Participating in activities that promote environmental sustainability is a great way to improve quality of life. It’s very important to be aware of your personal impact on the environment. A great way to start is by monitoring the amount of waste you produce in a day. This waste could be in the form of paper, water, electricity, and much more. Typically, schools and college campuses are some of the biggest culprits of wastefulness. With thousands of students and faculty members participating in their daily routines, it can be difficult to maintain a green campus. Here are some of the best ways to promote sustainability throughout your entire school.
Various changes and improvements to lighting, heating, cooling, and technology use can all conserve decent amounts of energy. As you begin to make changes, it may be easiest to start in your own classroom. Use energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs and ensure that all computers are in “sleep” mode when not in active use. Make sure that nothing is blocking the vents and the airflow in your classroom to maintain temperature control. Involve your students by having them monitor energy use in your classroom. Over time, you can try to involve other teachers and faculty members as you spread your sustainable practices.
Improve Food Sustainability
What types of food does your school’s cafeteria or dining hall serve? In most cases, the food isn’t sustainably produced. Locally produced foods are much better for the environment because smaller amount of carbon emissions are emitted during the transportation process. Food items traveling from across the country do much more harm to the environment than items from local farms. Offering primarily grains, fruits, and vegetables can be much more sustainable than most meat products. Farms use much more energy and resources to raise livestock as they would for fruits and vegetables. Your students can still get the nutrition they need (even protein!) if they move away from a highly meat-based diet. Although changes to food choices may be much more difficult than simple changes in your classroom, these big initiatives can go a long way.
Recycling is a great way to improve sustainability throughout your school, but chances are, you already knew that! Most teachers go through lots of paper throughout the school year. Old homework assignments, tests, and handouts should all be recycled properly. To take things to the next level, try replacing paper entirely by using various internet resources instead. Help your students recycle by having a recycling bin in your classroom. Motivating them to participate is one of the biggest and most impactful changes you can make.
It will definitely be difficult to make a huge impact in a short amount of time, but persistence will pay off. After you start to get recognition for your sustainable practices, it will be much easier to gain the support of your fellow faculty members. Promoting sustainability in your own classroom may be the best way to eventually develop an entire environmentally sustainable school.