Learn from the kids at Lambton Kingsway Middle School about making better green living choices. Learn how you might incorporate some of their suggestions into your sustainability plan at your school.
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.
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.
While most of us think about our homes and our cars when we hear the words “green living” we can also do our part with our children and their school day. Green living really means thinking about the environment in your daily life and finding ways to reduce your carbon footprint and your reliance on gas-guzzling, energy-guzzling items.
Here are six simple ways that you can send your children off to school with a greater sense of environmental awareness and with an understanding that they, too, can work to reduce their environmental impact on a daily basis. First of all, as the kids get ready to head back to their classes, they are probably expecting new clothes, new classroom furniture and new play equipment in the school. You can help to save money and the environment by doing a clothing swap with friends or by visiting second hand stores. If you absolutely must buy new clothes, check out the stores that have natural fibers and that care about sustainability and the environment.
Give your kids reusable lunch boxes and reusable containers for their food. If you think about how many disposable bags are used each day in schools across America, it’s no wonder that our landfills are filled to capacity.
Think about how your kid gets to school and how much gas this trip costs. Can you form a carpool to get your kids there? Is the school close enough that you can walk your child there or ride bikes?
Use gently used school supplies. Look around the house before you go out to buy those shiny new supplies – you just might have most of the items you need already in the house.
Send your kid with a reusable water bottle. They get thirsty during the day and should certainly have something to drink – but they don’t need a new container every day.
The idea of preserving our planet should not be overlooked, nor should it be considered a foreign or unrealistic concept. It is so very important to educate our children about their impact on the environment, and how to live responsibly.
Here is a great example from Fisher Elementary School, who implemented the IXG endeavor with the Green Education Foundation in an effort to teach its students about green living: