9 Tips for a Greener, Eco-Friendly Classroom (Guest Post)

Devils Punchbowl Waterfall at Arthurs Pass in ...Image via Wikipedia
Having an environmentally-friendly classroom will not only help your school save money on electricity costs, it will also help your students adopt a greener lifestyle. By educating young children or even teenagers on the importance of living “green,” they will hopefully pass on these lifelong skills to someone else as they grow older.
Here are 9 easy ways you can help make your classroom more eco-friendly:
  1. Recycling bins – Put a recycling bin in your classroom to help set a positive example for your students, and maybe spend an afternoon educating your students on how to properly organize different materials in the separate bins.

  2. Turn off the lights – Try turning off your lights during recess and lunch hour to save money on electricity costs.

  3. Cut down on the handouts – Ask your students to write out assignments from their textbooks, or get them to type out their assignments and send them to you via e-mail. You could also send them electronic copies of their assignments so they can print them out at home if they absolutely need to.

  4. Have waste-free lunch or snack time – Ask your students to only pack their lunch or snack in a reusable food container to cut down on the amount of trash accumulated in your classroom each day.

  5. Automatic computer shutdown – Try to set your computers to automatically shut down every day (for instance, if school gets out at 3 p.m. have all the computers shut down at 3:10 p.m.) However, try not to restart the computers too much during the day as this is a huge-energy drainer as well.
  6. Have a recyclable art day – Ask your students to bring recyclable materials from their homes to re-use them for classroom arts and crafts projects.

  7. Grow a classroom garden – Ask your school/district if you can start an outdoor classroom garden, compost bin, or even worm bin to put somewhere on your school property. You could even put a fern or flower in your classroom, and then set aside some class time to discuss the importance of plants and trees and how they help the environment.

  8. Educate your students on environmentally-friendly school supplies – Spend some time researching some eco-friendly school products so you can recommend them to unprepared students on the first day of school.

  9. Start a “green” team – Encourage the students in your class to form a small “green” team, and help them organize various fundraising events, recycling projects, car pools, and much more.
Bio: Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching scholarships for students with epilepsy as well as scholarships for students with cancer. Whenever this WAHM gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare, and practicing the art of coupon clipping.
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3 responses to “9 Tips for a Greener, Eco-Friendly Classroom (Guest Post)”

  1. Hi Chase and Alexis .. great ideas for teachers, even church halls, meeting areas etc etc .. lots of thoughts here .. there's one family here in England – where they've ended up with one small bag of rubbish a year .. the rest is recycled, or they buy without packaging!

    PS love the picture .. another point – ways to protect the environment .. no litter, no damage etc ..

    Good tips – thank you .. Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    I've heard about families completely reducing their waste. I do my best to do so as well. I have a reusable lunch bag and also pack my sandwiches in old bread bags to cut down.

    I have one small bag of garbage a week. I can't imagine only having one a year though. Congratulations to that family in England for really reducing their waste.