Happy Earth Day! We at K-12 Online are celebrating all things green with tips on how schools can become more eco-friendly.
Sending children outside to play can improve his or her concentration and fight climate change. A study published by researchers at the University of Illinois found that children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder who took walks outdoors raised their attentiveness scores and that kids who walked in natural settings did better than those who walked city streets.
Encourage your school to offer environment-oriented field trips and activities. Earth Force is a great resource, offering programs to help educators bring environmental stewardship topics, events and activities into the curriculum.
Grow Really Local Food.
Planting a vegetable garden is an inexpensive way to obtain fresh, pesticide-free food that hasn’t traveled hundreds of miles to reach your plate. For novice gardeners, visit your local nursery or gardening store and if your space is limited, consider the Kitchen Garden Planner from Gardener’s Supply Co. to learn how to get 50 pounds of produce from a three-by-six-foot garden. It’s a great project for students and schools can create their very own farmer’s market, helping to generate additional funds.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Together.
From recycling to composting to using less water, eco-friendly activities can start right in the classroom. Help students calculate their environmental footprint using The Conservation Fund’s Carbon Zero Calculator. Let kids type in the numbers, and talk with them about what their footprint means. Then involve the children in steps they can take to make it smaller.
Power Down Your PC.
The reduction of paper usage and consumption by implementing eco-friendly, cost efficient processes leads us to spend more time on our PC’s and electronic devices. However, when not in use, cut electricity costs by unplugging and/or turning them off. U.S. companies waste almost $4 billion annually on nighttime electricity for computers, according to recent studies. Instead of leaving your PC in hibernation at the end of the day, power it down.
Walk or Bike to School.
One-third of all traffic comes from commuters. Encourage your school to host a bike to school/work day for the local community (which can also be done as a fundraiser) or participate in the National Bike to School Day on May 8. Use alternative transportation when possible and if you must drive, go slower with proper tire inflation. It lowers emissions and saves fuel, tires…and lives.