5 Ways to Green Your Child’s School
Does it pain you to walk through your child’s school and see just one recycling bin? Or maybe pesticide use in the school cafeteria or on the grounds is your greatest concern. Whatever the issue may be, there’s always a need to create more environmental awareness—for parents, teachers, and kids alike. Need help? Here are some easy steps to get eco-friendly practices and programs going in your school community.
1. Start a Green School Committee
A green school committee is a volunteer group dedicated to making school as safe and sustainable as it can be—a PTA for eco-concerns and school health issues. The green committee’s role is to identify the school’s environmental problems, research solutions, and implement changes that create the healthy surroundings. With both an exclusive purpose and the time to focus on it, a green school committee can accomplish things that might otherwise go undone.
If your school already has a green committee, join it! If not, found one. Start by reaching out to parents and any school staff with environmental sympathies and inviting them to an organizational meeting. Try to get some school employees on board if only in an advisory capacity; “insiders” will help your group be taken seriously.
2. Get Kids Involved
Programs that engage students are invaluable. Looking for ideas? Start a farm-to-cafeteria alliance, and support a local farm in an effort to provide healthy food as well as to educate.
3. Reduce Lunchroom Waste
The statistics around lunchroom waste, packaging and food are staggering. The EPA says packing a waste-free lunch saves 67 pounds of trash per nine-month school year (it also saves an average student $250—what a great incentive)! If your school isn’t up to adopting a zero-waste lunch policy, recycling and composting can help. Parents can encourage their kids to form clubs dedicated to both.
4. Create an Eco-Aware Environment
Establishing composting and recycling programs foster an overarching earth-friendly awareness. Post signs around the school to remind people to turn off lights when not in use. Taking a holistic approach to environmental issues is directly related to creating a healthy school.
5. Reach Out and Ask for Help
All it takes is an interested teacher or two to act as advisor. The PTA or a green committee can also get involved. As with most things kid-related, it takes a village.
For more information about how to create a healthy school environment, please visit our new free eBook, “Easy Steps to Healthy Schools & Daycares.”