These days, it seems everyone is talking about going green. Even major corporations are taking steps to minimize their carbon footprint and investing in programs that clean the Earth up. Is it possible to bring eco friendly measures into the classroom? Here are tips for eco-conscious teachers:
Use the Recycle Bin.
These days, most classrooms are already equipped with bins for recycling paper. Teachers concerned with eco friendliness can take the recycling a step further by encouraging students to recycle most of everything else they throw away, whether it be scraps from art projects or plastic bottles from lunch.
Technology is changing the landscape of education in some new and exciting ways, but it may be easy to forget that all those great tech gadgets are not only good for convenience and student involvement, but they are also great ways to cut down on paper usage. Teachers who want to conserve the Earth’s resources can dramatically lessen the need for paper in the classroom by emailing lesson plans (or setting up a wiki for the same purpose) and requiring students to submit assignments electronically. Smartboards are great alternatives to the typical chalkboard because teachers can simply send screen shots of class notes to students’ inboxes, rather than require paper note-taking. Even groups like varsity tutors are encouraging the use of technology both in and out of the classroom, depending on student needs; you can find out more about them here. Another way to avoid paper note-taking is to allow students to take notes on a laptop, iPad, or other portable computing device.
Classrooms get messy, plain and simple. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean teachers have to resort to using heaving chemicals to do the cleaning. Safe and non-toxic products like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax, and even tea tree oil are great alternatives to store-bought cleaners, and they do a great job of getting everything spic and span!
Lessons in Loving the Earth.
Part of being eco friendly is spreading awareness about Earth-friendly practices. Therefore, an integral part of any eco friendly classroom should be a curriculum that includes lessons on loving and caring for the planet. Teachers can go a long way in bettering the environment by shaping young minds to think green. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to incorporate a message of eco-consciousness in lessons, from field trips to nature conservatories to lab activities in biodegradation.
Conserve Energy usage.
Lighting is one aspect of the classroom setting that uses up a lot of electricity. To conserve lighting (and electricity), use only energy efficient light bulbs and fixtures. Make the most of natural lighting whenever weather permits. Otherwise, use window drapes to your advantage; they can go a long way in keeping heat in and cold out, or vice versa.
As you can see, it is possible to go green in the classroom, as long as you’re willing to put some thought and effort into it. Follow these tips to foster an eco-friendly school environment . . . as well as eco-consciousness in your students.