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Healthy Schools

OEC provides tools and resources for teachers and parents to engage students in environmental learning and action.

Promoting Healthy Schools in Oregon

Children spend 30-50% of their time during the school year at school. A healthy, safe school environment helps children learn and grow to their full potential.

Oregon Environmental Council works with a Healthy Schools Advisory Group on policies and programs to promote healthy schools.

Pest Management:

Our 2005 report found that Oregon schools have used pesticides associated with chronic health disorders. We also found that most schools had no pest control policy in place. 

In 2009, we helped to create, support and pass a law (SB 637) requiring Oregon schools K-12 and community colleges to adopt Integrated Pest Management policies by July 2012. 

These policies set standards for preventing pests and treating pests with safe, effective, money-saving methods. 

The school IPM program at Oregon State University is now providing technical assistance to schools in developing plans.

School Bus Tailpipes and Engines: 

Diesel-fueled engines emit more than 40 toxic air pollutants. Our 2003 report detailed the dangers of diesel pollution to human health in Oregon.

In 2007, we helped pass a fund to clean up diesel engines and tailpipes, with a special priority on the clean-up of school buses. In 2009, we helped set in place a timeline for all diesel buses in Oregon to be retrofitted with filters by 2017 or replaced with cleaner engines by 2025.

Our outreach staff also work with classrooms and student groups to educate their communities about reducing tailpipe pollution. See our anti-idling kit: "It's Not Cool To Idle At School." 

Green Buildings:

Oregon Environmental council supports “sustainable” or “green” building practices for  state building construction and renovation. Green building is proven to be a wise financial investment, improving academic performance and increasing productivity and health. See more.

Green Cleaning:

Oregon schools currently procure products on a school-by-school or even an employee-by-employee basis. If schools were to standardize purchasing policies to ensure safer formulations of cleaning supplies, schools could reduce costs and reduce student exposure to air pollutants. See more about Springfield schools using green cleaners.

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