Just been reading information about smart meters via Energy Saving Trust. It's worth a read! http://t.co/fWD3PRFA
— Aethon Green Energy (@AethonGreen) August 22, 2012
Schools and other educational institutes are beginning to invest more time and effort in green living and recycling. Harvard Law, for example, launched its Green Living Program seven years ago in an effort to promote sustainable living in the college dorms. The program educates the residents about energy and water conservation, as well as recycling and waste reduction, while representatives also suggest infrastructure and policy adjustments that can improve conservation.
Other programs have been launched across the U.S. as well, including those which recycle old school furniture. New additions to schools often incorporate recycled materials, while classes and school policies help educate students about their own impact on the environment, and ways they too can contribute to and preserve our planet.
Green education should not be limited to elementary school children. In fact, teenagers and college students usually consume more energy and generate more waste than young children, and keeping them conscious and concerned about the environment is especially important.
Way2GoGreen Blog offers some green tips for college students:
One great way to get kids involved in green living and sustainability is by engaging them with fun, interesting activities. The Magic School Bus is a great children’s show that covers many scientific topics, including recycling and pollution. Next time your children head for the television, show them this instead!
Magic School Bus Holiday Special- Recycling
“They’re young, they’re green, they’re militant….”
Check this out- according to an article from The Observer, kids are re-educating their parents about the environment, recycling, waste reduction and sustainability!
Keep up the great work, schools!
As green living and energy conservation become more of a priority, schools and other large institutions are implementing new policies, equipment and supplies to preserve our planet. School cafeterias and other food service operations have many opportunities and options to explore.
Cafeteria tables and chairs can be made from recycled or biodegradable materials, and painted with environmentally-friendly paints or stains. Many operations have chosen to serve responsibly farmed or organic foods, as well as implement comprehensive recycling and composting programs to minimize total waste and avoid sending materials to landfills. Schools kitchens can also adjust policies and products to improve energy efficiency and reduce water use.
ChildrenoftheEarth.org offers green activities for children and teachers with the goal of “fostering a greater understanding, respect and appreciation for the natural world.”
Here are some ideas for green activities, art projects and adventures for parents and teachers alike to spruce up the classroom environment, classroom tables, etc.
- Kids’ Book Project
- Eco-Friendly Practices foFind Your Age
- r the Classroom
- Make Your Classroom Eco-Friendly by Ms. Siegelman’s Third Grade Class
- Environmental Pledges: Writing Letters to Local Businesses
- Waste-Free Lunch Week
- Recycled Art
- Group Activity: Sound Game
- Sounds and Colors
- Blind Walk
- Find Your Age
It’s always encouraging to look to others for examples about creating green living programs. Whether you’re an elementary school teacher setting up your classroom desks for the year, or you’re a professor at a local university getting your podiums ready for this year’s lectures, there are always more ways that you could be encouraging recycling.
The Harvard Law School Green Living Program is certainly leading the way. They are in their 8 the moment as a peer-to-peer education program. They promote green living in the Harvard Law School dorms by connecting Green Living Representatives with other residents to teach them about energy and water conservation. They teach them, as well, about recycling and waste reduction and they sponsor all sorts of programs throughout the school year.
For instance, they had a recent program where the dorms competed to see which room could save the most energy over a given time period. They monitored the energy use of each room and announced the largest energy saver at the end of the program. Starting in 2011, the program made sure that there were compost centers available in every dorm and administrative building on the Harvard Law campus. This is another way that they encouraged more recycling and enabled people to do so with easy steps.
These are but a few of the many programs that the Harvard Law School Green Living Program has started. They are certainly a leader in the field of recycling and are one to look to as a model.
Here is a list of free Green Education resources for any home or classroom:
- The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education
- Closing the Loop: Exploring Integrated Waste Management and Resource Conservation
- School Building Week, Council of Educational Facilities Planners International
- K-12 Energy Lesson Plans and Activities, U.S. Department of Energy
- Earth Day Network — K-12 Environmental Education Program
- Energy Kid’s Page Energy Information Agency
- EPA Teaching Center
- Florida Solar Energy Center
- Green Schools Energy Project: A Step-by-Step Manual Youth for Environmental Sanity
- The National Energy Education Development Project
- Population Connection
- Sustainability Education Handbook: A Resource Guide for K-12 Teachers Incorporating the Michigan State Framework Standards
- The U.S. Green Schools Foundation
- U.S. Green Building Council: Best Practices in Green Education
Being environmentally conscious isn’t only for the hippies anymore. Every day the choices that we make can have a large impact on the environment and on our footprint in the world we live in. While we may be doing our own part, it’s possible that our schools aren’t doing theirs. Here are a few ways to help our schools to start to care more about the environment.
You can start by talking to the school principal, the district and the individual teachers about the importance of going green. They may not realize that this is even an issue, and if you give them concrete, easy suggestions for making a difference, they may be interested in implementing them.
One of the easiest suggestions is to cut down on paper use. Rather than Xeroxing notes for the kids to bring home, copying worksheets in school and relying so heavily on paper, schools can turn to the technology in front of them. There is no reason that a teacher can’t email the entire class with a reminder, or even with a homework assignment. Today, there are all sorts of options for teachers to communicate with their students via chat rooms, classroom computer centers and more. They can significantly cut down on their paper use in this way. If each child has a computer table and a computer and knows how to be part of the community, they will get their notices, homework assignments and even tests online.
The entire school can start a recycling program. Recycling together is fun and incredibly easy. Next to the cafeteria tables and the classroom chairs, they can put out bins for recycling and the students can recycle their water bottles from lunch, other bottles that they see around the school, paper and any other items that their county recycles. They can even create a recycling competition, whereby one class receives a reward each month (for instance) if they are the ones with the most recycling.
All of these ideas can help a school to be more environmentally conscious and to help the students to learn about recycling and green living.