Van Buren Conservation District

Michigan Green Schools


Michigan Green Schools is an organization that partners with schools to help them conserve energy; protect the land, air, water, and animals of Michigan; and teach environmental stewardship to students. Your school can become a Green School by completing at least 10 activities each school year. Activities include recycling, hosting an old blanket and towel drive for animal shelters, and planting native trees. There are four categories of activities: Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, Energy, Environmental Protection, and Miscellaneous.

You can find many more ideas at Green School Activities.

Getting Started

To start your journey towards Green School designation, review the notes below; contact Van Buren County’s Green School Coordinator, Kalli Marshall, at; choose activities to do, and fill out the application linked below. See Green School Designations for help choosing activities. You must complete all of the activities needed for the designation you are seeking and return the completed application to Emilly between January 1 and March 1.

Important Notes

  • All alternate activities listed as “other” must be approved by the Van Buren County Green School Coordinator by December 1. 
  • On the application, under “Category 1: Recycling, A: Recycling Program,” please check every box for which your school has a recycling program. However, no matter how many boxes are checked, “Category 1: Recycling, A” is only worth 1 point. It is not 1 point for every 2 boxes checked.
  • If you use a lesson/field trip/special speaker for one Category and Letter, you may not use the same one for another Category and Letter, even if the activity applies to more than one checkbox.

Michigan Green Schools Application

Waste Audits

The Van Buren Conservation District is happy to conduct a comprehensive waste audit of your school, free of charge, whether you’re ready to start pursing Green School designation or not. This service is provided to help students, teachers, and faculty members see how much waste is being generated, where it is going, and where it could be going.

The audit takes one school day to complete and a 30 to 45-minute assembly the next day to present findings. Then, the conservation district creates a waste management plan for the school detailing the findings and suggestions for change. This plan is made available to the school administration to discuss at will.