The Brooklyn New School won a Green Flag award from the National Wildlife Federation

Eco-conscious Carroll Gardens school gets green-thumbs-up

The Brooklyn Paper
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They let their green flag fly.

The Brooklyn New School celebrated winning an award recognizing its green-thumb education innovations on Monday. The elementary school bagged a Green Flag award from the National Wildlife Federation and eco-minded pupils took full advantage of the opportunity to gab about their planet-cleaning efforts, a school rep said.

“It was great to see the kids talk about the work they do,” said Johanna Esteras, the school’s sustainability coordinator.

Her title goes to show that the school does not treat going green as some extracurricular activity.

“It’s not an add-on — it’s part of our curriculum,” Esteras said.

About 20 proud kids who have built habitats for birds and looked at ways to improve the fetid Gowanus Canal presented their projects to Councilman Brad Lander (D—Park Slope) and reps from the Department of Education’s Sustainability Initiative. The students all beamed with pride as they flipped through the PowerPoint presentations and gave speeches, according to Esteras.

“The hard work they have been doing has paid off,” she said.

The school has an “eco-action” team that has built up green space and biodiversity on school grounds, reduced lunchroom trash by using pulp trays instead of Styrofoam, and transformed juice pouches and other materials into art projects.

Students, who learn about sustainability starting in kindergarten, also recycle and compost a majority of their cafeteria food waste, the school said.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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