Environmental Initiatives

Green Ribbon Schools Logo

Carmel Clay Schools was selected a 2023 US Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee. 

This award acknowledges Carmel Clay Schools’ commitment to sustainable practices and our leadership in school facilities, health, and sustainability learning.

Green Ribbon Schools Information

Organic Community Garden 

Garden Plots

The CCS Green Team has collaborated with Carmel Clay Schools to create an organic community garden, open to Carmel residents and CCS employees. The garden is located on the grounds of Carmel Middle School at 300 South Guilford. The space is intended for public gardening, education, and community fellowship.  

Organic Community Garden Information

Green Team

The Carmel Clay Schools Green Team comprises a group of parents and staff at each of our 15 school buildings who have a passion for encouraging habits and initiatives that support and protect the Earth and promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. These teams build awareness of green initiatives and sustainability practices into school culture. Teacher representatives from each building meet six times during the school year to discuss initiatives and share ideas for education and community action at each school. Students on the Green Teams develop awareness campaigns for their peers and sponsor schoolwide events.

Electric Bus

Carmel Clay Schools commissioned the first-ever total electric school bus in the State of Indiana on June 24, 2020. 

Water Fountain

Water fountains throughout the district now include a water bottle refill station to encourage students to bring their own bottles and thereby reduce the plastic waste.

Recycle Plates

A switch to recycled cardboard containers and reusable trays and silverware replaces plastic and styrofoam in school cafeterias in an effort to reduce solid waste across every campus. 

Rain Garden

District landscape includes rain gardens with native plants and grasses to help with irrigation and run-off. Several schools also have rainwater collection barrels, which are used to water the community gardens.


School lunch choices include many fresh fruits and vegetables (some from student-grown gardens). The CHS cafeteria participated in a food composting program and is planning to expand next year.

Light Recycling

Green Teams, along with Carmel Utilities, the City of Carmel, and Technology Recyclers collect and recycle broken holiday light strands, saving nearly eight tons of landfill waste in the last 11 years of the program. 

Green Team

The Mohawk Trails Green Team learn the importance of working together on behalf of the environment. Team projects include making up-cycled gifts for a nursing home, composting awareness, seed planting, and outings with the Phenology Lab.