5 Ways To Green Your School

5 Ways To Green Your School
Green your school!

Green your school!

Schools play a central role in children’s lives, so it makes since that they would be the perfect place to introduce kids to the importance of being environmentally friendly. Not only that, but turning schools green is a great way to keep kids healthy and safe when they’re away from home. So whether you’re a student, a parent, or someone who just want to help your community, here are five ways you can make any school eco-friendly.

1. Start recycling

Even though common school items like notebook paper, soda bottles, and aluminum cans are easily recycled in most cities, school recycling rates in the U.S. tend to be low (for example, 16.5% of the trash produced in New York City is recycled, but the recycling rate in schools is only 9.5%). These sad numbers make starting a recycling program the number one way to get your school going green. A comprehensive recycling plan involves everyone from school administrators down to students, so get the whole school involved in collecting recyclable goods and your school will be one step closer to green.

2. Compost

Like recycling, composting is a great teaching activity – students can learn about the biological and chemical processes behind decomposition and still get to have a little fun too. Younger children will love the chance to play with worms at school while older kids can design and carry out research projects on everything from the role of nutrients in nature to the types of microorganisms in compost piles. Schools throw away tons of organic material every year, including leftover food and soiled paper products, so why not make sure all that trash is being put to good use?

3. Lunches and snacks

There’s nothing green about the fried foods and fatty snacks found on most school menus, and all those lunches become even more important when you consider that most kids will eat a large portion of their daily calories at school. Studies show serving kids nutritious lunches and snacks helps improve concentration and energy levels and also decreases childhood obesity, so green your school by lobbying to have french fries, pizza, and soda replaced with foods that provide the nutrients kids need to get through the day.

4. Use green products

Lobbying for your school to use green products is another great way to make a big difference in your community and a great way to reinforce efforts to boost recycling and composting. Reusable or compostable cafeteria items like trayscups, and packaging will help cut back on waste, and non-reusable items can be made more eco-friendly as well. A typical school with 600 students will use almost 1300 reams of paper a year – that’s almost 6500 lbs.! Imagine the difference your school can make when it switches to post-consumer recycled paper. Plus, students will also get to see how waste that goes in the green bin is reused.

5. Get involved

Like the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, and nowhere is it more true than in schools. No matter who you are there are ways to help make our schools a happier, better place – get to know teachers and administrators, go to public school board meetings, join the PTA, or volunteer to help with green school programs. None of these changes are likely to happen without your support, so get out and get involved in your community to help improve your schools!

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