Sustainability at Sunstone

What We Are Doing:

Reducing Waste

  • Using durable dishware and cups for classroom lunches, drinking water, school events, etc.
  • Reusable cleaning cloths
  • Performing an annual waste audit to measure and track what we send to the landfill (garbage) and what we divert from the landfill (recycling and compost)
  • Utilizing a school-wide color-coded bin system for all waste, compost and recycling
  • Composting food scraps, flower trimmings and yard debris
  • Purchasing post-consumer content paper towels, file folders, envelopes, office paper and journals
  • Purchasing energy star appliances when replacing old appliances
  • Purchasing SFC pencils and clipboards
  • Using foam soap dispensers in classrooms, bathroom and kitchen spaces
  • Utilizing paperless billing with our families and practicing paperless bill pay and banking for business purposes



  • Recycling bins in all rooms used to recycle all curbside recycling materials
  • Recycling non-curbside materials such as batteries, light bulbs, electronics, Styrofoam, ink cartridges, packing materials, other plastic material
  • Hosting twice-yearly community electronics recycling collections with neighborhood partner Green Century Electronics Recyling



  • Holding an annual used book exchange on Earth Day for all grades (leftover books are donated to The Children’s Book Bank)
  • Collecting cardboard and other items to use for classroom work and school projects
  • Having scrap paper collection bins in classrooms
  • Reusing classroom and office supplies whenever possible including scrap paper, file folders, cardboard, fabric, shoe and shipping boxes, etc.


Water and Energy Efficiency

  • Utilizing CFL light bulbs in place of incandescent bulbs where possible
  • Turning off lights when not in use and turning off computer equipment at the end of the day
  • Installing dual-flush devises on all of our toilets which has reduced our water usage by 70%
  • Installing and maintaining aerators on most sinks and sanitizers
  • Tracking monthly electricity, natural gas and water use
  • Participating in the annual Walk + Bike to School month every May


Wildlife habitat and ecosystem

  • Maintaining several gardens for classroom involvement, conservation purposes and neighborhood outreach, including a Learning garden, a Native Plant Garden and a Water-Wise Garden, and a biowale
  • Cleaning garbage along the Willamette River and in Willamette park
  • Planting and landscape design for stormwater management
  • Providing additional habitat for pollinators (Pollinator boxes)


Community Engagement

  • Collaborating with Green Team members, students, parents and staff to maintain our current green school practices and to create additional opportunities for environmental activism
  • Supporting a student green team run by upper elementary children
  • Educating students and families about packing waste-free lunches
  • Providing community education about waste reduction, recycling, composting, greener cleaners and more at our annual Fall Festival celebration
  • Celebrate Earth Day with students, staff and parents by participating in organized gardening, conservation and art activities
  • Conducting an annual neighborhood cleanup on Earth Day with students, staff and parents
  • Attending the annual Oregon Green Schools Summit each spring
  • Providing a bicycle tire repair kit, lock and air pump for employees, students, parents and visitors
  • Displaying alternative transportation options (bus lines, walk and biking paths) on our website
  • Partnering with local organizations such as Willamette Riverkeepers and Portland Parks & Rec to help preserve and maintain portions of Willamette Park just a few blocks from our school
  • Free “Little library” on Corbett Avenue


Kristen Sevier

Outdoor Specialist and Sustainability Coordinator