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18 Ways To Green Your School

Updated on March 21, 2015

Our kids spend a least 6 hours a day, 180 days a year, at school. Sending them off to a safe, chemical free school is as important as establishing a clean, toxin free home. Helping your local school with their efforts to go green is worth your time and energy and will set a wonderful example for your children.

What can concerned parents do to ensure that their children are not being exposed to dangerous chemicals when trying to learn? Can parents make a difference in the curriculum to be sure that their children are prepared for a green future when they graduate?

Parents can make a difference. Getting involved in your child's education doesn't stop with homework help and helping out with fundraisers. Parental involvement in greening up our schools can go a long way in improving the learning environment for our children while protecting Earth's precious natural habitats.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax


Go Green at school!
Go Green at school!

The Trashless Lunch

18 Ways To Green Your School

The following suggestions include ways to get involved in helping your local school go green as well as tips for your children to become green students. 

  1. Start an eco-committee of parents and interested teachers to organize and direct green activities and efforts at your school. In middle schools and high schools, students should be represented on the committee as well.
  2. Find out if your school has an environmental mission statement or "planet pledge" - if they don't, help establish one.
  3. Conduct an environmental survey or energy audit of the building and grounds and create a plan of action based on the results. Get students involved in the plan of action and have teachers discuss the issues with their students.
  4. Encourage teachers to include green topics in their curriculum. Offer to present a project or topic for discussion to your child's class.
  5. Buy your child vinyl and lead free lunch boxes.
  6. Send your child to school with a healthy lunch in a reusable container. Attempt to create a "trash free" lunch. 
  7. Buy your child a large, chemical free water bottle for them to use throughout the school day.
  8. Buy unbleached recycled-paper notebooks.
  9. If your older student carries a cell phone, ipod or laptop to school, consider a solar powered backpack to power her gadgets.
  10. Buy backpacks made from recycled materials.
  11. Buy non-toxic school supplies including glue, crayons and markers.
  12.  Ask the teacher to use low-odor dry erase markers and dust free chalk. Offer to purchase them for the teacher if cost is an issue.
  13.  Request that the school provides a clean, safe indoor environment and clean air by using non-toxic cleaners in the classrooms and throughout the building.
  14.  Are toxic pesticides sprayed on the playground? Find out and petition for change. Present viable options.
  15.  How is pest control handled inside the school? Help to make necessary changes by researching and presenting a better, chemical free solution.
  16.  Request that school forms and notices be distributed through email when ever possible to cut back on paper use.
  17. Find coloring pages online. It is easy to find exactly what your child would like to color without having to buy – or waste – an entire coloring book that contains pages they are not interested in coloring.
  18. Encourage you child to get involved in the recycling effort within the school and to participate in any other going green programs.

 

A First Step for Greener Schools

These tips are simply the first steps in creating eco-friendly, chemical free environments for our kids and the staff at our schools. Some schools have already taken their environmental effors much farther by installing solar panels on their rooftops or creating "green roofs" by establishing organic gardens for students to work with and teaching renewable energy principles in the classroom.

Establishing a clean non-toxic environment in our schools will absolutely benefit the health of teachers and students. Exploring eco-friendly choices in daily life and renewable energy in the classroom will spark the imaginations of the great thinkers of tomorrow! It is their future we are preserving, after all.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb



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    • profile image

      pablo 

      6 years ago

      this has changed my school.

    • profile image

      Pelay 

      6 years ago

      I think so too !

    • profile image

      jessica laurie hub 

      6 years ago

      i think schools shoud be more fun for kids

    • lime light power profile image

      lime light power 

      7 years ago from NY NY

      Amy, really love your writing on the environment. Keep it up. Great hub for schools. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Michaeia 

      7 years ago

      This is going to help me make a chang at my school. to change its way so it can go green.

    • profile image

      Jakki 

      7 years ago

      I want to know what the kids can do but really good ideas.

      Thanks anyways!

    • ruthcpatton profile image

      ruthcpatton 

      8 years ago

      I love these practical and easy to implement ideas!! I think the simpler the better, people will be able to follow through as well. I know we are trying to do a small part by sending fewer and fewer plastic baggies to school...you know, the ones that you put field trip money in, or milk money, pizza money, forms etc...I have 4 kids in school, soon to be 5 and we are spending so much money and producing so much waste with plastic bags. I am going to approach our school about using an alternative I found, you may find it interesting too. This mom had an idea of how to make a difference and it has sky rocketed!!

      http://www.green-school.ca

      Again, great thinking article:-)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks so much Three-Legged Dog! It's great to hear that you are trying to make your classroom paperless! I wish more teachers would just try to cut their paper use in half - that alone would make a huge difference. I know my kids don't like having to do tons of worksheets either. :)

    • Three-Legged Dog profile image

      Three-Legged Dog 

      9 years ago from USA

      Great hub! As a teacher, I am trying to make my classroom go "paperless." Not completely there, yet, but with the technology we have today - Activboards and interactiv whiteboards, activ-text devices, computers, etc. there's no need to make tons of paper copies of worksheets. Plus, how much fun is doing worksheet after worksheet after worksheet?

      I really like your suggestions. Simple, easy solutions!!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Marisue - I agree - it's not easy to make some of these changes. It requires a change in thinking about how you use everything in your life. I'm not as green as I would like to be. There is always more to change! It has taken me years to get this far! Yes, let's start with 3 at a time...:)

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 

      9 years ago from USA

      I loved this!! I'm trying to incorporate more and more green living into my own life. It's not easy - I found I'm quite addicted to some things bad for the environment. Changing a little all the time. =)) great tips here!!! Let's do at least 3. and then 3 more....etc.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Lena - Welcome to hubpages! I completely agree about convincing teachers to make less copies. So many of the notices that ocme home with my kids go straight to the recyclebin because they are completely unneccessary! Much of it could be sent in email form to the parents instead. Thanks for reading!

    • Lena M. profile image

      Lena M. 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Great hub! The cafeteria in my high school still doesn't have recycling boxes!

      By the way, how about convincing teachers to make less photocopies? I remember I had one teacher who gave up on handing out assignment outlines and just posted them up on a website. Said it helped him keep his photocopying budget together.

      I'm new to hubpages, but I'm already loving your hubs :)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Absolutely! Solar panels are being installed a a few select schools (here in New England) and it would be amazing to see them on every school in the country!

      Thanks GreenMiles!

    • profile image

      TheGreenMiles 

      9 years ago

      How about a solar panel on the roof of every school in America? :)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Patty!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thumbs up because I hate trash and waste!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you all for the comments and additional suggestions! I think there is so much that can be done by parents to make schools safer and greener. I little information and some creativity can go a long way.

    • nick071438 profile image

      nick071438 

      9 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      This hub is a perfect thesis to serve as guide for school personnel, parents, pupils, students, etc. of all creed and color to follow in the gargantuan tasks of cleaning, greening and improving the environment of their respective schools. I salute lady writer AMY JANE FOR A HUB WELL DONE.

    • Die'Dre' profile image

      Die'Dre' 

      9 years ago from The Great Pacific Northwest

      I've started a "Think Green" folder and keep helpful tips like those listed in your hub. I skim through tips every now and then just to keep myself "thinking green".

      I concur that this information should be shared at PTA meetings, but also, you might want to consider writing a press release or article for community papers. Investigate producing a PSA.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      9 years ago from New Brunswick

      Big fan of the Lorax, very sound ideas and doable.

    • ccdursina profile image

      Carolina Dursina 

      9 years ago from Spring Green WI

      I like your hub very much! There are so many little things we can do only if we would pay attention!

      I'm a "green" fan! I greened my historic inn so far as much as I could!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you all for the great comments! I think in some areas, schools have really made a huge effort towards "going green" and teaching their students to participate in green /recycling programs. There is always room for more!

      My daughter's school just started a composting program for the kitchen scraps and lunch leftovers - the kids are really getting into it! (Hmm..that should be on the list above).

      Thanks for reading!

    • equusport profile image

      equusport 

      9 years ago from Horse Captial of the World

      Excellent article! I believe if we can make our schools "green," it will teach our children to do the same as they grow up and it will educate them for life and provide a healthier environment for generations. I think taking these idea's you've posted and bringing them up in community meetings, the PTA etc, we can introduce it to other's and get the community involved. It will also help our economy, saving money on becoming more energy efficiant and recycling etc. It's something we all can do and it not only supports our schools, our children, but educates a whole community. Thank you for the great idea's! I will bring them up in my community and hope for a greener world!

    • The Real Tomato profile image

      The Real Tomato 

      9 years ago

      This is chock full of good information- so relavent. I was excited to know others are promoting healthier schools for the children and the environment. I had no idea some lunch boxes contained led. This is a very good Hub.

    • profile image

      jamesray 

      9 years ago

      What a great hub! this is very useful, practical information that everyone can use. Thanks.

    • Bill Beavers profile image

      Bill Beavers 

      9 years ago from California

      Wow, a great subject and fact filled Hub. Well done. Unfortunately, it is a community effort. Not sure the schools have gotten on the bandwagon I don't think. Enjoyed your Hub.

      Bill

    • In The Doghouse profile image

      In The Doghouse 

      9 years ago from California

      Hi Amy,

      I believe that the schools and educators have become actively involved with the "green" programs available to them for the most part, but this list of 18 ways to Green Your School is great! If everybody does their part the world will be a better place! Great post!

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