10 Ways to Go Green in the Classroom

Here is a list of creative ways to go green in the classroom. This is only 10 of the 50 ideas that are offered at this fantastic website. Go green with these ideas and enjoy.

1. Recycle Competition: Many classrooms already have recycling barrels next to the trash can, but you can start a competition with your hall to see which class can save the most newspapers, soda cans, water bottles or any other recyclable item.

2. Compost heap: If your school isn’t willing to start composting, you can create a mini compost pile outside your classroom to get rid of some of your garbage, though it’s probably a smart idea to make sure it’s cleared with the administration and fire codes.

3. Start a garden: Use the compost to fertilize a class garden. You can grow vegetables or flowers, and let the students sample what you grow.

4. Recycle technology: If you’re lucky enough to be getting new computers this fall, invite your kids to join the Goodwill and Dell Reconnect program, which recycles computers and other electronics.

5. Go Green Database: Browse this database for fun eco-friendly projects that encourage awareness.

6. Plan an end-of-the-day room check: During the last few minutes of the day, have your children make sure all the water faucets are completely turned off, blinds are closed, lights are off and windows are closed. You can give different groups a checklist for each part of the room.

7. Adopt a rainforest: This project works with any unit you’re teaching. Your class can adopt the rainforest, whales, a block on your street or any other place you want to make a difference.

8. Use real plants for class pets: If your classroom has a pet turtle, lizard or fish, use real plants instead of synthetic or plastic plants. It’s better for the greater environment, as well as your little friend.

9. Calculate your carbon footprint: You can use this calculator to calculate your classroom’s carbon footprint, or the combined effect all of your students have on the environment. Then, discuss ways to minimize your effect on the environment.

10. Take an eco-friendly field trip: Walk to a nearby park to examine the local ecosystems without using extra gas.

3 Tips for Teachers to Go Green

recycledAs a teacher, you don’t have to change everything that you already do to create a more green classroom. Here are three quick tips for creating a more green environment without a lot of hassle.

1. Stop encouraging your students to buy everything new. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that they have to throw out all of their old pencils, pens and supplies and get brand new ones. Help them to go through their already existing supplies and to see what they really need. Then, only purchase the things that they absolutely need to have.

2. Try to become more tech savvy. Rather than putting everything on paper for your students and leaving it on their school chairs, try to start using email more. Use email for notices that you need to tell the students about, for homework assignments and for classroom projects. This will save a great deal of trees and will really make a difference. Encourage students to email back their homework to you.

3. Buy recycled paper and keep it in the classroom. When you absolutely must use paper and must have your students do so, you can at least use recycled paper. Encourage the school to get involved in this way and to buy recycled paper for everyone.