Recycling at school is easy... and cool!
Here are some tips on how your school can be green:
Start a Recycling Program
Do a "waste audit" and check out what people are throwing into the garbage can at school. Chances are that there is a lot of paper and beverage containers that are going to waste. These two items are easily recycled and by recycling these two materials, your school can have a huge impact on the environment.
Start a Green Club or Conservation Club
Start a Green Club at your school and look for ways for the school to conserve resources and lessen environmental impacts. This club can perform an environmental audit on the school and spearhead programs such as recycling, energy conservation, water conservation and other issues.
Install Low-flow Devices and Conserve Water
Install low-flow devices whenever possible to reduce water consumption. Ask maintenance people to only water landscapes after sundown. Check sprinklers regularly for output and to make sure that they are watering the landscape and not driveways or sidewalks.
Use Less Energy
If your office or classroom has a lot of windows, leave the lights off and use the natural lighting that nature provides. There's no reason to ignore a free light source and your school's electricity bill will be lower. Here are some other tips to use less energy:
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Shut down computers at the end of the day.
- Turn off printers, scanners, and other peripheral devices that are only used occasionally.
- Buy Energy Star rated products if possible
Close the Loop
Buy items that contain recycled materials, especially items like copier paper, paper towels and napkins. When you buy recycled, you ensure that manufacturers will continue to recycle materials to make new products.
Recycle "Green Waste"
Green wastes are comprised of just about any organic material, but what usually comes to mind are grass clippings, autumn leaves and tree and bush trimmings. Many schools have large outdoor areas and grassy fields. When the landscape is maintained and the lawns are mowed, does this material get recycled or is it just thrown in the dumpster? Many waste haulers have (and some Cities require) haulers to provide special green waste containers for organic materials. By utilizing a green waste bin for landscape materials, schools can often reduce the size of their waste bin or the frequency of waste pick-up, saving hundreds even thousands of dollars annually. Call your local waste hauling company and ask for green waste and recycling bins if available. If green waste bins are unavailable, start a compost pile and use the finished compost on the landscape to enrich and fertilize the soil.
Avoid Disposable Products
Most disposable items end up going straight to the landfill. Avoid single-use and disposable items unless they can be recycled. If disposable trays are used in the cafeteria, see if they can be recycled and start a program to do just that.
Share rides to school, home and when going to lunch.
Walk or Ride a Bike to School
People who walk or ride a bike to school are supergreen!
Use Natural Materials Whenever Possible
Use biodegradable soaps and recycled paper or cloth towels in the bathroom and kitchen, and provide biodegradable cleaners for the custodial staff.
Start a School Garden
Plant a Tree
Bring your LunchBring lunch to work in reusable containers and use washable utensils instead of disposable ones. By making yourself healthy meals and snacks, you are more likely to eat them.
Carry a Re-useable Beverage Container
Get Others in on the Act
Always have a good attitude about recycling and never scold others for improper disposal. Coach them in a positive way and remember sometimes it takes a while to change behavior.