The Environmental Chair can be the most influential PTA member on the Board! Educating our students, staff, and families about sustainable issues impacts everyone, now and in the future.
Unfortunately, neither National PTA nor Texas PTA has Environmental Chairs so this is a leadership role that does not benefit from BASICS Training or much guidance from the organizations (except the National PTA Position Statement - Environmental Health, Remediation, Sustainability and Climate Change). The tasks most often assigned to Environmental Chairs in the Standing Rules of Plano ISD’s PTAs are encouraging the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), educating the entire school community – students, staff, and families – about environmental issues and programs, overseeing campus beautification projects, and working with the school’s Environmental Club.
Fulfilling these duties can happen in a variety of ways, often subject to your level of commitment and how receptive your campus is towards sustainable practices. Below are a few ideas to help you formulate your Plan of Work. There are no actions too small!
- Meet with campus administrators and teachers who may be good resources to determine campus needs and interests related to the environment
- Educate school personnel, students, and PTA members about environmental issues through newsletter articles, website and social media posts, and member programs
- If your campus is participating in the City of Plano Green School Program work with the Green Team Lead to complete requirements and implement additional initiatives
- Implement environmentally-friendly practices at PTA meetings and events, e.g. recycling, reuse materials and decorations, reduced-waste events, purchasing recycled products, reconsider single-use plastics, eliminate Styrofoam
- Encourage school participation in annual events that promote sustainability such as Earth Day, Texas Recycles Day, Walk/Bike to School Days
- In addition to single-stream recycling, begin or continue programs for other kinds of recycling, e.g. markers, crayons, plastic film, clothing, electronics, Terracycle programs
- Organize campus litter cleanups or join community litter events
City of Plano Sustainability and Environmental Education Division (SEED) for local information about recycling, litter, water conservation, air quality, and gardening/composting
- SEED classes and events
- Green School Program
- Facebook page
- “From the Ground Up: How to Start a School or Community Garden” webinar