National Green Week takes place in the U.S from the first week of February through the end of April every year. It is a unique holiday in that there are no set dates, schools are encouraged to pick any week within the stipulated timeframe to observe National Green Week It is a week where schools can join forces to help write the narrative of what a sustainable future will be. We do this by steering the interests of the youth and focusing on the three “R”s of the environment, which are recycling, reusing, and reducing waste.
History of National Green Week
When did the topic of sustainability first appear? The emergence of the industrial era in the 18th and 19th Century brought about the potential of energy in fossil fuels. The great technological advances led to the invention of railroads, modern cities, and factories, which all depended on oil and or coal as their major energy source.
Of course, such feats all came with a price. With such advancements, Earth and its inhabitants faced a plethora of issues such as overpopulation, pollution, and diseases among other problems. As the years progressed, so did urbanization, and matters grew worse. A great concern started to rise for the adverse effects and the need to study and truly understand how our evolution was impacting our environment as a whole became of utmost importance. Hence the birth of the concept we now know as “sustainability”. Sustainability as an idea started being talked about only 30 years ago. It first appeared in 1987 in the famous Brundtland Report titled “Our Common Future”. It was produced by a commission led by Dr. Gro Harlem for the UN. The document was written by several countries expressing the need to manage Earth’s resources in the best way possible as they are not as unlimited as we may believe.
National Green Week is sponsored by the Green Education Foundation, it is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future by educating the young generation. Schools and minded groups are encouraged to use this week as an opportunity to spend time with students, discuss the current topics around sustainability and learn ways that we can collectively make a difference. The purpose is to encourage students to think about the global environment holistically and critically, as well as to promote awareness of the necessity of sustainability.
National Green Week timeline
While serving as President of the U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt creates 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four-game reserves, and the U.S. Forest Service.
The day is observed to show support for environmental preservation.
The initiative begins as a result of the Fisher Green School Experiment, in which students are challenged to adopt simple green practices.
To further prioritize the importance of conservation and utilization of resources, the U.N General Assembly publishes its Sustainable Development Goals, which are outlined to be accomplished by 2030
National Green Week FAQs
What is sustainability?
It means meeting our needs today without jeopardizing the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs
What are the pillars of sustainability?
Sustainability is broken down into three interconnected categories which are environment, society, and economy. When all pillars are balanced we can live in a world where there’s excellent quality of life.
How can we Go Green?
The first step to any new quest is education. We can go green by learning ways we can incorporate eco-friendly practices into our lifestyle which can help protect the environment.
How to Observe National Green Week
Engage in some fieldwork
Schools are urged to organize hands-on projects that all students can participate in. These would include activities such as upcycling plastic at school or organizing a green thumb challenge in which each student plants something in the school's garden.
Host a sustainability-themed contest
Engage your students in a lighthearted but serious show and tell. They can be organized into groups and pick one of the sustainability topics to do a project on. Not only will they learn about research but it is a fun and engaging team bonding experience.
Join the movement outside school
The sustainability lessons don't just end in the classroom, you can apply these habits in your neighborhood or at home as well. Teachers and parents should encourage these practices outside school so that kids can have a clearer picture of how to incorporate them into their day-to-day lives.
5 Facts About Sustainable Development
Cycling is incredibly eco friendly
Facts show that if you cycle 10km to work not only is this a great workout but you save the world 1,500 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions.
Rubber plastic is NOT fantastic
Plastic bags and bottles take almost 1,000 years to decompose.
American families use a lot of water
An average American family will use up to 260 gallons of water in their home per day.
Energy is contributing to climate change
According to sustainability studies, 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions are due to the use and need for energy.
Glass takes millennia to decompose
It can take glass over a million years to decompose; so it is better to repurpose it and reuse it several times, as this saves us energy.
Why National Green Week is Important
It raises awareness
Though there are now several strides being taken in the right direction, many remain unaware of the harm being done to our environment. Dialogue is so important in today's society and this day helps promote a more ethical world.
It’s better for everyone and the earth
Implementing a green world may seem daunting. Thankfully, sustainability researchers have provided a plethora of information that shows how important it is for us to implement mindful practices in all aspects of our lives to ensure a safer future.
It promotes ethical thinking
The children are the leaders of tomorrow. That is why no matter how big or small, their conscious collective efforts give hope for a greener world tomorrow.
National Green Week dates