06/07/2010 12:14 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Things to Green Your School

The end of the school year is approaching and now is the perfect time to think about next year's Green initiative (s) for your school -- How can you make your school into a greener environment?

I'm all about generating awareness and believe that it's our youth who can make a difference. They're open to new ideas and like sponges, are able to absorb them. I find that the kids in my A Greener Apple (NYC) videos are the ones who come up with the most intelligent answers when I pose the question: "How would you make New York A Greener Apple? The "GSA is Greening up the Apple" being one of the best examples.

So why not tap into this savvy population and inspire them where they spend most of their time... in the classroom... the school environment.

Now's the time for you, whether a parent, an educator or a student, to make a change. Ask yourself what is your school doing to be more sustainable? It really starts with baby steps. Simple things like working with your administration on purchasing more eco-friendly school supplies, recycling in your classrooms and cafeteria, setting up a Green Committee and organizing eco-friendly fundraisers, etc.
To bring it down to the simplest form, I worked with John Shea, the Chief Executive Officer for the New York City Department of Education, Division of School Facilities, putting together a short video on "The Top 5 Things You Can Do To Green Your School".  It's a place to start! It immediately engages both the student body and the administration.

This certainly is only a starting point, but if we get into the schools where our future environmentalists, scientists, developers, architects, etc. are molded, we have a much better shot at not only making New York "A Greener Apple" but also making our entire planet a more livable one for their future.