A Healthy School for a Greener World
At EBGIS, our commitment to the earth can be seen in everything we do. Our mission – Educating Global Citizens – means we prepare our students to become the next generation of leaders in environmental stewardship and innovation.
Promoting a Healthy School Environment
Through our on-campus sustainability practices we provide a healthy environment for our students and staff and minimize our environmental impact.
All of our classrooms and other indoor spaces have healthy and efficient LED lighting. We also use zero-VOC paints and natural materials like cork flooring in every renovation.
To ensure healthy indoor air quality, each classroom has a powerful HEPA air filter, as well as a heat pump equipped with high efficiency filtration. We also keep indoor air clean by using premium green cleaning products like BioKleen All Purpose Cleaner and vacuums equipped with HEPA filters.
Our spacious Early Childhood classrooms feature abundant natural light from large picture windows and efficient LED lighting that’s easy on the eyes. Cork flooring provides acoustic and thermal insulation naturally.
Early Childhood students enjoy the large play loft made entirely from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified lumber. Child-sized bean bags in the Early Childhood classrooms are filled with natural latex and covered with organic cotton.
Our campus features three outdoor classrooms furnished with cushioned tree stump seating and movable white boards.
Our newly-renovated sports field is cushioned with natural cork and sand infill, avoiding the use of petroleum-based infill materials.
Outdoors, our landscaping features succulents and hardy low-water trees like acacia, oak, mulberry and maple. Wildflowers like California fuchsia and Mexican sage attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. We never apply pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals to our lawns or plant beds. Our landscaping equipment is battery-powered, and we choose tools with the lowest available noise ratings.
Ecoliteracy in Our Curriculum
Environmental education is integral to our program. Our students address environmental topics in the Natur und Gesellschaft (Nature and Society) curriculum as well as in Ethics, Geography and Biology and our unique Global Citizenship course.
In class, students explore topics such as energy sources and conservation, ocean health and the impact of plastics, recycling and other sustainability strategies, rainforest ecosystems and the effects of deforestation.
Elementary school students tend to one of several raised bed and in-ground gardens on campus.
Students demonstrate at Emeryville’s Town Hall during a Fridays for Future event.
Discussions of human rights – especially children’s rights – include an environmental dimension, such as when our middle schoolers explore fair trade or subjects like clothing production and child labor.
Consistent with our hands-on learning approach, students learn about the earth by doing. Elementary school students visited a recycling center and considered how recycling and composting could be improved at school. When middle schoolers explored the problem of plastics in waterways, they examined food packaging in a grocery store to assess how groceries can be made plastic-free.
Green Team Environmental Leadership
Our faculty- and student-led Green Team explores environmental topics and leads student initiatives to raise awareness and decrease our community’s environmental footprint.
Green Team members conduct water quality tests with help from the East Bay Municipal Utility District as part of a project comparing bottled water to tap water. The Green Team later appeared on a radio show to communicate the environmental costs of bottled water.
The student Green Team and other middle schoolers add bee-friendly plants to their pollinator garden.
“We don’t need new stuff!” The Green Team held a Holiday Trade Market at which students brought used items they no longer needed and traded with other students for items to be given as gifts to family and friends.
Other Green Team activities include organizing Bike to School Days and educating their peers about proper recycling and zero waste lunches. Green Team students have also organized a school climate week with daily events highlighting global environmental issues and local action. Our Green Team has also teamed up with the Green Team at the nearby Pixar Animation Studios to learn more about threats to the environment and how to help.