Tip 1- Use recycled paper.
Making your classroom more eco friendly could involve something as simple as choosing to use recycled paper. It is important to use recycled paper as trees are an essential part of our environment and they help keep the air clean; it also helps reduce the amount of waste paper that ends up in landfills.
Using recycled paper helps to protect the trees, using recycled paper reduces the total amount of waste sent to landfills and fewer trees have to be cut down. The process used to make virgin (the word used for new or un-recycled) uses a lot more energy than that which is used in the recycling process. Recycled paper can be made into 100% recycled paper products or mixed with virgin materials depending on how much-recycled content you need it to have.
Tip 2 - Try compostable pens and pencils.
When you think of plastic waste, pens and pencils may not spring to mind as some of the worst offenders. But it's pretty scary; in the US alone we toss out 1.6 billion disposable pens every year, which is a lot of plastic-polluted oceans when you add up all those caps and barrels.
That's why it's worth considering compostable pens and pencils as an alternative to their traditional predecessors—they are better for the environment in several ways:
- They're made from sustainable resources like plant cellulose instead of petroleum-based plastics, so they don't contribute to climate change when being produced or used up.
- They're biodegradable, so once they've reached the end of their useful life they can be broken down by natural processes instead of ending up at a landfill for centuries.
- They're compostable, meaning that if disposed off properly (more on this later) their components will break down naturally into soil within 180 days or less. That's way shorter than the thousands of years it takes plastic-based writing implements to decay away!
- They can also be recycled just like other paper products because they do not contain toxic chemicals like BPA and phthalates that are present in regular pens and pencils made from plastics. These chemicals have been linked with cancerous tumors in children who have been exposed to them over years’ time through drinking contaminated water supplies caused by manufacturing processes using these materials.* The plant cellulose used for making compostable pens is carbon neutral since its growth absorbs CO2 just as fast as burning fossil fuels emits it into our atmosphere when consumed during production processes.*
Tip 3 - Recycle whatever you can.
Recycling should be a top priority for any classroom, and the easiest way to do this is by making sure each child is aware of how it works. Children are always up for being eco-friendly and making a difference in the world, so why not make them an integral part of your recycling process? Get them involved by asking them to bring empty plastic bottles from home that can be used for growing plants or saving seeds in your classroom garden. You could also have students bring old paper they don't need anymore and use it to make some art projects.
The best thing about recycling is that you not only reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill sites but also help create useful products out of everyday trash. It's the ideal way to teach children about caring for our planet while also getting creative with their schoolwork at the same time!
Tip 4 - Teach your students about the environment.
One of the best things you can do for your students is to teach them about the environment and how they can help care for it. You can develop an entire course around environmental science, or spend a day teaching the class about the importance of recycling, conserving water, etc. This will open your student's eyes to how we are causing damage to our planet and what they can do to help make it better.
Tip 5 - Get outdoors more often.
Getting outdoors is great for the environment, and it's also a fantastic way to get students excited about learning. There are many benefits of getting children outside and they'll be able to enjoy some of these in school as well as at home. As a teacher, you have the power to make it happen!
There are lots of outdoor activities you can introduce for your class. Whether it's a few hours spent exploring nature around campus or a full-day trip off campus, there are many ways to get outdoors that will help save on energy consumption and give students fresh air (and exercise!). Take advantage of these opportunities by planning an activity during recess time or after school hours so that everyone can take part without having their classroom schedule disrupted too much.
Not only does being outside keep kids healthy but it also helps them learn how to care for our planet!
Tip 6 - Use reusable cups and plates.
Next to the supply of paper plates, a good number of your students will be bringing their own reusable plastic cups and spoons. To further reduce the amount of waste created by your classroom, encourage students to use their own cups and dishes. With this, you'll notice fewer paper plates in the trash at lunchtime, which means less cleanup for you. Plus, it saves money on buying paper products, as well as reduces the amount of trash that has to be thrown away at the end of the day.
When using reusable dishes in classrooms with younger children, plastic is often a better choice due to its durability and ease of cleaning. You should also make sure to keep an adequate supply on hand since some parents might forget or not have enough for all three meals.
Tip 7 - Reduce light usage.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs.
- Use natural lighting whenever possible.
- Use solar panels to power lights and other equipment when possible, or turn up the time on the timer so you get a charge added to your energy account at night (use and pay for electricity during daylight hours only). If your school is running on hydroelectricity, that's fine too; but if they're not, make sure they have some sort of backup system in places like gas power generators or backup batteries or whatnot just in case the grid goes down temporarily due to bad weather or something else completely random like that happens
Tip 8 - Keep plants around the classroom to help purify the air and contribute to a calming atmosphere.
Teachers today should feel good about creating a classroom that's eco friendly. There are many ways to do so, but one of the most effective is to add plants to your classroom decor. Not only do plants help purify the air, but they also contribute to a calming atmosphere.
Here are some plant options that work well in classrooms:
- Bamboo palms (Chamaedorea seifrizii) can reach heights up to 12 feet and thrive in bright, indirect light—perfect for classrooms with large windows or skylights. These hardy plants will tolerate neglect if necessary and may be placed anywhere in the room.
- Cactus plants come in many shapes and sizes and are easy to maintain because they can go without water for long periods of time. However, cacti need a lot of sunshine, so place them near windows where they can get plenty of light.
- Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) are drought tolerant and actually prefer being kept slightly dry at all times. They have long green leaves with white or yellow stripes and produce small white flowers from which tiny baby spider plantlets grow—a process that fascinates young students! They thrive under fluorescent lights as well as natural sunlight, making them ideal for any setting where extra lighting is needed or available.
Your students will thank you!
- Students will learn the importance of caring for our environment. Helping your students appreciate and understand the importance of caring for our planet and reducing waste is an important step in encouraging them to make environmentally friendly choices as they grow up.
- Students will learn that their actions can have a positive impact on their world. Children will certainly respond to your enthusiasm and example, so if you are passionate about helping the environment, they are more likely to adopt such attitudes themselves and be more motivated to adopt eco-friendly habits.
- The more eco-friendly habits they develop now, the more likely they are to become adults who care about the environment. As students grow up, it's important that they incorporate environmental practices into everyday life.