Green Your Classroom

You might already be teaching your students about the importance of environmental stewardship with lessons from our free K-8 curriculum. Why not bring the message closer to home by turning your classroom or school into the ultimate sustainable spot? Here are few tips and tricks to get you started:

For an eco-friendly facility...

  • Try to keep the temperature in your classroom reasonable to save energy. Let students know the temperature in advance, so they can dress accordingly.
  • If you need to purchase new computers, TVs or other appliances, consider Energy Star-rated options.
  • Keep a few plants on your classroom windowsills to improve air quality.
  • Encourage recycling by purchasing separate bins for bottles, cans and paper waste.

For a greener lunchtime...

  • Suggest that students bring their lunches in reusable containers and sip from reusable water bottles.
  • Ask your school to source sustainable food for cafeteria lunch, including locally grown or Rainforest Alliance Certified™ produce.
  • If your school has a garden, consider placing a compost bin for organic material in the cafeteria and creating fertilizer from lunchtime waste.

To maximize technology...

  • Put classroom computers in sleep mode, rather than using screensavers when they are not in use. You can reduce energy use by 60 to 70 percent.
  • Plug classroom electronics into a power strip and turn the power strip off at the end of each day. By doing so, you can reduce energy use by up to 40 percent.
  • Make your syllabi available online, rather than printing paper copies.
  • Allow students to submit papers and exams electronically.

To minimize paper waste...

  • Print handouts, instructions and exams on double-sided paper and make your margins smaller. Encourage students to do the same.
  • Use recycled or Forest Stewardship Council / Rainforest Alliance Certified paper.
  • Have a designated spot for recycling paper and scrap paper in your classroom.
  • When possible, consider using the same edition of a textbook so that students can buy their books used. The difference between two textbook editions often is negligible.

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