Green & Healthy Schools (GHS) Case Study

Cool Choices has partnered with the Wisconsin Green & Healthy Schools (GHS) program since 2012, providing free access to our sustainability engagement program to make schools greener and healthier for everyone.

The [cool] choices engaged my students in great conversations, and we were able to make some changes in our classroom.

cool choices bullseye
Wisconsin Teacher on the Cool Choices Green & Healthy Schools Sustainability Engagement Program

In 2012, Wisconsin Green & Healthy Schools (GHS) program implemented a major overhaul. Program leaders wanted to make it easy for K-12 stakeholders—whether that be teachers, administrators, or staff—to reduce school operating costs, while also increasing environmental literacy, and improving health and wellness. Wisconsin education leaders created a road map for school sustainability, and then started building a network of people who could help administrations navigate that road map.

GHS and Cool Choices Program Partnership History

Cool Choices was one of GHS’ early partners. Recognizing the dual challenge of engagement and data collection when it comes to school sustainability, we hatched the idea of customizing our platform for GHS-participating schools—so that teachers and students could change behaviors and accumulate school-specific data via a Cool Choices sustainability engagement and education program.

Five years later, and we are still collaborating with GHS. To date, more than 30 Wisconsin schools have implemented the Cool Choices sustainability engagement program to accelerate their progress reducing waste, increasing environmental literacy, and improving health and wellness.

Cool Choices gives the GHS team access to our platform, so they can create and administer programs for participating schools. We’ve customized program templates just for GHS. These K-12 programs are all branded with the GHS logo, and sustainable actions align with specific goals and objectives associated with becoming a Wisconsin Green & Healthy School, such as recycling and waste management, transportation, water, energy, and community involvement.

GHS Cool Choices Program Implementation

Schools use the Cool Choices platform in various ways. For example, in some school districts the program challenges classrooms in a competitive – but friendly – program against other classrooms. Other school sustainability programs are set up to engage staff, teachers, and administration in “teachers-only” programs. GHS staff works with schools to set up custom sustainability engagement programs that meet local needs, as well as GHS priorities.

For GHS, offering access to Cool Choices is a recruitment tool. For instance, some schools join GHS just so that they can participate in Cool Choices sustainability engagement programs. By allowing GHS to gather and use data generated via the programs, they are able to showcase school sustainability successes.

At Cool Choices we like knowing that we’re helping sustainability advocates inside schools engage colleagues and children in the quest to reduce waste and make schools greener and healthier for everyone.