Blue Pages, Green Flowers: Symbolism Behind the Eco-Schools Logo

Last week, Eco-Schools USA held its first-ever teacher training workshop in Seattle. The event, sponsored by Amgen and held at the Woodland Park Zoo, was attended by 14 K-12 educators.

After having presented at the workshop, I was asked many questions about the Eco-Schools program.  One question stood out to me: “What is the symbolism behind the Eco-Schools logo?” It was a great question, and one we were not prepared for.

After some digging, we found out that the story behind the Eco-Schools logo is quite inspiring. I’ve copied it below:

In 1994, FEE France, one of the first Eco-Schools programs, organized a competition in a school of graphic arts to create a logo for an environmental program related to school and based on the active participation of students. The winning design became the logo for the Eco-Schools program worldwide.

A lot of meaning is packed into this image.

Here is what it symbolizes:

  • People are the basis and center of the program. In our hands lies the greening of our future, which is symbolized by the flower flourishing above the head of the central person.
  • The flowers symbolize both the flourishing of the environment that we can promote, and the flourishing of human beings who will be enriched by developing values and attitudes that protect our environment and ourselves.
  • Once this bouquet of green flowers is open over our heads, it turns into a kind of umbrella, a shelter that protects us.
  • The book is associated with school and knowledge, but the two separate pages (with the person in the middle) mean that this knowledge is not purely academic. Books only contribute to the change in behaviors, while teaching/learning and people are central.
  • The blue page on the left represents the book of human history, loaded and heavy with the problems of society we are facing and inheriting. This part of the book is already written.
  • The white page on the right is not yet written. It represents everything that can be done – and we alone decide what our future will be.

As the educators we trained this week (and educators all over the country) start implementing the Eco-Schools program they are contributing to the white page of the Eco-Schools logo, the part that has yet to be written. They are taking steps to help guide our future and educating the next generation to be responsible stewards of our environment. I couldn’t be prouder.

Follow the program on Twitter @ecoschoolsusa to learn more!

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Published: December 14, 2010