Climate change has been making headlines for years. But now the focus has sharpened and almost everyone pays attention to it. Both companies and schools are under increasing pressure to improve their sustainability characteristics.
Fortunately, as a school, you almost certainly have a large number of employees, so your potential to exert influence is significant. Not to mention that young people have an unbridled enthusiasm for positively changing the world around them. So you will also inspire, motivate and involve your students.
Here are three tips to improve your school’s carbon footprint while promoting school-wide collaboration:
1. Be energy efficient
In schools, your lighting usually accounts for more than a quarter of total energy consumption. And if a full overhaul of your school’s lighting isn’t included in the budget, an old-fashioned campaign to turn off the lights can still have a big impact.
Encourage students and staff to turn off all lights and turn off computers at the end of the day. Suggest to keep the doors closed to prevent heat escaping and to check the energy consumption of your devices.
Of course, it is much easier for your students (and staff!) To understand energy consumption when you can see it in action. Energy meters that clearly show consumption are not just great learning tools – they encourage everyone to save energy and water all day long. Energy monitoring can be integrated into school-wide competitions and entertaining activities as well as sustainability lessons in the classroom.
2. Recycle and reuse
First spread out noticeable wastebasket on the playground. It doesn’t take long for students to think before putting banana peel in the food waste and recycling the waste paper. Next, encourage teachers and students to think about their waste disposal by setting up recycling stations in the classroom.
Combine drawing data with awareness by creating wall diagrams. A data wall in the school hall could be updated regularly to keep track of the amount of items recycled and the class.
Of course, recycling is not just about correctly separating and disposing of general waste. Also consider the materials in your school. Take the canteen, for example. Some green schools have rules against students who bring single-use plastic containers and promote reusable bottles. Canteens should also avoid using and throwing plates and switching to reusable materials.
Don’t forget that recycling can also extend to your Edtech. With improved technical competence, but with tight budgets, Schools are getting smarter with their Edtech investments. Instead of the usual “buy, use, dispose of” approach, more and more schools are finding ways to better use existing technologies. Discuss with your IT manager whether something can be recycled or refurbished to avoid throwing it away.
3. Reduce paper dependency
Schools and other educational institutions are still very paper-heavy. From workbooks to notes and handouts, even in our digital-first landscape, the vast majority of information is disseminated in print in schools.
ONIt’s a first step, why not change the printer settings to double-sided? Place signs to promote the new policy and encourage all employees to adopt it. Next, have your students submit homework via email or through an online platform to reduce the need for paper traces. This can also help with data compliance and GDPR.
If your school has access to a fleet of personal devices, promote practices such as digital notation or online ratings. If you have an interactive front-of-class ad like an ActivPanelAre you taking full advantage of it? Think about how you can maximize the technology you have available, be it through apps or free software, to reduce your school’s paper consumption.
Finally, consider holding “paperless days” at your school on a regular basis. You can measure how much paper your students and staff save in a day, and challenge everyone to find alternatives. These include paper products such as cardboard, cardboard, handkerchiefs, kitchen rolls, wrapping paper, newspapers, magazines, paper plates and cups. Ask students to list all of the paper products they use in school or at home in a day or week, and then think about how you can reduce the need for those products.
Your school is in an ideal position to become more environmentally friendly and to help the environment considerably. There are many options, be it by saving energy, improving recycling habits, refurbishing and recycling equipment, or even by investing in Upgradeable technology like a Promethean ActivPanel. All of these small measures contribute significantly to improving sustainability, creating a circular economy, saving budgets and making better use of old technologies.
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