Green Makeover Complete: Boston Latin School Serves as a Model for Schools Across the Country

Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School

Today at the Green Schools National Conference, Global Green USA and Pureology announced the completion of its comprehensive, student-led Green School Makeover at Boston Latin School. A panel of expert judges selected the winning school after six months of intensive outreach by educators, school districts and educational organizations, resulting in more than 450 submissions. Drawing on its green building expertise that spans more than a decade, Global Green USA provided Boston Latin School with a $75,000 grant to realize its student-created proposal of giving America’s first and oldest public school a sustainability-focused makeover.

Global Green’s Green School Makeover Competition, presented by Pureology, helps students and teachers upgrade their school to be healthier and more energy-efficient, engages students in behavior that curbs climate change, and ultimately saves schools thousands of dollars on energy costs which can be reallocated towards education. The initiative is designed to serve as a model for schools and communities across the U.S.

“The Boston Latin students are incredibly eco-conscious and committed to sustainability,” said Mary Luévano, Interim Executive Director of Global Green USA. “It inspires us to see them so engaged in greening their school environment.  If we all took responsibility for our corner of the world in the same way, we would be able to solve the most pressing issue facing our world today – curbing climate change.”

Boston Latin School, which counts four Harvard presidents and five signers of the Declaration of Independence as alumni, applied the grant to establish itself as a shining example for schools across the country by developing sustainable, student-conceptualized initiatives, including the following features:

1. Sage Vertical Wall: An indoor vertical growing wall located in the cafeteria.

BLS Sage Green Wall Collage.jpg
BLS Sage Green Wall Collage.jpg

2. Freight Farm Hydroponic Growing Lab: Students will use the growing lab, made from a recycled shipping container, to grow leafy greens to be sold at local farmers markets. Students will learn about hydroponic growing, as well as the economics of our food system.

BLS Freight Farm
BLS Freight Farm

3. Elkay Water Bottle Filing Station: The new unit installed as part the Green School Makeover has already prevented nearly 3,000 single-use water bottles from going to a landfill.

BLS Elkay Water Filling Collage
BLS Elkay Water Filling Collage

4. Lucid Building Dashboard: The dashboard will monitor and display the school building's energy use and water use. This will allow the students to see how much energy the building uses and to complete experiments aimed at lowering the electricity use through different building retrofits and/or behavioral changes.

BLS Lucid building dashboard
BLS Lucid building dashboard

“Boston Latin is delighted with the features that Global Green brought to our school,” said Cate Arnold, Faculty Advisor Boston Latin School. “Students are learning the importance of sustainability, how to work with hydroponics, and will be able to track our energy performance throughout our school to target further energy reductions.”