live in, enhance their health and well-being and prepare them for 21st century careers.

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