Adams Elementary School

Current Status:

Premier - Certified on 6/12/19, Expires on 6/12/22

About the Adams OGS Program:


Since becoming a Green School in the winter of 2006, Adams Elementary has made great leaps forward into a green/sustainable future. We have been a Merit Level school since 2009 and Premier since 2012.

We at Adams are proud of the work we have done and the creative ways we are finding to continue growing as a green school in the areas of garbage reduction, recycling, energy and water.


Garbage and Recycling
Adams students and staff recycle in the classroom and cafeteria. Our cafeteria also provides washable trays, cups and utensils. As a building we recycle all paper, cardboard, glass, cans, plastic bags, printer cartridges, and markers. Parent volunteers also organize community recycling events for hard to recycle materials.


Adams was fortunate to win a grant, which provided solar panels for our building. We are the first school in the Eugene 4j school district to achieve this. The grant also provided for an educational kiosk, which reports data on the energy generated by these panels and solar hot water heaters. We also encourage active transportation by providing multiple bike racks, including a covered one for rainy days. This helps reduce our community's fossil fuel use and contribution to climate change.


Adams has taken water conservation measures throughout our school's landscaping, including use of drought tolerant plants, mulch, and allowing our ballfields to go dormant in summer, cutting our irrigation needs immensely.

We at Adams are constantly on the watch for new, improved green school practices. Becoming a Green School has not been a destination so much as a journey.

Data Collection and Monitoring (Important Info):

- Our last Waste Audit was on 2/5/19

- Approximate Recovery Rate: 30%

- Post-Consumer Recycled Products: office paper, toilet paper, paper towels

How we Reduce and Reuse:

  • We have set our printers to print double-sided and/or we encourage staff to print double-sided whenever possible

  • We created a donation station/Reuse closet where people can drop off or pick up used clothing, games, sporting equipment, Halloween costumes, etc.

  • We use durable cups, plates and silverware in the teacher's lounge

  • We use durable silverware and trays in our , cafeteria

  • We use half sheets instead of full sheets of paper wherever possible

  • We use less toxic cleaning products that have been endorsed by a 3rd party (like EcoLogo or Design for the Environment)

  • We donate unclaimed lost and found and other unwanted items to our families, a thrift store or homeless shelter

  • When possible, we email our school newsletter and other information for parents instead of sending hard copies

  • Staff memos and announcements are sent via email or posted instead of individually printed

How we Save Energy:

  • Lights are on a sensor

  • Computers are automatically turned off every night

  • We have installed solar panels

  • Computers in our school automatically shut down at the end of the day

How we Save Water:

  • We installed/have timers for bathroom faucets and/or locker room showers

  • We planted native plants throughout school grounds

  • Our parking lot is swept 1-2 times/year and we sweep rather than pressure wash our sidewalks and parking lots

  • We have verified that our sprinklers are watering only the landscape, not the parking lot or walkways

  • We adjust the irrigation for seasonal rain fall in our area or do not irrigate in areas that can go dormant in the summer

  • Our school grounds are used by the public for walking dogs so we have installed a mutt mitt dispenser &/or added signs reminding people to pick up after their dogs

  • When our cafeteria staff washes dishes, they wait until they have a full load

  • We have added mulch around plants and trees to reduce evaporation and weeds

Current Goals:

Reduce Waste - Goal 1: Our Recycling Audit shows that we still use 100 gallons of paper/day. We will reduce use by making sure that all rooms (including classrooms and other key rooms like the office and library) have paper reuse bins.​


(1) Assess which rooms need bins;

(2) Allocate boxes to use and have students decorate and add simple instructions to each box;

(3) Have select students distribute boxes to classrooms in need along with a quick presentation regarding use;

(4) Have students check in after a few weeks to make sure box is getting used.

Reduce Waste - Goal 2: Paper towels are, unfortunately, neither recyclable nor compostable. We will create and hang posters on all paper towels dispensers to encourage people to conserve this important resource by reminding them that paper comes from trees. 


(1) Assess bathroom waste volume prior to postering;

(2) Create an art contest for “paper towels = trees” posters to hang on paper towel dispensers, advertise for contest through classroom and school-wide newsletters;

(3) Gather submissions from students and select top 3 designs;

(4) Solicit printing and laminating donation from local copy shop;

(5) Place a poster on every paper towel dispensor;

(6) Asses bathroom waste volume after postering to determine effectiveness of posters.

Recycling - Goal 1: Green Team students will do random classroom checks, monitoring trash cans and recycling to ensure proper sorting, and rating classrooms accordingly.


(1) Work with teachers to establish a time when the Green Team can “make the rounds” doing classroom checks and ratings in regards to recycling and trash sorting;

(2) Solicit Earth-centered art donation from local artist to use as Green Classroom Trophy;

(3) Announce monthly winner and have Green Team present Trophy to be kept in classroom for the month.

Recycling - Goal 2: Recycling has become increasingly confusing and yet more important than ever to get done right! We will offer yearly recycling workshops to get people trained for proper curbside recycling, as well as what to do with items appropriate for specialty recycling.


(1) Identify Master Recycler from our community willing to speak at a training event, as well as a few parent volunteers to assist;

(2) Work with school staff to create an event within 2 months of the start of the school year, prefferably prior to the County’s Plastic Round-Up;

(3) Solicit recycling lists and pamphlets from county as well as local carriers to provide at event;

(4) Provide training for selecting and preparing Plastics Round-Up materials, if applicable;

(5) Emphasize the importance of Reduce and Reuse by creating a display about how to pack lunches without disposables;

(6) Offer reusable lunch kits for sale as a fundraiser to support other green projects.

Energy - Goal 1: Green Team students will do random classroom checks and ratings, monitoring electricity use and promoting conservation.


(1) Work with teachers to establish a time when the Green Team can “make the rounds” doing classroom checks and ratings in regards to whether projectors and lights have been turned off when not in use;

(2) Solicit Earth-centered art donation from local artist to use as Green Classroom Trophy;

(3) Announce monthly winner and have Green Team present Trophy to be kept in classroom for the month.

Energy - Goal 2: Transportation to and from school is a big part our community’s fossil fuel use, and therefore contribution to greenhouse gasses. We will encourage more students to use alternative forms of transportation by expanding our Walk and Roll to School event from one day to at least a week.

(1) Identify parent volunteer to coordinate an expanded effort;

(2) Expanding to at least one week per year;

(3) Work with Safe Routes to Schools to get helmets to kids who need them;

(4) Create a schedule of events and challenges to build up excitement;

(5) Solicit prizes from local bike shops and Safe Routes to Schools;

(6) Host a “Bicycle Rodeo,” or obstacle course and bike party to celebrate

Water - Goal 1: We will reduce our school’s water use by installing a water bottle filling station, minimizing waste from drinking fountains, and ensuring that all faucets have aerators.


(1) Principal will continue existing plans to install new water bottle filling station;

(2) Continue to list reusable water bottles as required school supplies;

(3) Work with custodian to check that all faucets are equipt with aerators.

Water - Goal 2: Water is an important resource. We will host an Earth Day event to make our landscaping more drought resilient and raise awareness of water conservation.


(1) Work with school staff and garden team to create water-themed Earth Day event;

(2) Solicit donations of drought tolerant plants and mulching materials to conserve water in our landscaping, to be installed at event;

(3) Work with Friends of Trees to get obtain drought tolerant shade trees, to be planted at event;

(4) Identify local artist to help with Water is Life themed mural or art installation to be unveiled or completed on Earth Day;

(5) Sell low-flow shower heads along with simple instruction sheet as a fundraiser to support other green projects.

Upcoming Events:

- Nothing right now!

Ongoing Projects:

(1) Recycling

(2) Composting

(3) Monitoring – What’s in that smelly dumpster?

Would you like to help Adams at being greener?


Contact Joshua Frankel – / 541-636-0096. He is the local OGS coordinator, and he will get you everything you need including:

  • The Oregon Green Schools application.

  • The information you need to schedule your waste audit/garbage sort.

  • A list of sample goals.


Together we can help your school save money, reduce waste, and conserve energy/water. Thanks for participating in the Oregon Green Schools program!

(This page was updated: 6/14/19.)