The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

K-12 Resources

Chair:  Jen Cirillo 

Be inspired by a great presentation on how schools can go solar for no up front costs -
More resources are available

The resources available through the above link provides K-12 teachers with the tools they need to infuse curricula with principles of educating for sustainable development. Materials include the following categories:

- Teaching Resources includes links to lesson plans, activities, and units of instruction, teacher professional development opportunities, benchmarks and standards, essential questions, and methods and models for integrating ESD into existing curriculum.

- Sustainability Literature includes current trends, articles, and journals that focus on or include ESD.

- Online Networking offers links to sustainability list-serves and other networking opportunities.

- ESD Stories offers snapshots of teachers and schools currently practicing ESD, kid testimonials and work examples, green school design, and campus ecology projects.


A sustainability self-assessment and rating tool for K-12 schools offers a comprehensive definition of sustainability in practice. For most schools sustainability is taken to mean environmental responsibility (or campus greening). Protostar expands this definition to embody the triple bottom line of environmental health, social well-being, and economic viability, aspiring to translate the international, Agenda 21 concept of sustainability (or sustainable development) into a roadmap for education. It’s a rating tool designed to help schools track their performance, report their progress openly and transparently, and benchmark against their peers

Center for Ecoliteracy and National Geographic
Announce a New Alignment with Academic Standards

The Center for Ecoliteracy and the National Geographic Society created a guide to align food-focused content with academic standards, BIG IDEAS: Linking Food, Culture, Health, and the Environment.

This addition to the Center for Ecoliteracy's BIG IDEAS suite of resources was created for publication on the National Geographic Education website. The free, downloadable guide is
available now on the Center's website.

National Education for Sustainability K-12 Student Learning Standards, Version 3

The Education for Sustainability (EfS) standards were developed by the K-12 and Teacher Education Sector of the USPESD with input from K-12 educators in public, private, and pre-service (teacher education) fields. Version 3 of the standards includes content updates and clarifications in response to expert and general public review and comments.

Download Version 3 of the National Education for Sustainability Standards here.

“Free downloadable learning activities searchable by grade and topic:


ESD in USA report: published by the International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes

This report provides historical perspective. It describes the status of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the United States of America as of 2009. It was completed as part of the work of the International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes (, and is one of ten such national reports. In response to the Alliance's charge, this report focuses on formal (school based) education at the primary and secondary levels. It addresses theoretical concerns as well as research results and the practical realities of American ESD.


The K-12 Sector team, when it first convened, held a one-day, invitation only summit in Washington, D.C. To view a presentation from the summit, click on the following links.

- The Education for Sustainability National Professional Organizations Summit: Part 1                                                       

- The Education for Sustainability National Professional Organizations Summit: Part 2

- Summary of the summit, including participants and outcomes. (Click here)

- What the National Professional Organizations were doing to support EFS. (Click here)

OTHER RESOURCES: a K-12 Annotated Resource List 

AAAS - Global Climate Change Resources

AAAS - Global Climate Change Resources AAAS seeks to increase the volume of scientific leadership on the issue of global climate change. Background materials on AAAS efforts related to climate change and links to relevant resources are provided including "Communicating and Learning About Global Climate Change: An Abbreviated Guide for Teaching Climate Change," from Project 2061 at AAAS.

Access Excellence

Access Excellence
While this site is sponsored by the National Health Museum and is targeted to health and bioscience teachers, many of the lessons directly or indirectly address issues of sustainability. Click "Activities Exchange" for lessons and activities.

The American Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (with lots of great resources for high schools too) 

American Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 
Site lists over 11,000 resources in its hubs. Also check out the free Bulletin and the Sustainability Rating and Tracking System. lessons, units, and activities that promote the education of American youth for responsible citizenship in an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world.

American’s Home Energy Education Challenge 

Access Learning Resources from the US Department of Energy  on a variety of topics related to renewable energies, energy efficiency and more.

BITES (Building, Industry, Transportation, and Electricity Scenarios)

BITES (Building, Industry, Transportation, and Electricity Scenarios) tool is an interactive framework that lets users explore the energy and carbon implications of altering the current U.S. energy profile. Using 'what-if' scenarios, users are able to adjust inputs to the electricity generation, buildings, industry and transportation sectors in order to compare outcomes to baseline reference cases.

California School Garden Network (CSGN)

CSGN is a collaboration of state agencies, private companies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations all dedicated to the mission of creating and sustaining gardens in every willing school in California. The Network serves as a central hub to distribute school garden resources and support throughout the state.

The curriculum section provides over one hundred garden-based lessons to create, expand, and sustain garden-based learning experiences. It offers practical ideas and resources for every level of garden-based learning from sprouting seeds to understanding the food system.

The Center for Ecoliteracy

The Center for Ecoliteracy  is a Berkeley, California-based nonprofit that supports and advances education for sustainable living. Through its Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability initiative, the Center offers expertise, inspiration, and support to the growing green schools movement in K-12 education. It provides books, teaching guides, and other publications; professional development seminars; and consulting, including academic program audits, in-depth curriculum development, and coaching to improve teaching and learning for sustainability.

The Center for Environmental Education

The Center for Environmental Education. Centre for Environment Education (CEE) was established in 1984 as a Centre of Excellence of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. CEE’s mandate is to promote environmental awareness nationwide, but resources are available to all globally.

The Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES)

The Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) is an award winning, not-for-profit, environment and education centre and urban farm located by the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne. Built on a decommissioned municipal tip that was once a landfill and wasteland, today CERES is a thriving, vibrant community.

CERES is recognised as an international leader in community and environmental practice. Visit the Sustainability Hub of CERES where you can search by topic for Sustainable Schools activities throughout Australia!

The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

Toward a Sustainable Agriculture is a free high-school curriculum that addresses the social, environmental and economic impacts of agriculture. The curriculum provides a critical analysis of agricultural and food systems, and helps students understand new concepts through hands-on examples. The curruculum includes six modules, designed to be incorporated into existing classes. This curriculum grew out of sustainable agriculture curriculum materials developed in 1989 and 1990 with the Wisconsin Rural Development Center and the Department of Public Instruction.

Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation

Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation. Founded in 2003, CELF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make sustainability education an integral part of K-12 education, in school curricula and culture, through comprehensive programming for students, educators and the community.

Children of the Earth United

Children of the Earth United
Teacher-submitted classroom lessons and activities that promote responsible Earth stewardship.

Climate Change LIVE!

Climate Change LIVE! is a distance learning adventure for K-12 students running during the 2013-2014 school year. ClimateChangeLIVE will provides an amazing collection of science-based, climate education resources and programs and will include live electronic field trips during the school year as a way to learn about climate change science directly from climate experts and educators. Interact with them during webcasts and on social media. Register today!

Climate Change Resource Center

The Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC) is a reference Web site for resource managers and decisionmakers who need information and tools to address climate change in planning and project implementation.

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness 


The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN). On this site, you can explore a collection of educational resources and learn how to build your students' understanding of the core ideas in climate and energy science.

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education

The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education
Services for Educators includes professional development workshops, curriculum materials for purchase, and curriculum design and consultation services, all offered by highly experienced practitioners of ESD.

Connect! Transform the Future

Connect! Transform the Future from National Geographic: The Center For Science (a national network of leading science centers) has teamed with GE, National Geographic, and local energy companies to produce CONNECT! Transform the Future. The program launches with Plan It Green, a cool online game that allows players to design and create their own energy-efficient city of the future. Plus, there will be a short 3D film, teacher workshops, interactive educational materials and exhibits, and programs at local science centers.

Cooperative Games for Social Change

Cooperative Games for Social Change 
A free, downloadable guide to a variety of activities focused on helping students become active participants in social change.

Coverdell World Wise Schools

Coverdell World Wise Schools 
The Peace Corps primary resource site for teachers includes lesson plans and activities categorized by topic, by grade, and by geographic region. Site also offers connections to Peace Corps volunteers currently in the field for real-time communication opportunities.

Creative Change Educational Solutions

Creative Change Educational Solutions offers curriculum and professional development on multiple sustainability topics, including food systems, land use, brownfields redevelopment, green design, energy, environmental justice, and ecological economics. An on-line curriculum library provides a searchable database of Creative Change materials as well as completely developed units.  

Creative Learning Exchange

Creative Learning Exchange offers lesson plans and activities in many disciplines for K-12 educators. All materials encourage a systems approach to teaching, a key element of ESD.

Dream of a Nation

Dream of a Nation - book and website that connects challenges and solutiuons.Book and guides for educators are available free online.

Earth School - Resources from UNEP and TedEd

Earth School was co-created by UNEP and Ted-Ed to provide kids, parents and teachers all over the world with engaging content to stay connected to nature during the global covid-19 pandemic. Embark on 30 adventures – or Quests – that will help you understand and celebrate our natural world, while learning about how dependent we are on our planet. Within each lesson, you’ll find fascinating resources compiled by Earth experts and ideas for getting involved in ways that count.

Ecological Footprint Quiz

Ecological Footprint Quiz 
An online quiz helps individuals better understand their consumption of resources in a global context.

Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit

Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit 
"Tools to Reorient Education" offers K-12 teachers, administrators, and curriculum designers evaluative tools to identify potential changes to existing curricula in order to address sustainability.

Energy Education Kit (EEK!)

Energy Education Kit (EEK!)
The EEK! curriculum teaches students about energy with hands-on, science-based, interdisciplinary lessons. Developed by Western Michigan University and the Sustainable Futures Group with grant assistance from the Michigan Energy Office. Designed for students from Kindergarden to eighth grade with support materials are available online. These lesson plans encourage students to make informed choices about energy consumption. Theoretical concepts relating to energy production are woven into the materials.

Energy Works Michigan

Energy Works Michigan has released FREE downloadable lesson plans on energy efficiency, solar energy, and wind energy. These hands-on, inquiry-based lessons are targeted for upper elementary, middle school, and high school levels. The lessons challenge students to conduct classroom energy audits, interpret wind maps to assess potential wind turbine sites, power a radio using solar panels, and more!

EE Link

EE Link
Links to lesson plans and activities through the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE). Lessons available for grades PreK-12 on a wide variety of subjects ranging from energy to biodiversity.

eGFI - Dream Up The Future

eGFI - Dream Up The Future

This site includes tools to boost students' science and math skills, projects and information for teachers.

Energy Education and Workforce Development

Energy Education and Workforce Development

This site includes lesson plans, labs, projects and other activities on energy-related activities to help you enhance your required curriculum by teaching your students the importance of gree energy.

Environmental Issues Forum

The Environmental Issues Forum was a program sponsored by the Chicago Academy of Sciences and the Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago for one year in 1995-1996. Site includes lessons focused on four issues, written by participatory teachers: air quality, land use, water quality, and solid waste management.

Environmental Kids Club

Environmental Kids Club 
Sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, this site includes links for teachers and students to topical information and resources as well as lesson plans covering topics such as water quality, conservation, ecosystems, and human health.

Environmental Literacy Council

Environmental Literacy Council 
Environmental science labs and activities are designed primarily for AP Environmental Science teachers interested in using the inquiry method of teaching. Materials are available in pdf or html format.

Facing the Future

Facing the Future is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and motivating today's students to be responsible stewards of tomorrow's world. We develop and deliver standards-based hands-on lessons, student textbooks, curriculum units, and professional development opportunities for educators that promote critical thinking on global issues, sustainability and positive solutions. Facing the Future curriculum is in use in all 50 U.S. states and over 100 countries by teachers and students in grades K-12, in undergraduate and graduate classes, and across multiple subject areas. Visit their website to download free curriculum resources for K-12 educators!

Five E's Unlimited

Five E's Unlimited
Sustainable development consulting services for schools and other organizations.

Florida Solar Energy Center

Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) dedicates substantial effort to the development of educational resources for teachers. With a strong belief that clean and efficient energy resources are key to the future generations' ability to achieve a safe and sustainable environment, FSEC offers a range of teacher resources for the K-12 classroom.

Flow Learning

Flow Learning - from the folks at Share Nature Flow Learning™ gives teachers and youth leaders a simple, structured way to guide students into their own, direct experiences of nature. Through playful games that awaken the students’ curiosity and enthusiasm.

Foundation for Our Future at the Center for a Sustainable Future

Foundation for Our Future at the Center for a Sustainable Future 
K-12 lessons and activities on topics such as Sustainable Economies, Stewardship of Resources, and Thinking About and Affecting the Future. To get to curriculum materials, go to "Curriculum" in left hand column. Scroll down page to "View ESF Curriculum Units." Use arrow buttons to scroll down list of curricula.

The GLOBE Program

The GLOBE Program (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide hands-on, primary and secondary school-based education and science program. Students and teachers involved in the program practice real science by taking measurements, analyzing data, and collaborating with scientists in the field. Findings are shared with other program schools around the world.

Go Green Initiative

Go Green Initiative 
A grassroots environmental program that unites parents, teachers and students to create a culture of conservation on school campuses. The program involves students at every level and takes a comprehensive approach to help schools evaluate every aspect of their environmental impact. It provides schools simple checklists and tools to examine everything from recycling to unsafe pesticides used on playgrounds.

Graduation Pledge Alliance

Graduation Pledge Alliance 
Site offers guidelines for development and examples of voluntary pledges that remind students of the ethical implications of the knowledge and training they receive.

Green Education Foundation Educational Clearinghouse

Green Education Foundation Educational Clearinghouse – This site offers free sustainability lessons to use in your class and you can upload your own lessons to share. Also see their professional development online courses at

Green Map System

Green Map System (GMS) participants engage in the process of creating and sharing environmental and cultural maps of their communities. The site offers detailed instructions in how to participate in this global project

Growing Up Global: Raising Children to be At Home in the World

Growing Up Global: Raising Children to be At Home in the World helps parents to raise children with a global perspective. Not all families can travel overseas to expose their children to world cultures, but they can start engaging with the world right in their own home communities. This hands-on book helps to begin that process.

Heifer International

Heifer International
Curriculum materials for K-12 classrooms developed by the award winning non-profit with the tag line, "Ending Hunger, Caring for the Earth."

Healthy Neighborhoods/Healthy Kids

Healthy Neighborhoods/Healthy Kids                                                                 Shelburne Farms' publication developed in partnership with Smart Growth Vermont and Fletcher Allen Community Health Foundation. This nationally and internationally replicated program focuses on civic engagement and service-learning to create sustainable communities. The guide is designed to help educators engage youth in creating livable and sustainable communities. It includes lesson plans, tools, planning guides, and resources.

Learn and Serve America

Learn and Serve America supports and encourages service-learning throughout the United States, and enables over one million students to make meaningful contributions to their community while building their academic and civic skills.

Learn and Serve America provides direct and indirect support to K-12 schools, community groups and higher education institutions to facilitate service-learning projects by:

  • - Providing grant support for school-community partnerships and higher education institutions;
  • - Providing training and technical assistance resources to teachers, administrators, parents, schools and community groups; and
  • - Collecting and disseminating research, effective practices, curricula, and program models.


MSPnet                                                                                                                        A new NSF-funded regional partnership (Philadelphia area) to create an institute to train teachers in sustainability.

National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
Resources on sustainable schools and a listserv which focuses on "education for sustainability" topics and concerns in K12 independent schools.

National Centre for Sustainability

National Centre for Sustainability                                                                                             This resource is for educators at various levels of education including VCE in secondary schools, TAFE, and the lower levels of Higher Education. Most of the material is for teachers to develop a better understanding of sustainability, but many resources and activities can also be used in the classroom environment with students.

National Energy Foundation

National Energy Foundation
Lessons for K-12 teachers highlight a better understanding of energy, natural resources, and the environment.

National Environmental Education & Training Foundation

National Library for the Environment

National Library for the Environment 
An online library of environmental information and data, including access to Congressional Research Service Reports.

National Wildlife Federation - ECOSCHOOLS USA

 Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainable principles throughout their schools and curriculum.

Nature Rocks

Nature Rocks                                                                                                                               This site will help you find all sorts of nature activities, plus tools to help guide and plan your adventures. You'll also find useful tips and information to help you get into nature without getting over your head.

The NEED (National Energy Education Development) Project

The NEED (National Energy Education Development) Project ( has a large library of energy curriculum on a wide range of energy topics and is differentiated between primary, elementary, intermediate and secondary levels. Specific curriculum you will find useful can be found at the following site which sorts the curriculum according to subject. (

Oxfam Education

Oxfam Education offers a huge range of ideas, resources and support for developing the global dimension in the classroom and the whole school. All of the resources here support Education for Global Citizenship - education that helps pupils understand their world and make a positive difference in it.                    

Peace Games

Peace Games
A partnership program with school communities with the aim of empowering students to become peacemakers.

Prince's Rainforest Project

Prince's Rainforest Project                                                                                      The aim is to provide a framework for learning about the rainforests and their global significance, in which children and teachers work collaboratively and find solutions to problems. Lessons are compatible with the UK National Curriculum and will help schools teach about sustainability

Project Food, Land & People

Project Food, Land & People promotes approaches to learning to help people better understand the interrelationships among agriculture, the environment and people of the world. Curriculum materials are available for purchase.

Project Seasons

Developed at Shelburne Farms, Project Seasons is an education activities guide that contains a collection of hands-on activities for discovering the wonders of the world. Classroom educators, pre-school & after-school teachers, summer camp instructors and parents will find Project Seasons an invaluable in cultivating an awareness and appreciation of agriculture and natural resources.

Pulse of the Planet

Pulse of the Planet offers two-minute downloadable sound portraits of planet Earth. Sound bites range from human celebration to a chorus of bullfrogs to a symphony created by a storm.

Redefining Progress

Redefining Progress 
Several lesson ideas for K-12 educators who are also interested in using the Ecological Footprint Quiz in their classrooms.

Rocky Mountain Institute for Kids

Rocky Mountain Institute for Kids
Activities and information designed by RMI for 4-6 educators and students on subjects such as energy and water.

Roots & Shoots

Roots & Shoots 
Founded by Dr. Jane Goodall, this global program emphasizes the principle that knowledge leads to compassion, which inspires action. All Roots & Shoots groups show care and concern in three areas: the human community, animals, and the environment.

Rustle the Leaf

Rustle the Leaf
Environmental comics, lesson plans, podcasts, e-newletters, and downloadable classroom materials highlight this colorful website. Lots of information highlighting Earth Day celebrations.

Science Friday

Hosted by National Public Radio, this site offers teachers lessons and activities that connect to NPR's weekly radio show, Science Friday. Topics are geared toward the urban landscape and activities are designed for hands-on, experiential learning.

School Water Audit Program

The School Water Audit Program (SWAP) combines water education with practical applications of scientific methodology. It brings community members together with students for the purpose of accomplishing a unified goal. It empowers students and adults alike to be responsible water stewards. Click on the above link to learn more about SWAP!

The SEED Center

Sustainability Education and Economic Development online resource center - resources for educators and sustainability advocates developed by the American Association of Community, including curricular materials, competencies, innovative partnerships to build green job demand and sustainable communities and more...

Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms  offers a variety of professional development opportunities for both formal and non-formal educators. Each program is designed to give educators the confidence, motivation and skills they need to integrate science, agricultural, sustainability and natural resource topics into their curricula.

Shelburne Farms' Sustainable Schools Project

Shelburne Farms' Sustainable Schools Project is a dynamic new model for school improvement and civic engagement. The program is designed to help schools use sustainability as an integrating context for curriculum, community partnerships, and campus practices.

Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

Student Environmental Action Coalition

Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) is a grassroots coalition of student and youth environmental groups, working together to protect our planet and our future. A good source for conferences, journals, and action plans targeted for a young audience.

Sustainability Basic Course

Sustainability Basic Course
Created by d@dalos, the international UNESCO education server for civic, peace and human rights education, the Sustainability Basic Course offers an introduction to ESD through a series of activities that help to clarify our understanding of the term and its implications in K-12 education.

Sustainability Education Guide

Sustainability Education Guide
Developed by the Tahoe Center for a Sustainable Future, the Guide offers teachers an overview of ESD as well as a series of lesson plans that focus on sustainable development. While the materials focus on the Lake Tahoe area, many activities and the general information about ESD are applicable to any region.

Sustainability Institute

Sustainability Institute
Resources for teachers interested in professional development opportunities that offer instruction in sustainability principles.

Sustainable Communities Network

Sustainable Communities Network
An extensive listing of resources useful to K-12 educators interested in ESD.

Sustainable Education Handbook

Sustainable Education Handbook
"Evaluation Criteria for Sustainability Standards" is a tool for teachers and administrators to evaluate whether or not existing curriculum embraces sustainability concepts. The thirteen evaluation points highlight key concepts in ESD. Click on all tabs on the left for a variety of curricula resources.

Sustainable Oregon Schools Initiative

Sustainable Oregon Schools Initiative
SOSI's mission is to help Oregon's K-12 schools integrate sustainability principles system-wide and prepare our children to create and succeed in a sustainable future.

Sustainable Schools Programs in U.S. and Other Countries

Sustainable Schools Programs in U.S. and Other Countries
This site provides a collection of websites related to Sustainable Schools Programs in Other Countries.

United Nations Cyberschoolbus

United Nations Cyberschoolbus
The "Global Teaching and Learning Project" offers educators curriculum on topics ranging from peace education to ethnic and racial discrimination, book and film reviews, and current news stories as well as current information on contests, celebrations and conferences.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has an Energy Kids site where you can find a wide range of activities for students and information about how teachers can put this site to use. Aimed at K-12 audiences but useful for a much wider range.

U.S. Green Building Council's Educator Resource Center

U.S. Green Building Council's Educator Resource Center (USGBC) is committed to supporting educators in using the built environment as the context for learning. USGBC promotes the reorientation of K-12 and higher education programs toward sustainability and green building as a tool for preparing students to enter the green marketplace.

Washington State (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) Education for Environment and Sustainability

Washington State (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) Education for Environment and Sustainability - the focus of the Education for Environment and Sustainability program is to support academic success and life-long learning, and to develop a responsible citizenry capable of applying knowledge of ecological, economic, and socio-cultural systems to meet current and future needs. Program priorities include: Standards and Curriculum Integration, Professional Development, Research and Policy Development, Community Engagement and Collaboration. This website also has links to stories in the field or "case studies".

Watt’s Up? The Lowdown on Energy

Watt’s Up? The Lowdown on Energy, from the American Geosciences Institute, is a portfolio of instructional modules on energy. Each module is approximately 30 pages and consists of classroom activities, teacher notes, background information, assessments, career information and a glossary.

What is Education for Sustainability? 

What is Education for Sustainability?  A white paper on EDUCATING FOR SUSTAINABILITY By K-12 and Teacher Education Sector of the U.S. Partnership  

Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute

Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute 
A general curricula site with hundreds of units of instruction on topics covering every subject area. Look under "Ecology and Environmental Science" for curricula that connects directly to sustainability issues.

Young Voice for the Planet

Young Voice for the Planet is a film series featuring young people who are making a difference! They are shrinking the carbon footprint of their homes, schools and communities.

Bringing Sustainability into Schools

Bringing Sustainability into Schools
Articles by Wynn Calder and others within the National Association of Independent Schools.

Community Works Journal

Community Works Journal is published by Community Works Institute in support of teaching practices that build community. The Journal features essays and reflections along with curriculum overviews that highlight the importance of place, service, and sustainability to a relevant and meaningful education.

Conservation Economy

Conservation Economy
A host of resources, journal articles, and practical materials that help to answer the question, "What does a sustainable society look like?"

Children & Nature Network (C&NN)

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) set out to compile a premier set of research studies to help us all understand what's best for children's healthy development. Read the studies here.

Education for Sustainability: An Agenda for Action

Education for Sustainability: An Agenda for Action  
A report initiated at the "National Forum on Partnerships Supporting Education about the Environment," a demonstration project of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, held at the Presidio, San Francisco, California, in the fall of 1994.

Environmental Literacy Council

Environmental Literacy Council
Environmental science labs and activities are designed primarily for AP Environmental Science teachers interested in using the inquiry method of teaching. Materials are available in pdf or html format

Journal of Education for Sustainable Develpment

The Journal of Education for Sustainable Develpment (JESD) is a peer-reviewed international journal, aimed at global readership, with an editorial board comprised of leading ESD educators from around the world. The scope of content covers all fields of formal and nonformal ESD. The journal is published twice per year. Click the link above to read more about JESD.

Implementing Sustainability Education: Lessons from Four Innovative Schools

Implementing Sustainability Education: Lessons from Four Innovative Schools                    A thesis by Victoria M. McMillan and Amy Lyons Higgs describing how four secondary schools, selected for their far-reaching approaches to SE, have implemented their visions for educating for and about sustainability. The analysis describes the ways in which these schools are implementing SE, the impacts their efforts appear to be having on students, the challenges they have faced, and offers recommendations that can guide the design of SE programs in other schools. Click the above link or download the PDF below.

National Council for Science and the Environment

National Council for Science and the Environment
Highlights current trends linking science and the environment.

National Environmental Education & Training Foundation

National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF) is dedicated to advancing environmental education in its many forms to a wide range of stakeholders. The site offers some practical ideas but is primarily a resource for those interested in furthering their knowledge in EE.

Project Food, Land & People

Project Food, Land & People promotes approaches to learning to help people better understand the interrelationships among agriculture, the environment and people of the world. Curriculum materials are available for purchase.

Sustainability Institute

Sustainability Institute
Resources for teachers interested in professional development opportunities that offer instruction in sustainability principles.

Sustainable Communities Network

Sustainable Communities Network
An extensive listing of resources useful to K-12 educators interested in ESD.

Sustainable Consumption

Sustainable Consumption - list of publications from UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics.

UNESCO's Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems

UNESCO's Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems is a listing of journal articles connected to ESD.

Sustaink12 listserv

Sustaink12 listserv is a new national listserv for k-12 educators focused specifically on the topic of education for sustainability. Educators involved in teaching students in any subject in the k-12 arena are encouraged to join. The goal of the Sustaink12 listserv is for educators to communicate and collaborate on strategies to integrate education for sustainability into the teaching and operations of k-12 schools. There are two ways to join the listserv: 1) Go to and join; or 2) Send an email message to "" with the word "subscribe" in the Subject line of your message.

Brown University's Green School Listserv

Brown University's Green School Listserv                                                                    The Green School Listserv, the first of its kind and widely used, is primarily for discussion related to physical campus operations. The intent of the list is the exchange of ideas, support and technical information between people who are working on institutional change to improve the environmental performance of schools, colleges, and universities. Discussion topics cover a wide range of areas, including energy, buildings, food, landscaping and grounds, purchasing, recycling and solid waste, transportation, and water. Although the listserv is primarily targeted toward the higher education community, there are useful entries for facilities and business directors at K-12 settings.

Green Charter Schools Network

Green Charter Schools Network  The Green Charter Schools Network is a new resource for you to connect with others who share your passion. A few states have their own networks Maryland ( and Kentucky ( and Kansas (

Boulder Valley School District

The Boulder Valley School District is building on 20 plus years of environmental stewardship and embracing environmental sustainability at a new level. The district hired a Sustainability Coordinator in the summer of 2008 and is currently creating a Sustainability Management System. In doing this, BVSD is better coordinating existing efforts, as well as defining goals and visions around sustainability at a district level for the first time.

Center for Ecoliteracy

Center for Ecoliteracy
Links to schools and projects that embody processes and practices for educating for sustainability.

Clearing Magazine

Clearing Magazine
A quarterly publication for K-12 and non-formal educators in the fields of natural resources, environmental ed, and place-based education. In addition to topical articles and book reviews, each issue contains lesson plans and activities appropriate for the classroom.

Eco-Schools USA (A National Wildlife Federation Initiative)

Eco-Schools USA (A National Wildlife Federation Initiative)

Since November of 2009, the Eco-Schools USA program has grown to 332 certified schools with close to 142,000 students and 4,000 participating teachers. It is a new and growing part of an international network of 37,000 schools in 50 nations.
NWF's Eco-Schools USA team conducted a survey of these schools to start to measure program progress and results. The survey shows that the Eco-Schools program is helping improve the participating schools’ environmental footprint and in reducing facility expenses. Early reports are the schools are seeing signs of improved student behavior, morale, attitude for learning and better academic scores.   There are real challenges for educators in implementing the program but they are making solid progress at integrating it into school curricula.  

  • The majority of schools have chosen the following four of the eight educational pathways: 1) Consumption and waste, 2) School grounds, 3) Water conservation and 4) Energy conservation.
  • The majority of schools have established action teams and those that haven’t yet are starting them soon.
  • About half of the schools have done audits, have developed plans and are monitoring progress toward goals.
  • A third have already seen decreases in facility expenses – most from 5% to 20%
  • Nearly half been able to integrate Eco-School into curriculum

Environmental educator Susan Santone is national trailblazer

Environmental educator Susan Santone is national trailblazer

Susan Santone may have left the classroom, but she's still teaching students about the environment in an innovative way that's gaining momentum locally and around the country.

Green Teacher

Green Teacher is a quarterly magazine written by and for teachers, providing inspiration, ideas, and classroom-ready materials to help educators enhance environmental and global education across the curriculum at all grade levels.

Greening Schools

Greening Schools
Several short video clips highlight schools around the country that have implemented programs for reducing toxins and utilizing an integrated pest management program, and improving air quality and energy efficiency.

Interstate Renewable Energy Council

Interstate Renewable Energy Council's mission is to accelerate the sustainable utilization of renewable energy sources and technologies in and through state and local government and community activities. Site highlights P-16 schools around the country that have adopted solar energy use plans.

Poudre School District, Ethics of Sustainability

Poudre School District, Ethics of Sustainability 
A description of the district's policy on developing Sustainable Design Guidelines that inform and guide school energy plans and waste management. In addition to individual site descriptions, website includes materials lists and other green design resources.

Promise of Place

Promise of Place is a comprehensive website that focuses on the power and promise of place-based education. In addition to wonderful case studies and vignettes the website has a searchable database of current evaluation and research on place-based education.

Sustainable Communities Network

Sustainable Communities Network
An extensive listing of resources useful to K-12 educators interested in ESD.

State of Washington

In 2009, the State of Washington's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) adopted K-12 Integrated Environmental and Sustainability Education Learning Standards. To support the implementation of these standards, OSPI solicited examples from teachers across the state of what it looks like when students are engaged in integrated environmental and sustainability education. These "Stories from the Field" represent real lessons, units, extensions, projects, and programs across grade levels and in different subject areas.

The K-12 National Associations Network for Sustainability (K-12 NANS) is committed to advancing sustainability among their constituencies and in the formal K-12 education system itself. The leadership of K-12 national associations is critical to help our economy become sustainable; to have strong thriving and secure communities; and to provide economic opportunities for the broadest number of people while preserving the life support system on which all current and future generations depend.
This network of associations is multidisciplinary and includes educator and administrator associations. Every academic area/discipline has a unique and important role to play in educating our students for a sustainable future.

The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development launched the K-12 National Associations Network for Sustainability (K-12 NANS) in 2011 in response to a growing demand for communication and support that further sustainability initiatives across the nation. K-12 NANS is committed to advancing sustainability among association constituencies and in the formal K-12 education system itself.

Resource listing of K12NANS members and affiliates along with contacts, member descriptions, and resources

K-12 NANS members support one another in advancing sustainability by:

  1. - Promoting and enhancing each others’ sustainability efforts;
  3. - Sharing and exchanging information, knowledge, and programming and funding opportunities;
  5. - Building the capacity of national associations to make sustainability a goal of their programming and practices;
  7. - Integrating sustainability into associations’ professional development programs;
  9. - Connecting national associations to the best expertise, resources, and information in sustainability for K-12;
  11. - Producing publications on trends in sustainability in K-12, including K-12 NANS efforts;
  13. - Providing information about what is happening at the federal level that has an impact on K-12 sustainability education; and
  15. - Engaging in joint projects, and in projects with other associations and organizations that advance sustainability.



  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • American Association of Community Colleges
  • American Association of School Administrators
  • American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • Association for Career and Technical Education
  • Campaign for Environmental Literacy
  • National Association of Independent Schools
  • National Council for Social Studies
  • National Science Teachers Association
  • National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
  • North American Association for Environmental Educators
  • U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

For more information about joining K-12 NANS, please contact Jen Cirillo, Co-Chair, K-12 & Teacher Education Sector Team, US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development.