After you’re done voting for America’s Greenest School, maybe you should take a look at a few ways you can make your own school a little bit greener. The list was compiled by Jenn Savedge, author of the recently published book The Green Teen, and may be a great way to kick start some school activities in September. Here’s Jenn’s recommendations:
1) Start a green team: Join forces with other eco-conscious students to form a Green Team that evaluates the school’s environmental programs and brainstorms innovative ways to improve them. Green Team members can initiate a school recycling program, present environmental education workshops, or lobby the school board to replace existing light bulbs with energy-saving CFLs.
2) Ban bus idling: A recent Yale University study found that students who ride a school bus are exposed to up to 15 times more particulate pollution than average. Why? The answer lies in the practice of bus idling. School buses line up and wait in front of the school with the engines running, filling up with harmful particulate pollution that will stay with you throughout your ride. Bus idling wastes gas, contributes to air pollution and global warming, and is damaging to our health. Make sure your school has a policy in place to ban it.
3) Use paper wisely: Try to avoid using excess amounts of paper at school. Be sure to use all of the sheets in a notebook before starting the next one, use the double-sided feature for printers and copiers, and send text messages to friends instead of passing notes.
4) Clean up: Does your school use a bucket-load of chemical cleaners to clean and disinfect classrooms? If so, ask them to make a switch to eco-friendly cleaners that are better for the environment and non-toxic for the students, teachers, secretaries and administrators who spend their day there. Order the free guide from the Healthy Schools Campaign called “Green Clean Schools” and pass it on to your school administrator.
5) Save on supplies: Before you head to the store to buy new pencils, notepads and binders for school, check to see what’s hiding in your desk drawer from last year.
Hopefully these will help you or your child involved in bringing green ideas to the classroom.