In a world where the environment is constantly being threatened by polluting factories, car fumes, aeroplanes and more, it is extremely important that the next generation (our children) are environmentally aware. As a result, an eco-friendly mindset should be taught in schools. And what better way to teach it than to actually put it in practice. Not only is the school helping the environment in the short term by cutting down on energy usage, but also in the long term, by instilling eco-friendly ethics into the minds of the schoolchildren. However, as a teacher, what can you actually do in order to keep your classroom’s environmental footprint at a minimum? Well, here are some great ways to keep your classroom environmentally friendly:
- A recycling challenge
Children love challenges, and what better challenge could you think of than a recycling challenge? Tell your children to collect as many recyclable materials as they can, and see which student collects the most each month. Weigh the recyclable materials at the end of each week, and record each student’s progress. Give a prize to the winner (but make sure that the prize is environmentally friendly).
- Think about your classroom’s basic supplies
Generally, school supplies can be replaced with greener alternatives. For example, plastic pens can be replaced with wooden ones, and acid-free glue sticks are much better for the environment once disposed of. Other ideas might include looking for notebooks that are made of recycled paper, and petroleum-free crayons. When on a school trip, bring biodegradable cups and plates instead of plastic ones. Make sure that you are clear about all of these choices with your students, and that you explain the reasoning behind them. They should be able to explain the reasoning behind these choices as well as you can.
- Don’t waste water
If you have been doing a science project with the class, and there is some leftover water, most teachers will simply pour it down the sink. Instead, use that water to water the plants, or for some other productive use. To be honest, such an amount of water is likely to be insignificant. However, it is not just about that. It is about showing a good example to the children and making sure that they always have environmental concerns in their minds before taking a wasteful action.
- Encourage students to turn off lights when not needed
Don’t just turn off the lights yourself, but encourage your students to do the same. It is quite common for lights to be on at school after hours because people have forgotten to turn them off. One thing that you could do is designate a group of your students to sweep the building before the end of the school day, to make sure that all of the lights are off.
- Go paper-free
Using digital alternatives to homework sheets and even textbooks can be great for the environment too! Click this link to find out one way you can do this: educater.co.uk/software/school-report-writing-software.