Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, or just want to be a good role model for nieces or nephews, educating kids on sustainable living is a great way to do your part for the environment.
Here are some easy tips for getting eco-friendly in the classroom!
It might sound obvious, but one of the simplest ways to use solar energy and cut down on electricity usage is simply to pull back the curtains!
It’s a free way to let in light, plus research shows that more natural light in the classroom can greatly improve a student’s performance and health. So get those blinds open!
Teaching kids about energy might sound complicated. But it doesn’t have to be!
Show students where and how you’re using electricity, and you’ll be surprised how much awareness can make a difference.
Come together as a class to assess where in the classroom electricity might be being wasted, by creating a checklist. Then as a group determine how many lights are on, if there are appliances using stand by power, if your A/C is going and so on!
Incorporating a checklist into your daily or weekly teaching routine can help your kids get into good habits that will last a lifetime, plus help you cut down on energy costs and carbon footprint.
Now that you’ve raised awareness, consider having a ‘lights off hour’ in the classroom. Even if it’s during recess, it still counts!
Growing a garden, or even a veggie patch is a wonderful opportunity for some hands on learning. Planting veggies and native flora can really help kids feel directly connected to the environment.
Understanding that food doesn’t magically appear in the supermarket can educate children in the idea of sustainable agriculture.
Whether it’s herbs, natives, or veggies; gardening is a great way to teach kids about the environment!
Poor air quality has also been linked to asthma and other respiratory conditions, and interior greenery is a natural air filter.
So, brighten up your classroom by adding a few indoor plants! You can also use this an chance to talk to your kids about green architecture.
Hopefully your classroom already recycles, but why not take it a step further? If you’re dealing with younger children, consider creating a ‘recycling centre’ in the same way you would a ‘home corner.’
You can use a centre to illustrate the different types of waste we create by separating plastic, glass, paper and food waste. This provides an easy reference for kids, so they can better understand what’s happening when they throw their trash into recycle!
You can even put up some paper and tally the amount of bottles and cans in your recycle bins and weigh recycled paper.
Motivate the kids by providing prizes or ‘eco –warrior’ awards for increasing the number of items recycled!
Why not create a list of how much your class is recycling? Trying setting weekly targets and then rewarding your class when you reach them!
Here’s a fun one! Make use of dried up markers by using them to create watercolours!
Using markers to make your own watercolours is an easy and creative way to illustrate the definition of recycling and show that often what we think of as rubbish can often be repurposed!
Finally, don’t forget to lead by example! Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be difficult, and the best way to show that is by inspiring kids through your own actions.
Whether its turning off a light at the wall, or throwing a coffee cup in the right bin, it all counts as embracing greener practices.
The power of your classroom can reach far beyond its walls, and help show children how every little bit counts when it comes to making a difference.