The go-green movement may have humble beginnings, but now men and women across the globe make everyday decisions with the environment in mind. Private citizens and large companies now consider the environment before making decisions, as eco-friendly practices have extended into all aspects of life.
As homeowners, renters and business owners are busy doing their parts to protect the planet, students and teachers can follow suit. School is a great place to instill a passion for protecting the environment, and students and teachers alike can employ the following strategies to further their schools on-campus efforts to protect the environment.
- Begin with education. Schools can implement coursework that revolves around teaching students about current threats to the environment and what changes can have the biggest impact. Today’s students will one day become the men and women who run the country, and if they are on board with environmental concerns, they may be more likely to push for greater change.
- Recycle as much as possible. Many schools already have recycling bins in their classrooms and cafeterias. But other items, from batteries to books to pieces of wood from shop class, can be recycled, too.
- Purchase green school supplies. Green school supplies include water-based paints and recycled notebooks. Manufacturers even make cornstarch pens. When shopping for school supplies, look for supplies made from recycled materials or items that are organic or all-natural.
- Use green building materials. When the time comes to renovate or expand schools, educators and parents alike can express their support for environmentally friendly building materials, including reclaimed wood and bamboo flooring. Classrooms and other spaces can be equipped with LED or CFL light bulbs to save energy.
- Rely on digital technology. Many classrooms now employ smartboards and tablets in the classroom in lieu of paper books to help reduce waste and clutter. In addition, white boards have replaced chalkboards in many schools. Encourage students to hand assignments in electronically to cut down on paper waste. Schools also may have digital notebooks and websites that contain pertinent information, so the schools no longer send home paper notices.
- Book environmental field trips. Class trips can revolve around environmental issues, including exploring habitats of endangered species or studying landscapes that may be shifting due to climate change.
Environmental action is happening all across the globe. Students and educators can play important roles in these efforts by inspiring and implementing change.