The U.S. Department of Education is holding its inaugural Green Ribbon Schools Award and Radnor Middle School is one of four schools nominated for the environmentally conscious honor.

"The wonderful team of staff and students at Radnor Middle School exemplifies what it means to 'think green,'" Radnor School District Superintendent Linda Grobman said in a news release. "The nomination validates their efforts."

Radnor and its fellow Pennsylvania nominees, A.W. Beattie Career Center, Thaddeus Stevens Elementary School and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, were among 47 public and private schools in the state to submit applications for the honor. They received notification of their nomination on Thursday, March 22.

The Green Ribbons Schools Award, nominated by Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis, seeks to recognize schools that save energy, reduce costs, protect health, feature sustainable learning spaces and encourage environmental awareness and community engagement among other green-related education initiatives.

The current Radnor Middle School building was constructed in 2007 with the technologies necessary to lower energy and operation costs, while improving air quality. More than 80 percent of the construction waste was recycled, including materials such as carpets, ceiling tiles, counters and tack boards.

On the school's green roof, plants produce oxygen and reduce water runoff and lower the building's temperature.

The building further boosts of sustainability as a result of waterless urinals and low flow faucets, which save thousands of gallons of water during the school year.

On the curriculum side, Radnor Middle School implemented a virtual classroom to permit field trips without use of fuel. Among other environmental-related activities, students participated in community stream bank restoration projects and studied local watershed in the classroom and through fieldtrips.

In addition to its Green Ribbon nomination, Radnor and its fellow Pennsylvania school nominees were named 2012 Pennsylvania Pathways Schools and will receive $3,000 awards to continue the work that got them noticed for the environmental honor.

The nominated schools will learn whether or not they win the award on April 23.