Top Tips to Turn Your School Green
Nov 1, 2009 Classroom Materials 2931 Views
Most of us have adapted to living a more eco friendly lifestyle, a few years ago we wouldn't have thought anything about the amount of plastic bags we use at the supermarket or throwing our cans out with the rest of the rubbish. Now most supermarkets offer incentives for reusing shopping bags and most council's in the UK provide and collect household recycling boxes.
Teaching our children how to live a more eco friendly life style can be one of the biggest steps we can take for the future of our planet. If our children learn these things as they grow up it will become second nature to them so introducing small steps at school can ensure they grow up living a greener lifestyle.
If you're not using it, turn it off. Lighting is going to be one of the biggest causes of energy expenditure in school buildings. If you know the classroom is going to be empty for the duration of the next lesson or throughout a break, turn the lights off. If you don't already, start replacing dead light bulbs in lamps and energy saving light bulbs, replace florescent tubes with compact florescent lamps where possible which last much longer and use up less electricity. This solution can also be applied to ICT, turning computers off and the monitors can save a considerable amount of energy which will be reflected in your schools energy bills too, leaving an appliance on standby uses almost as much power as leaving it on in the first place. If your classroom has any taps, make sure they don't leak and teach your pupils about water conservation, if you do have a leaking tap, leave a container under the drip to collect the water and use it for something else. Drafts between door frames and window frames can be prevented with draft strips which can also provide significant savings on your schools energy bills. These are all simple things that you can get your pupils involved in; encourage them to point out if you leave a projector screen on standby or a leaking tap dripping as they will then take this philosophy home with them too.
Starting a school garden has so many benefits not only for the environment but for your pupil's lifestyles too. A school garden doesn't need to take up much room or funding, all you need is an unused bit of land, some soil and some seeds, and you could even ask your local community to donate gardening equipment (making sure none of the pupils have access to anything too sharp or dangerous). By growing a selection of vegetables you're introducing the children to a more healthy diet and they're going to be much more enthusiastic about eating their greens if they've helped grow them from scratch. Gardening can also complement some other core lessons on the curriculum too, it allows them to get good physical exercise outdoors, explaining about photosynthesis can help science lessons, and the vegetables can be used in the home economics class.
Try to minimise the amount of paper your school uses. If it's not viable for your pupils to hand their homework in on an electronic format, encourage them to use recycled paper and print on both sides. Have a prominently placed recycling box in each classroom to ensure paper is never placed straight into the bin.
Encourage your pupils who have a packed lunch to bring in a waste-less pack lunch, wrap sandwiches in paper bags instead of cling film or tin foil, if they do use cling film or tin foil encourage them to save it and use it for the next day's packed lunch. Instead of having store brought snacks, maybe they could bring in homemade snacks or even better fruit. Although this may not be practical for some parents maybe your school could introduce having a waste less lunch day just once a week? Make sure any utensils used are reusable rather than plastic so they don't need to be thrown away on a daily basis.
Garden Escape 4 Schools design and build eco friendly outdoor classrooms, their team of specialists can help your school design and plan bespoke school buildings to give your school that much needed extra space in the most environmentally friendly way possible, from solar power to sedum roofs, Garden Escape 4 Schools are experts in making schools greener.