Saint Joseph Catholic School

(803) 254-6736 |

About Us

Saint Joseph Catholic School Green Steps

Green Steps Schools is an environmental education initiative that encourages individual schools in South Carolina to take annual sustainable steps toward becoming more environmentally responsible.

Now in our fourth school year, Saint Joseph School continues the journey begun in 2009, trying to complete these steps toward becoming a greener and better school.

These steps were:


The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Continued efforts toward recycling of all paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, glass magazines, and plastic at school;
  • Educated our staff students and parents of the importance of recycling and making it a way of life;
  • Sorted and collected recyclables each Wednesday to be put on the curb for the City's recycling program;
  • Sent Capri Sun drink cartons back to the company and earned money that was donated to Columbia’s Harvest Hope Food Bank.


CONSERVE: Waste Reduction

The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Encouraged students and parents to pack school lunches in reusable containers, avoiding waste;
  • Rewarded students who brought in lunches with reusable containers, especially on "Waste-less Wednesdays." (We have been able to reduce the number of rolling trash cans on Waste-less Wednesdays to ONE container for the entire school's lunch program);
  • Purchased milk in plastic containers for our school lunch program so that they can be recycled each week.



The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Rooted and planted philodendron plants in clean reused yogurt containers;
  • Placed philodendron plants in each classroom. (The philodendron is reported to absorb impurities in the air and produce cleaner air);
  • Taught about the importance of plants to the health of the earth.



The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Purchased an indoor composting container for our school and two larger compost bins for outside;
  • Instituted "Waste-less Wednesdays" on which the fruit/vegetable waste is composted;
  • Used composted lunch waste to fertilize a school garden that was created in spring of 2011;
  • Started a “worm bin” (Vermicomposting) project in 5K.



The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Used less electricity in the school by instituting energy conservation measures (new CFL light bulbs have been installed in the school).
  • Made art projects in student art classes with Mr. Bramhall, creating treasure from "trash."
  • Utilized containers from food products (yogurt, margarine, etc) as pots for plants in the classrooms’
  • Made books out of cereal boxes (2nd grade).



The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Installed motion sensors on light switches in bathrooms and stairwells;
  • Purchased new copiers with “power-saver” feature and turned off printers/copiers when not in use;
  • Created a “lights-out” program, encouraging people to turn out lights when rooms are not in use.


RESTORE: Habitat

The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Planted organic gardens (1st Grade/K5 and 2nd Grade/K4 share gardens);
  • Used all organic matter in the gardens, fertilized gardens with compost from our own compost bins;
  • Donated extra produce yield to charity.


CONSERVE:  Green Purchasing

The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Purchased milk for school lunch material in plastic jugs.  The milk from our lunch provider came in wax coated cardboard cartons which are not recyclable. 
  •  Encouraged the proper disposal of these containers, which were picked up in the city recycling pick-up each week;
  •  Purchased recycled ink cartridges for printers;
  • Switched ice cream treats given to students on last Fridays to popsicles with less waste;
  • Purchased recycled paper and paper products school use.


PROTECT: Litter Prevention

The Saint Joseph School Community:

  • Declared the school a “Litter Free Zone;”
  • Kept the school grounds litter free.
  • Ensured that facilities were clean—bathrooms, hallways, breezeways, etc;
  • Hosted yearly litter sweep (Beta Club) in the area a block around the school to include the Bonham Street to Sims Park.


For more information on the Green Steps Program, please see the following link:

See our green team in action—click HERE to see photos of our Green Steps activities!

Click HERE to see photos of our most recent Recycling Art projects.


Saint Joseph Catholic School 3700 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205 (803) 254-6736 (866) 456-7374 fax 803-540-1913