The U.S. Department of Education recently announced its Green Ribbon Schools program, which will recognize schools that have taken great strides in greening curricula, buildings, school grounds and overall building operations. The goal of the program is to applaud schools for their efforts to go green while awarding them much-needed cash to complete eco-projects.  

The Green Ribbon School awards will be given to schools that best exemplify America’s transition to a sustainable economy, from preparing students for green jobs to effectively managing their carbon footprint.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that smarter energy management in schools could reduce energy consumption by as much as 25 percent and cut school energy costs nationally by more than $1 billion annually. 

“Environmental literacy is an important part of a well-rounded, world-class education,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “Through the Green Ribbon Schools program, we’ll be holding up schools that are leading the way in teaching science and showing students the importance of developing clean energy sources and sustainable solutions for the environment.”

Think your school could qualify for a Green Ribbon award? Keep an eye on the Department of Education's website. The application will be released later this year, and the first group of Green Ribbon Schools will be announced next year.