Environmental Charter High School
The Environmental Charter School has a recycling rate of over 85 percent. It is Collaborative for High Performance Schools certified, and working toward LEED Existing Buildings certification. The school's environmental philosophy permeates the campus and the curriculum. The school produces more than two percent of its energy on-site, powering, among other things, its greenhouse. Students take outdoors overnight trips, and spend 25 percent of their class time outdoors in a recycled concrete urban outdoor amphitheater, or tending to raised gardens, chicken and rabbit coops, and green walls. Students worked with permaculture experts to create a natural stream that now runs through the center of the urban campus. A group of students successfully presented a proposal to change food vendors to one that supports the school's mission, with locally grown food, low-waste compostable packaging, and healthier food. In chemistry classes, students made their own biodiesel fuel. A student-run bicycle repair shop encourages students and staff to ride rather than drive. The students also invite their community into their lessons, hosting composting workshops and campus tours, and engaging in projects to restore the Los Angeles watershed.