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.

Green Living in Schools: A Visual Diary

If you want to see an example of green living at work – this is a great choice. This video shows how green living techniques were integrated into many schools and how they are incorporating these ideas into their educational opportunities.

Light Bulbs Really Can Make a Difference

energy star

It sounds ridiculous to think that a single light bulb can make a difference – but it really can. When thinking about green living in a school, light bulbs can really help with energy conservation. One important focus is on ENERGY STAR. The ENERGY STAR program, started in 1992 by EPA is a voluntary program “to identify and promote energy-efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of or other forms of communication about products…”

When a product is labeled as ENERGY STAR, you’ll know that it is more energy efficient and will last longer than other products. It takes less energy to make the light bulb work, this helping the school, the budget and the environment. Certainly, school furniture is an area of focus and concern, but so is energy and the easy ways to become more energy efficient in the classroom.

Steps to Starting a Green Program at School


If your school is interested in starting a green program to reduce its carbon footprint and to help the environment, there are a number of tips that can help you. Here are some ways that the school can get started.

1. Enjoy the E-Life: Get the school to start using paperless communication. Get email addresses for everyone in the school and encourage teachers to communicate through email. Homework assignments can all be send through email, as can classroom announcements.

2. Green Bulletin Board Fun: Create a school bulletin board and advertise environmental news there. You might even want this board to be done electronically, as a Facebook page or something similar.

3. Try to get the entire school involved in a green project. Challenge everyone to have a week bag-free. Everyone should figure out how to bring their school lunches for an entire week without any plastic bags. There are other suggestions like this that will get the kids away from their school chairs and doing something active for the environment.

Green Living: Battery Charging

Tips for the Environmentally Friendly Student

Whether you’re going back to school for the new year or want a fresh start with a greener image, there are many ways to be more green at school. Here are some suggestions for being more environmentally friendly during your school day.

1. Before you rush out to buy new school supplies, make sure that you don’t already have them at home. Make a list and avoid duplicates. Look at the supplies that you may have around the house and consider using them, even if they aren’t shiny and perfect.

2. Clothing: You can go to second-hand stores for clothing and still look hip. You can also look for clothes made from sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo.

3. The Greener Pen: You can use refillable pencils and longer lasting pens these days. Keep your pencils and pens until they absolutely run out and treat them well. If your school desks have a place to store supplies, you can store them there and count on them lasting for longer than you might expect.

4. Say No To Paper: In this electronic age, so much can be done without paper. Teachers can email homework assignments and you can email them back. Notifications can be done through email or through a WhatsApp group.

Saying Goodbye to Plastic Bags


When we talk about making our schools more eco-friendly, we are often talking about global ideas. We look at water use, electricity and more. But there are actually much more simple ways to create eco-friendly classrooms. And one of these ideas is to pack eco-friendly lunches for your kids. Here are suggestions for doing so:

1. Cut the waste. Don’t use the plastic bags and single-serve lunch items at the store.

2. Purchase a plastic container for each kid that has separate compartments. This helps with portion control since you have different compartments that allow for only a certain amount of food. It also helps you to speed up the lunch-making process since you can make it the night before and fill up each compartment.

3. You’ll actually save money by using a plastic or stainless steel container. While the lunch box may cost more up front, you’ll save money since you won’t be paying for prepackaged items and you won’t be using four to five baggies a day.

Conserving Energy in the Classroom


School buildings are actually the third biggest energy users of any of the commercial building types. They account for 10% of the energy that is used by non-residential buildings. The numbers are quite shocking. Every year, in the K-12 school systems, they spend $8 billion on energy and universities spend $6 billion on energy.

When students know more about energy conservation, they can take this into their own hands and feel more responsible for their schools and their energy saving plans. Learn about the Alliance’s Energy 2030 Plan that calls for increased energy productivity. It allows students to learn on their own how to be more productive with energy. As anyone in the educational world can explain, school is not just a time to sit at your school desks and get your work done. It’s also a time for exploration and learning of other sorts.

As their website explains, “The Alliance’s K-12 and higher education programs empower students to change the culture of their academic environment to one that embraces energy efficiency. Students lead no-cost behavior changes, building retrofits, events on green careers, and other initiatives that save energy within and beyond their school building. They also contribute to integrated demand side management where applicable. When students are literate in energy efficiency, they become the next generation energy efficiency leaders – not only in their schools, but also in their homes and communities.”