Raising environmental awareness must start at an early age, we know schools and families have a leading role in educating children and young people to act for the planet.
In order to inspire and create building blocks for a sustainable future, schools can take small and simple actions that make a difference and leave an imprint how students feel about and act toward their environment.
Here are some basic tips to make your school more sustainable that you can start to practice immediately:
Encouraging biodiversity in outdoor school spaces
Every school has an outdoor space; and no matter the scope of the budget or location in the world; interesting and relevant outdoor activities can always be planned.
For example, students can be involved in creating birdhouses, small terrariums and/or growing flowers to attract butterflies and bees. A small vegetable garden can also be set up, this way, kids can learn how to produce their own food, as well as enjoy great satisfaction from watching plants grow.
Changing things at the school cafeteria
An important action for sustainable schools to take is organizing school meals in a more environmentally friendly way. Choosing food according to seasonality and to introducing students to the natural cycles of the planet. Schools can also choose food from short supply chains to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by road transportation.
Another key tip is to organize a completely meat-free day: as we know meat production from intensive livestock farms is a major cause of pollution. By organizing a meat-free day, you can make students aware of this problem, both ethically and environmentally, and get them used to reducing their demand for meat and introducing them to healthy and tasty alternatives.
Encourage students to save energy and reduce water consumption
Encourage students to turn off the lights and other appliances when they are no longer needed and make sure to turn off the tap when water is not being used.
By starting from an early age to use energy and water carefully and sparingly, you will be more aware of avoiding waste as an adult.
Reduce paper waste
Paper is one of the most consumed materials in a school, so it is important to promote the reduction of paper consumption as much as possible, not only by students, but also by teachers and administrative staff.
Increasing use of e-books is a great option, reducing waste and reducing the weight of student’s backpacks. Encouraging reusing paper – writing on the blank side of new pieces of paper, and buying recycled or upcycled paper are a great way make progress with the tools we currently have.
Creative recycling projects
Knowing how to reuse objects and materials is extremely important to reduce waste and encourage resource recovery.
Creativity workshops can be organized at school, where projects can be developed using recycled materials such as plastic bottles, glass jars, newspaper, various containers, and many other materials.
There is no limit to the variety of objects that can be made; it will be greatly appreciated by student and extremely useful for developing their ingenuity and creativity. All skills they can use later in life.
These are just some of the many actions that can be implemented right now to make schools a more sustainable place. These are some tips that don’t require great resources and that parents will be happy to endorse.
Learning good rules for living more sustainably from an early age will enable tomorrow’s adults to be more conscious in their choices and to more environmentally aware.
AWorld can help you educate and inspire your students to undertake a more sustainable lifestyle and take action against climate change. Want to know how?