“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela
Educating children about green ways of living is a must. Children learn a lot from their surroundings and day-to-day work. So, why not educate them in an eco-friendly school. Here are 8 ways to make schools more eco-friendly.
Children love to use fancy stationaries. Teachers and parents can encourage the kids to use durable stationaries. Like shifting to steel scales from plastic ones, using cloth pouches and metal pencil box instead of plastic boxes. Pens and pencils contribute to a lot of plastic waste. Teachers and kids should start using fountain pens which are refillable or Plantable stationaries. Avoid the use of glitter papers, foam sheets and non-recyclable materials even for craft works.
Bookbinding- one of the major homework for kids in their summers. Common binding sheets are brown sheets and transparent\transluscent plastic sheets. Both are made of plastic instead kids could use paper-based sheets for binding.
2. Classroom decorations:
Children become so enthusiastic to decorate their classroom. Using charts, paper and ribbons would be the best way to decorate classroom walls. Thermocoal and foam sheets are considered to be attractive but they cause a lot of problem to the environment. Teachers should tell their students to use eco-friendly materials and provide a list of materials to use.
I remember using thermocoal and glitter papers to decorate our classroom like the night sky. It looked really good but now all those materials might have ended up in landfills making the earth look bad.
3. Triple bin facilities:
It is important to teach and encourage kids to segregate waste and dispose of it in three different bins: recyclable, biodegradable and hazardous. Children would try to do school activities at home.
Waste segregation is something difficult to educate people around the world. But when kids practice it in schools, they would try to start segregating waste at home. By this action, kids would easily educate their parents and adults at home to segregate waste. This could take care of the major problem in waste management- Household waste segregation.
4. Break time:
Many schools have set a rule for students to bring food and water in metal containers only. All schools should follow such rules. Canteens should avoid the use and throw plates and shift to reusable materials.
Many canteens have snacks wrapped with a thin plastic film. Avoiding such packaging materials would contribute to reducing plastic waste.
5. Gardens in school campus:
Schools should encourage kids to plant trees and maintain them in and around campus. Students must maintain a small plant in their classrooms. Teachers can make sure that students take care of their plants properly.
Easy maintenance plants like cactus and money plant can be selected by the students.
6. Go virtual:
Nowadays most of the notes in colleges are sent in a soft copy. Why not start sharing notes and study materials virtually in schools. Even conducting online test could help save a lot of paper and enhance computer skills in school students.
Well, many kids lack access to computers and the internet. To overcome that problem few schools have distributed tablets to their student. Technology can help us be eco-friendly, so let’s use it.
7. Green initiative groups:
Just like the sports club, science club and art club, schools should have a group or a club where students participate/volunteer in conducting green projects, plantation drives, workshops, events and competitions like best out of waste.
These groups should actively make teachers and students to take up actions for eco-friendly schools. At least once a week there should be an hour class to create awareness among the students.
8. Resource saving:
Installing LED lights instead of normal lights could save a lot of electricity in schools. It is important that the school implements renewable energy methods like solar and wind energy for school needs. Water recycling units must be incorporated in big campuses. Educating students about the green methods followed in school would encourage them to follow those methods even in their locality.