Through a grant from the Benedum Foundation, and in partnership with the CREATE Lab, we are excited to offer the opportunity for local teachers to borrow CREATE Lab technologies for use in their classrooms.
12 Speck monitors that support air quality instruction (available in sets of 4).
We maintain a list of Chatham students, staff and faculty as well as external professionals that are willing to Skype into classrooms free of charge to advise sustainable student projects. If you are a K-12 student or teacher interested in being connected with a mentor, please fill out the Project Mentor Request Form. If you are a Chatham-affiliated or external professional interested in volunteering your time to help K-12 students in this manner, please fill out the Interested Mentor Form.
Center for Ecoliteracy - Lessons and guides available on systems thinking, ecological education, food and sustainability in their articles and on their resources page.
Sustainable Schools Project, Shelburne Farms - Case studies and big ideas on education for sustainability, selected curriculum resources and civic engagement / PBL framework resources, including "Healthy Neighborhoods / Healthy Kids" and a starter kit on Education for Sustainability.
Green Ribbon Schools, U.S. Department of Education - Apply for this award that recognizes schools that: "(1) reduce environmental impacts and costs, (2) improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff and (3) provide environmental education"
Green Schools Conference & Expo - Annual conference hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council. Check out their list of past speakers and presenters for ideas for other organizations or individual to follow on Twitter, watch on YouTube, etc.
Green and Healthy Schools Academy, Green Building Alliance - This Pittsburgh-based initiative out of the Green Building Alliance runs a School Sustainability Culture Program, the Inspire Speaker Series, Healthy Schools Technical Assistance and so much more. Check out their resources page, upcoming events and blog for inspiring stories.
Green Schools Initiative - This website has a great list of resources, curricula and toolkits for school administrators, teachers and parents alike, including a quiz on "How green is your school?" and a green products database.
Waters Foundation: Systems Thinking in Education Website includes descriptions of habits of systems thinkers, curriculum connections to systems thinking and various resources including a searchable database that includes lesson plans by subject and grade level.
Pittsburgh Green Story - "A comprehensive media resource regarding Pittsburgh's leadership in green innovation." Article topics are sorted by focus areas, including equity, food, health, innovation and more.
Grow Pittsburgh - Grow Pittsburgh's mission is "to teach people how to grow food and promote the benefits gardens bring to our neighborhoods."
Garfield Community Farm - Community Farm offering variety of educational opportunities such as farm tours, field trips and classes at the farm for all ages of students.
Manchester Craftsmen's Guild - The mission is to "inspire urban youth through the arts." They offer art apprenticeships for high school students and supplemental art classes and summer classes to children of all ages, in addition to classes for teachers and adults, the MCG Invitational, and a visiting artists series.
Plantscape, Inc - Located in Pittsburgh, PA; Industrial landscape company that can build green walls.
Burgh Bees - "Burgh Bees' seminars and mentorship programs help teach beginning bee-keepers how to responsibly keep their own hives and maintain urban apiaries." Bugh Bees also has an online resource library about beekeeping and bee population management.
412 Food Rescue - Located in Pittsburgh, PA but works in metro-Pittsburgh region; 412 Food Rescue creates programs and infrastructure designed to scale and replicate food recovery in urban regions.
Community Kitchen Pittsburgh - "Community Kitchen Pittsburgh is a mission-based, multi-faceted food service company." Goals include workforce development, community-engaged social enterprise, and food waste reduction. Programs include workforce development, food access and food education.
Pittsburgh Food Policy Council - "The council is committed to working with City officials and residents of Pittsburgh to develop food and urban agriculture policy. The Council also provides technical assistance, education, momentum and support on issues related to food production, food access, food distribution, health/nutrition and urban planning."
Just Harvest - Allegheny County; "We address hunger in Allegheny County at its root - economic injustice - through a focus on public policy and community food access." Their advocacy work revolves around, access to benefits, child nutrition, fair taxes and budgets, healthy food, and community building.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - Located in Pittsburgh, PA with branches in metro-Pittsburgh; "Our mission is to feed people in need and mobilize our community to eliminate hunger. We are a proud member of Feeding America." GPCFB offers a multitude of programs for constituents and volunteer opportunities.
Zero Waste Pittsburgh - Pennsylvania Resources Council - "Zero Waste Pennsylvania provides waste reduction techniques to various commercial businesses, residents, institutions, and special events across the state."
City of Pittsburgh Recycling Office - Program of the Department of Public Works offering residential and commercial recycling through weekly pickups or at the recycling drop-off center.
AgRecycle - AgRecycle provides compost collection and drop-off services for: food scraps, yard debris, manures, untreated wood waste, corrugated and most other organic by-products.
Shadyside Worms - Located in Pittsburgh, PA; "Shadyside Worms is a composting business that specializes in vermiculture- also known as composting worms." Programs include curbside compost exchange program, consultations, and workshops.
Edible Learning Lab - Modern Steader - Searchable resource database with information on seeds, soil management, vermiculture, hydroponics, composting, water management, seed saving libraries, and teaching kitchens.
School Garden Food Safety - Food Safety tips for school gardens, including planting practices, harvesting, composting, and consuming.
Seeds of Change Grant Program - Up to $25,000 for school or community garden projects. Must be a 501c3 organization. 1st round is vote-based so community engagement and support for the project is necessary. Grant cycle usually begins annually around March 1st.
Healthier U.S. School Lunch Challenge - Open to Team Nutrition Schools participating in School Lunch and Breakfast Programs at any time during school year. Receive awards (Bronze-Gold with Distinction) for nutrition standards.
Creative Solutions to Ending Food Waste, USDA examples - September 4, 2014; Highlights successful strategies for mitigating food waste in schools. Includes excellent infographic about food waste in schools and the impact of various strategies designed to counter the problem.
Nourish: Food + Community Curriculum - 7 free lessons on seasonal food, local food, food traditions, food and ecosystems, analyzing food ads, school lunch survey and action projects. Suitable for use in social studies, science, health or English classes. Requires sign-up to download.
Green Building Alliance - Pittsburgh-area chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council that runs initiatives like the Pittsburgh 2030 District and the Green and Healthy Schools Academy. Great professional development events and resources (check out their Inspire Speaker Series). Also, check out GBA's newsroom page for recent Pittsburgh-area news stories related to green buildings.
evolveEA - Sustainable design firm in the Pittsburgh area that has worked on urban, building and organizational change, including projects in Millvale, Larimer, Lawrenceville and more.
Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation - Historic preservation is sustainable! The PHLF runs a sustainable architecture design challenge for schools. Chatham has partnered with PHLF to help teach topics in green buildings to schools participating in this challenge and can offer buildings on the Eden Hall Campus for redesign projects.
LEED Certification - U.S. Green Building Council - The most popular green building certification system. LEED offers credits in energy, water, site, materials, transportation and more for new buildings, existing buildings, neighborhoods, homes and more.
Sustainable Materials - EarthDayNetwork (6th-8th grades) - Students compare costs and health benefits of specific building materials. Extension activity includes presenting state incentives for green building material use to the school principal or district administration before a building renovation project.
Energy Innovation Center - Located in the Hill District, "The Energy Innovation Center is a Pittsburgh based,not-for-profit organization with a mission to engage corporate and community leaders, align workforce development and education, develop and demonstrate technology, and incubate businesses, to support emerging clean and sustainable energy markets."
Conservation Consultants, Inc. - Located in South Side, CCI provides advocacy and education toward "healthy, whole home performance and energy conservation."
Zero Fossil - Sustainable event rentals in the Pittsburgh area, including interactive generator bikes, an ADA compliant hand crank generator, solar powered fountain and more.
Land Art Generator Initiative - Design group that produces public art that also generates renewable energy, enhance the quality of life in a community and more. They also have a free downloadable guide to renewable energies on their website.
Breathe Project - working to promote clean air and inspire healthy communities across southwestern Pennsylvania using science to understand the quality of the air we breathe, build public awareness and improve community health and wellness.
Envision Downtown - A "public-private partnership created by City of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto + The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to craft a 21st century vision for the sustainable and efficient development of a Downtown for all." Website includes planning descriptions, budget details and assessments for completed projects.
Bike Pittsburgh - News, initiatives and resources from this bike advocacy organization, including bike route maps for the city.
Design Center - "A regional non-profit that provides design and planning technical support to residents who want to improve the quality of their neighborhoods." They also provide design fund grants to spark positive social change.
East Liberty Development, Inc. - Website includes plans and studies on transportation and community action plans regarding development in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of East Liberty and Larimer.
Larimer Consensus Group - Neighborhood-based group working to ensure community voices are central to the implementation of the Larimer Vision to Action Plan
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission - Responsible for "planning and prioritizing the use of all state and federal transportation funds allocated to the 10-county region, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland. Website includes access to free data, maps, aerial photographs and more.
Pittsburghers for Public Transit - Resources, news and upcoming events related to public transit advocacy in the Pittsburgh-area. Check out their Transit Bill of Rights and links to transit legislation.
Ecoinnocation District Uptown Oakland - Focusing on the bottom-up creation of an equitable and sustainable community in uptown and oakland. Job creation and transit-oriented development are amongst this initiative's priorities.
Urban Redevelopment Authority - the URA offers a variety of programs and financing products that range from assisting low income clients achieve home ownership to reclaiming brownfields for new development and helping communities reinvent themselves.
Just Films PGH - This monthly screening of a social justice and gender film is co-sponsored by Chatham University Women's Institute, Gwen's Girls, the Women and Girls Foundation, the Women's Law Project, and YWCA Greater Pittsburgh.
What's Up Pittsburgh - An organization that hosts anti-racist leadership development for white identifying people in Pittsburgh. See their study group and resources pages for suggested readings, podcasts and more.
"The Limits of 8" - Pittsburgh Post Gazette - August 2, 2017 - Article demonstrating that Section 8 Housing is only available in low-income, high crime areas, and those with housing choice vouchers don't have real choice.
World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh - An organization committed to international engagement and awareness of global issues. They offer Global Fluency Training and other opportunities for educators and schools.
Pittsburgh Public Schools: Equity Getting to All : Resources from the PPS system that examine ways to limit racial disparities by creating more equitability in the classroom and at school. The Equity Progress Review document aims to empower teachers, as well as highlight statistics on the racial disparities regarding school suspensions and incidents. The Getting to All document examines the proficiency gap between white and African American students. Getting to All also sets specific targets (from 2017-2022) towards African American academic achievement.
Facing History and Ourselves - Educator resources and professional development opportunities centered around racism, civic engagement, immigration and other topics. Includes concrete ways for teachers to help students to build humanity and explore identity.
Resist - Grants supporting social justice organizing and grassroots social justice activism (up to $4,000).
Three Rivers Community Foundation - Offering grants to support economic justice, environmental justice, LGBTQ Rights, racial jutice, and women's rights, especially when initiatives are youth-led ($500-$4,000).
Examples In Action
Lawerenceville Corporation - The first Community Land Trust in Western PA proves Lawrenceville can take steps towards disrupting gentrification.
Rachel Carson - Chatham.edu - A biography demonstrating the life of Rachel Carson, including the books she wrote throughout her lifetime as a pioneer in environmental protection.
The Inspiration of Rachel Carson - Chatham Views - Alumna Rachel Carson's story inspired Chatham University to break ground on the Falk School of Sustainability at Eden Hall. Carson's inspiration sparked sustainable measures throughout Chatham as well.
Rachel Carson's Chatham - A brochure from Chatham University that highlights Carson's legacy during her time at Chatham.
Rachel Carson Homestead Association - People have the opportunity to tour Rachel Carson's childhood home, located in Springdale PA, and learn more about Rachel's life and contribution to the environmental field.
Rachel Carson Council (RCC) - This resource provides reports related to climate justice, or the link between healthy communities and environmental dangers. One report focuses on how toxic waste disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities.
EarthJustice - An organization that provides legal assistance to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution, pesticides, and/or climate change. EarthJustice takes action to protect children from toxic chemicals, pesticide drift, and pollutants near schools.
Global Focus Year of Climate Change 2015-2016 Chatham - Every year, Chatham selects a different international nation to highlight, but in 2015, Chatham dedicated its Global Focus on climate change. The Global Focus Year page contains books, films and other resources on how to better understand climate change, its impacts and opportunities for activism.
COP 23 - President David Finegold will serve as one of 3 representatives from U.S. universities to attend the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Conference on Climate Change in November of 2017. Click here to see the itinerary for when U.S. representatives, including President Finegold, will partake in panel discussions at the U.S. Climate Action Center, in Bonn, Germany.
Pittsburgh Area Local Organizations and News
Peduto Announces Executive Order on Climate Change - Pittsburgh Post Gazet June 3rd, 2017 - Pittsburgh is dedicated towards remaining below the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming target set out by the Paris Climate Accord. Pittsburgh will look to transition the city's fleet of vehicles to clean hybrid and electric vehicles, improve the efficiency of city buildings, and hold firm on the commitment to renewable energy sources for municipal operations by 2030.
Pittsburgh Climate Initiative - A collaboration of organizations that look to ensure the City of Pittsburgh is following through on its Climate Action Plan. The organization additionally offers a few tips on how to reduce one's carbon footprint and fight climate change. See their "Library" tab for links to Pittsburgh's actual Climate Action Plans and Greenhouse Gas Inventories.
Sustainable Pittsburgh - This organization attempts to integrate environmental quality decision making in Pittsburgh through both partnerships and collaboration, and communications/education. Sustainable Pittsburgh offers professional development for business and community leaders to come together and share ideas on sustainability solutions. Additionally, Sustainable Pittsburgh has a sustainability performance platform, which allows Pittsburghers to better address climate change.
Tree Pittsburgh -This organization aims to plant and maintain trees throughout Pittsburgh, while educating people on the benefits of trees. Trees sequester carbon, and planting and maintaining trees is one way to reduce climate change in Pittsburgh.
Climate Reality Leadership Corps - An organization that trains average citizens to become leaders on climate change by giving them the skills, resources, and access to fight climate change head on. Pittsburgh hosted a Climate Reality Leadership Corps Conference from October 17th-19th in 2017. You can still join any of the organization's initiatives, including the Pittsburgh Chapter even if you did not attend the training in Pittsburgh!
National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) - The NRDC provides a list of twelve actions that you can take to mitigate climate change, like purchasing better light bulbs, reducing your water waste, and reducing your food waste by eating all of the food that you buy.
Climate Change in the American Mind - A report by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication showing current statistics on the perceived risks, worries, and beliefs of Americans on climate change. This information shows that most Americans, 7 out of 10, believe climate change is happening.
Alliance For Climate Education - A website that provides information for high school students to better understand climate change, the greenhouse gas effect, and how climate change will affect an individual's region. Student can also join the Youth Action Network, which allows a student opportunities towards finding ways to take action on climate change, and gives updates on relevant climate change news.
NOAA Climate.gov - A video from the EPA that aims to help people understanding the basic science behind climate change, and how to tackle climate change.
Paris Climate Accord: What is it - NPR - June 1st, 2017 - In December of 2015, representatives from nearly every country on planet Earth met, discussed, and agreed upon creating an international framework towards tackling climate change. This historic agreement sees nations looking to keep global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial temperatures in order to avoid the catastrophic events associated with climate change.
The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change - This academic report gives readers a better understanding about the impacts of climate change on human health through graphs, panels, and information from scientists, health professionals, doctors, and other experts.
Alliance of Nurses For Healthy Environments - This organization is a coalition of nurses who aim to incorporate the linkage between climate change and health into their profession. The Alliance also provides resources and tools for nurses, or anyone, to take action on climate change in their community.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office Of Education - These grants are available for educators in various parts of the U.S., and are awarded to projects and education surrounding ecosystem stewardship and resilience. These grants also look to fund projects to increase the amount of K-12 curriculum on earth systems science education.
Nature Works Everywhere Grant - The Nature Conservancy - Grants of $2,000 will be awarded to 60 public or charter urban area schools (elementary, middle, and high) who are looking to address climate change through green infrastructure projects (rain gardens, urban forestry projects, native gardens). The deadline for this grant application in 2017 was November 3rd.
Examples In Action
Deep Time Walk - An app that allows people to view the history of the Earth through an interactive 4.6 km walk. This app is a great way to gain perspective on climate change, and can inspire action on mitigating the effects of climate change.
Project Drawdown - World Famous economist Paul Hawken, with the help of scientists and policymakers, proposes 80 solutions to reverse global warming. Project Drawdown looks to educate people on how the world can solve climate change by 2050.
Climate Change Modules from NASA and PBS - (Middle-High School) - These modules are situated for educators to gain a better understanding of the foundations of climate change in order to learn how to teach climate change to middle and high schoolers. Each module contains STEM resources as well. Modules include the impacts of a warming climate, an intro to Earth's dynamically changing climate, and the coastal consequences of sea level rise.
Climate Kids - (2nd-6th grades) - An interactive website from NASA that better helps elementary school students learn about climate change through games, activities, and videos.
Climate Classroom Kids (3rd-5th) - This set of curriculum provides ways for teachers to speak to students about climate change. Additionally, this curriculum provides activities and lessons for students to understand how climate change is related to wildlife and ecosystems.
Chatham University MSUS/MBA Program - Chatham University offers a dual degree for graduate students in both sustainability and business. Additionally the MBA program at Chatham allows students to concentrate some of their studies on sustainability in business.
Champions For Sustainability Champions For Sustainability is a program of Sustainable Pittsburgh that looks to connect businesses in Pittsburgh with professional networks and best practices of sustainability. Champions For Sustainability also provides opportunities for Pittsburgh businesses to achieve recognition in sustainability through initiatives like the Green Workplace Challenge and more.
Sustainable Small Business Designation Program - This program certifies businesses so consumers can see which organizations are environmentally and socially sustainable. To achieve Small Business Designation, a business must meet a set of business criteria judged by Champions For Sustainability and Sustainable Pittsburgh.
B Corps - A nonprofit organization who certifies for-profit companies for socially and environmentally responsible operations. B Corps certification helps consumers find sustainable businesses. Click here to browse through B Corps certified businesses.
Like it or Not, Sustainability is Now Core to Your Business- Fortune Magazine - September 24, 2015 - This article provides tips for companies committed to becoming more sustainable, including setting measurable targets (i.e. greenhouse gas reductions) and creating incentives for sustainability practices inside the company. The article also highlights the economic benefits companies have received from investing in sustainable measures.
2017 Global 100 Results - Corporate Knights Magazine - - This index represents the 100 most sustainable companies in the world. Corporate Knights grades each company on its Global 100 based on criteria surrounding resource management, employee management, and financial management. For further methodology on how Corporate Knights ranks each company, click here.
Advancing Sustainability: HR's Role -A Society for HR Management report based on surveys of HR professionals on implementing sustainability in business. The report looks at how sustainability is impacting and influencing HR Departments. HR plays a major role in implementing the sustainability practice of a company.
Triple Bottom Line - The Economist - November 13, 2009 - An article defining the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. Companies striving towards achieving the triple bottom line seek to align with the demands of consumers, who are looking for more sustainable businesses.
Monday -A job search website that lets you filter jobs by topic. Each of the topic filter are the various United Nation Sustainable Development Goals!
Examples In Action
Ceres - A nonprofit organization that looks to transition businesses and companies towards integrating sustainability. Through its research and partnerships, Ceres helps drive investors, utilities, and policymakers to invest in sustainability initiatives, and transition away from fossil fuels.
B Corps in the Classroom - (High School) -B Corps provides resources like powerpoints for educators to use as tools to teach students about the basics of B Corps. B Corps also provides resources that will allow students to think critically about the role businesses play in social and environmental issues.
Sustainability Culture - Chatham University - Chatham University eliminated the use of plastic trays and installed a reusable lunch tray takeaway program for students (green boxes). All other beverage and food containers at Chatham are now composable. Chatham also recycles its dining hall's cooking oil by sending the leftover oil to a biodiesel plant.
Pittsburgh Area Local Organizations and News
Zero Waste Pennsylvania - (Formerly known as Zero Waste Pittsburgh) Zero Waste PA has in-school programs, summer camps and services surrounding zero-waste practices. The Pittsburgh branch is called PRC West, and sells compostable cutlery and napkins.
Agrecycle - A Pittsburgh-based company that collects municipal compost. Agrecycle's services can be used by schools with pre-existing composting bins, or after the school has set up waste sorting station infrastructure.
The Real Cost of Styrofoam Infographic - Green Dining Alliances - This infographic highlights the "real" cost of styrofoam, by factoring in the health and environmental costs of societal styrofoam utilization. The information from the infographic was created by a study conducted by the University of Saint Louis on the Real Cost of Styrofoam.
Ecoliteracy's Rethinking School Lunch Guide - This PDF guide suggests ways for schools to save money when implementing waste reduction strategies. Schools could potentially reduce costs for purchasing reusable utensils by looking for donations from manufacturers, distributors, or local businesses to create a zero waste program at school.
USDA - Student Food Waste Audit Guide - A guide that educates students on conducting a food waste audit to understand the amount of food waste produced by cafeterias. Also, some food waste reduction strategies are included in the guide as well. The guide can be modified to create a food waste audit activity for students.
Environmental Research and Education Foundation Grant - Provides money towards effective waste management practices, as well as funding for educational projects focused on reducing waste. First, you would need to submit a pre-proposal (which is a downloadable form available on the webpage). ($15,000+).
Home Depot Community Impact Grants - The Community Impact Grants provide money for schools to purchase Home Depot supplies needed for waste sorting station construction. (Up to $5,000 in Home Depot gift cards).
Waste Management - Grants are awarded towards environmental education and environmental projects.
The Urban School Food Alliance - Is a group of school districts that collectively serves 2.5 million meals per day. Schools in the Urban School Food Alliance switched from styrofoam trays to compostable plates (that were specifically created by the Urban School Food Alliance). The compostable plates cost .049¢ per plate versus the traditional cost of styrofoam trays at .04¢ per tray. According to the same article, the average cost to send a ton of waste to the landfill is between $50 and $100 per ton on average, however, the cost of a ton of compost is about $20 per ton on average.