Climate change is one of the most pressing issues globally and has been the cause of major existential angst in humans. It’s now only crucial for everyone to play their part in alleviating the effects and preventing further damages. From grown-ups to kids in schools, the onus is on everyone. The upcoming generation is the driver of change, with schools playing a central role. The following are some of how schools can create, maintain and improve an eco-friendly environment.
Walking and Electronic Media
Encourage walking for both students and staff, especially in short distances. The staff should lead by example. The emergence of walking challenges such as The Walking Bus challenge, where students are walked in large groups to and from school, and slogans such as “your footprint is the key to the reduction of carbon footprint” has been deemed environment conscious. Walking comes with other perks, such as it being some form of exercise. The school is also encouraged to cut down on paper usage. Pursue electronic media as alternatives to printing and photocopying. Electronic calendars and grade books are great tools that can be synced directly with electronic devices. For instance, many schools have replaced paper agendas with online school agendas. And when printing, only print what is necessary.
Introducing green habits is also vital to creating an environment-friendly school. Let the students interact with the natural world. This may be in the form of allocating a small piece of land for recreational farming, tree planting, having a few plants in the classroom et cetera. Cleaning habits can also be incorporated into the green movement. Replacing your cleaning tools with natural, eco-friendly solutions is a child-friendly move that will help reduce allergies and general pollution problems. Using products with no artificial ingredients will also reduce possible allergic reactions. Dietary is an underrated aspect of improving the environment.
Vegetarian meals have a lower carbon footprint and, therefore, should be encouraged. This will help teach sustainable habits in the future.
Encourage energy efficiency practices such as turning off lights and shutting down computers when not in use. Always go for energy-efficient equipment when making new acquisitions. The school can also opt to generate its power or adopt environment-friendly sources such as solar. Students should be taught to ensure taps are closed properly after use and also to use water sparingly. Turn off heating or cooling units when the weather is favorable.
Running environmental awareness campaigns within the school premises and the community at large is also an effective strategy. Establishing an environmental club at school is an excellent way to get the student’s participation. Mock awareness campaigns to push students to research, investigate and share environmental concerns is advisable. A few students can also be selected to be ecological ambassadors in spreading awareness of the importance of environment conservation. These awareness campaigns can best be done through art competitions, essays, dramas, and plays. Setting environmental themes, holidays, weeks, and tasks can be adopted.
Promote recycling practices and encourage reuse. Before discarding what most students would term as ‘waste,’ assess the other ways they can be used. Research and share creative ideas to repurpose them. The school can also run a donation project to encourage the collection of items that are still deemed valid. In terms of food packaging, the school should go with easily recyclable packages. Also, look for things that demand the least amount of packaging. Purchasing remanufactured technological equipment such as laptops is also helpful in reducing and eradicating emissions generated from their production. Having separate bins specifically for different waste, such as plastic, glass, paper, and organic, makes it easier to assortment.
Education programs touching on the environment should be introduced. Get the students interested and involved in active learning about the environment. Stock the library with books that celebrate and share impressive facts about the Earth and environmental movements. Students feel most influential and engaged when they can connect their studies to what’s going on in the world.
Schools are the bedrock of future leadership and a responsible citizenry. They have direct responsibility and influence in enacting positive behavior and attitudes. A key responsibility is to inspire students to be environmentally conscious. Do you want to learn more about how to make your school greener?