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Green Schools: How Environmentally-Friendly Schools Improve Student Health and Learning

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As we become increasingly aware of the impact of our actions on the environment, it is essential to implement sustainable practices in all areas of life, including education. Green schools, also known as environmentally-friendly schools, are designed with sustainability in mind, providing numerous benefits for students' health and learning.

Sustainable Design

One of the fundamental attributes of green schools is sustainable design. These schools are designed to reduce their environmental footprint and increase energy efficiency, utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power. Sustainable design also involves using non-toxic, eco-friendly building materials, minimizing waste production, and promoting water conservation.

Improved Air Quality

Green schools prioritize indoor air quality, ensuring that the air students breathe is clean and healthy. Traditional building materials and furnishings can release harmful chemicals and pollutants, compromising students' respiratory health. Green schools utilize ventilation systems that filter air, reducing the risk of respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma.

Natural Lighting

Green schools incorporate natural lighting, utilizing windows and skylights to bring natural light into classrooms. Natural lighting has been linked to improved mood, productivity, and focus, providing a healthy and stimulating learning environment.

Outdoor Spaces

Green schools also prioritize outdoor spaces, providing students with opportunities for physical activity, nature exploration, and outdoor learning. Outdoor spaces can promote physical fitness, reduce stress, and improve mental health and well-being. Green schools may include gardens, nature trails, or green roofs, providing a connection to nature and the environment.

Educational Opportunities

Green schools also provide educational opportunities for students to learn about sustainability, environmental stewardship, and the impact of human actions on the environment. These opportunities can increase students' understanding and appreciation of the natural world, motivating them to take action to protect the environment.


Green schools provide numerous benefits for students' health and learning, promoting sustainability, and environmental stewardship. With sustainable design, improved air quality, natural lighting, outdoor spaces, and educational opportunities, green schools are essential for creating healthy and productive learning environments for students. By investing in green schools, we can promote a sustainable future and support the well-being of our students and the planet.

Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH

Aaron Bernstein is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

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