Communicate Your School’s Sustainability Values
On a smaller scale, signs remind people to turn off lights or to not leave a faucet running, resulting in better operational practices and more savings for your local schools and campuses. Great signage can teach students and the rest of the community about the green (or could-be-greener) features of classrooms, bathrooms, cafeteria and hallways. A mural is a larger-scale way to remind to visitors and the school community about the school’s values.
Get started on signage:
- Take a tour of the school to see where information from signage could make a difference. Take photos to document what is already in place and keep track of where and how many signs are at your school.
- Talk to maintenance staff about policies for hanging signs in the school and how they can help with your project. Consider durability of signs and how they will remain in place.
- Hold a competition among students to see who can create the best signage about the environmental components of the school.
Get started on a mural:
- First talk to the school principal about a mural and the message that should be communicated, connecting it to the stated vision of the school.
- Work with an art class or a local studio to design a mural that shows off the school's sustainability features. Allow the students and the rest of the community to lend a hand. You can spend the day painting or if you have already finished the mural, you can unveil the finished product during an open house, potluck picnic or festival.
- Work together to identify a team of staff and parents to help. Think about high-traffic places where lots of people will see it, such as the main entrance, a long hallway or outdoors on the playground (even on the concrete or blacktop itself). Work with the school’s art teacher, custodial team and local vendors to determine what kind of paint you’ll need on your chosen surface.
- Plan a day of other activities like live music and games so people will have fun. You can also provide plenty of healthy snacks. If you have a professional artist helping with the installation, plan a big event for revealing the finished work to the community.
Consider these resources to help you design sustainability signage and murals:
- Investigate what language and graphics work best to get your message across. This video of Manassas Park Elementary School contains great examples of signage.
- Research best practices for green printing and environmentally friendly signage. Check out this summary from Third Sector of what to consider when printing.