NSTA’s Green Initiatives
Environmentalism has become an essential effort across the country. The National Science Teachers Association is striving to be a leader and role model for science educators and students in conserving resources and looking for innovative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. NSTA’s sustainability efforts can be seen in all areas of our operations: at the area and national conferences; in the way we communicate with our members and science educators in general; through our green efforts within the current headquarters building; with our online learning tools to provide economical distance learning opportunities to science educators; and with the extraordinary and coordinated effort of the construction of our new LEED platinum–certified headquarters—the John Glenn Center for Science Education. In all environmental efforts, NSTA has implemented several underlying methods to reduce our environmental impact.
A reminder to recycle that can or bottle.
For each of NSTA’s conferences, the programs and conference previews are printed on recycled paper by printers who are in strict compliance with all environmental laws. Wherever possible, our printers use reduced or low-VOC chemicals, increase the recycled content of raw materials, and use soy- and/or vegetable-based inks. Science educators are offered an online version of the program and conference preview along with an online scheduler. In advance of the conference, presenters are encouraged to post their presentations and handouts on the Session Browser/Personal Scheduler.
Our conference partner, Hargrove, Inc., offers many green product options and services in the production of our conference exhibitions, including 100% recyclable carpet and padding, recycled exhibit structures, a "reclaimer" that recycles 92% of all solvents the company uses in production of graphics, use of LP natural gas in 75–90% of show-site vehicles, and many biodegradable and recycled products such as trash bags and wastebaskets. Their green efforts are extended operationally with reductions in electricity, heating fuel, and water usage, as well as a move to 100% recyclable and biodegradable products.
NSTA reaches out to members to become more environmentally conscious too. Members are encouraged to sign up for autorenewal of their membership to avoid unnecessary printings, and members are offered online and electronic communication instead of print. NSTA is also testing offering our members online versions of the printed journals.
At NSTA Headquarters
A reminder to print on both sides.
At the existing headquarters building, NSTA has set a variety of programs into motion to reduce waste and our environmental impact. These initiatives include a “green team” that ensures the use of green products in and around the office as well as a strong paper, cardboard, aluminum, and plastic recycling effort to reduce waste sent to landfills. In addition, NSTA uses recycled paper and double-sided printing, Energy Star–certified office equipment, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) where appropriate, light timers in designated zones, overhead lights when necessary, the use of reusable NSTA mugs instead of Styrofoam or paper cups, and eco-friendly cleaning products. Additionally, NSTA encourages employees to scan files instead of printing or copying them and to turn off electronics and lights at the end of the work day.
NSTA promotes online and distance learning through the Learning Center where members can actively learn from resources online along with live and archived webcasts. Our members can search our journal article listings through our website. All of our publications are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks.
The John Glenn Center for Science Education
Finally, NSTA is leading the way in environmental role modeling through our newly designed headquarters building—the John Glenn Center for Science Education. NSTA is seeking LEED platinum certification for this new facility. The center will feature a host of innovative and exciting green building technologies that include a rainwater capture/gray water system to prevent water runoff, dual-flush toilets, waterless urinals, LED lighting, certified wood, low-E glass, and a frictionless chiller.
Read this Science Scope article (PDF) on NSTA's plans to use the new headquarters building as a teaching tool.