Health and Wellness » Sustainability & The Environment

Sustainability & The Environment

  • Environmental justice (EJ): "The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies." ( Folks who are BIPOC and/ or living in poverty are much more likely to experience environmental injustice.  Please note, this includes some of our students.
  • Greenhouse Effect 101: "The greenhouse effect is a good thing. It warms the planet to its comfortable average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit and keeps life on earth, well, livable. Without it the world would be a frozen, uninhabitable place, more like Mars. The problem is, mankind’s voracious burning of fossil fuels for energy is artificially amping up the natural greenhouse effect. The result? An increase in global warming that is altering the planet’s climate systems in countless ways." (
  • Sustainability: “Sustainability is the balance between the environment, equity, and economy.  Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (
  • Climate Change: "Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas." (
  • Active Hope: "Active Hope is a practice. Like tai chi or gardening, it is something we do rather
    than have. It is a process we can apply to any situation, and it involves three key steps. First, we take in a clear view of reality; second, we identify what we hope for in terms of the direction we’d like things to move in or the values we’d like to see expressed; and third, we take steps to move ourselves or our situation in that direction." (
Eco-anxiety is the feelings and sensations associated with fear of the result of climate change, how it is already, and will, impact us, and our planet.  The main takeaway from these articles is oftentimes, the antidote to anxiety is action.  Get involved, make a change, use your voice- and support your students/ peers in doing the same!
  • Each school has weekly compost pickup.  We are working on a district-wide campaign to ensure that all students and staff understand proper composting.
  • Several of our schools have gardens and environmental education is part of our curricula.
  • We are partnering with Green Schoolyards for several of our schools to transition our concrete and asphalt into green, forest-like environments.
  • Our upper elementary and middle school students attend Outdoor Education to get connected to each other and the environment.
  • We utilize Safe Routes to School curricula in our education, and support students in walking, scooting, and biking to school.
  • Several of our schools have environmental clubs that are doing amazing work, from recycle sorting to vegan bake sales.
  • In late 2021/ early 2022, we partnered with Alta Vista Planning to complete Walk Audits at each of our school sites, to continue the process of making our school surroundings safer and more friendly to walkers and bikers.
  • And more!
This is taken from TLEC's 2022 Earth Day note to the community:

TLEC (Tierra Linda Environmental Club), has been operating as a student-led club for the last three years. Projects we have completed include: creating a school-wide recycling program, making an Environmental Spirit Week, and presenting at elementary schools to spread awareness of environmental issues. April 22nd is this year's Earth Day, however, we should (and do) celebrate our Earth every day.


Here are some tips to share with all of you for a more sustainable environment:

 A fun quiz to calculate the carbon footprint of your favorite foods:

 BBC Follow the Food


Here is a document we made full of Youtube videos and channels that help you minimize waste in your school lunches or meals:

Zero Waste Resources


 It is easy to feel overwhelmed about everything that is happening to the planet we call home. This website may help you deal with climate grief and eco-anxiety feelings:

 All We Can Save


Here are some ways to keep your home environmentally clean (and keep everyone healthy):

Get compostable compost recycle and trash bags. (Instead of the plastic ones)

Use reusable paper, plastic, cloth bags when shopping.

Use paper and/or glass, milk cartons.

Donate to green organizations.


Want to do more community-based activism, or do your students want to? Here are some organizations that you can join to make a difference!

 Sunrise Movement (Bay Area Hub)

 Youth Vs. Apocalypse

 Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Indigenous Environmental Network

Sustainable San Mateo


“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else would save it.”

~Robert Swan

This is taken from TLEC's 2022 Earth Day note to the community:
Central Middle School’s Environmental Club was founded in 2021 by Emma Dougherty. The office consists of Emma (President), Kristen (Vice President), and Emiliana (Secretary). The club hopes to spread eco-consciousness and eco-friendliness around their school and community, and has done several projects including a bake sale, trash pickup, and they plan on doing a stand at the farmers’ market later this month (April 2022.)
Some ways that you can help the environment include:
•    Turning the AC down as much as reasonably possible (especially during summer)
•    Using bamboo straws when buying drinks (or no straws at all)
•    Eat less meat. The production of meat is a huge reason why the world is warming up (it produces almost ⅓ of the world’s greenhouse gases)
•    Upcycle (turn old things into new things), recycle (put recyclable items in the recycling bin), reduce (use less of products), and reuse (for example, using a grocery bag multiple times). Do these things as much as possible. 
•    Buy local, organic foods.
•    Get solar panels! You can save your money (you don’t have to pay the energy company) and the environment.
•    Get a cover for your pool (if you have one, of course). This helps retain the heat so that you don’t have to warm it up as much.