School’s around the UK have already begun to make incremental changes into their eco-habits. The message of sustainability has never been clearer, and we should all now have some understanding of why we need to adapt our current lifestyle habits for greener choices.
School’s have a significant impact on the choices its pupils make. The practices that they employ hugely influence students and offers guidance for their life decisions in the future. That is why it is monumentally important that schools get behind the idea of sustainability and social responsibility. Keep reading for our top tips and swaps to help your school become a green one.
Lighting accounts for a large percentage of a school’s energy costs. If you haven’t already swapped your current lighting for LEDs, then why not?! LED lighting can cut your current energy cost by half. What’s more is they have a longer lifespan and therefore need to be replaced less frequently so this money can go into other areas of the school.
As well as replacing your bulbs another great lighting hack that you can introduce into your school is motion and daylight sensors which will increase your school’s saving potential. With busy schedules, it’s easy to forget simple tasks like turning the lights off so to ensure you are not wasting energy and money, detectors can be a great tool to implement into your school.
A vegetarian diet will have a lower carbon footprint than a meat diet. Consider introducing a meat free day once a week or alternatively increasing the number of the number of vegetarian meals to meat ones. As well as this try to source more local produce. Although this is a more expensive option it’s much better for the planet and will help to reduce your school’s carbon footprint.
Reuse & Recycle
Schools use a lot of paper every day. This problem is not something that can be tackled overnight due to the valuable teaching resources given to students. What schools can do if they aren’t already is introduce a recycling system. Ensuring that each classroom has a recycling bin will encourage students and teachers to be responsible with their paper waste. As well, paper material that is no longer required can be used as scrap paper in lessons for drafting ideas or mind-maps.
For those schools who really want to get a hold over their paper usage, they can limit the number of printer credits for pupils and teachers to help them think more consciously on what they are printing. There is also the option of purchasing recycled paper to print on, which may be the more expensive option but will help to reduce the school’s carbon footprint.
Children grow quickly. Some students may only fit into their school uniform for a year before they outgrow it. This is the perfect opportunity to set up a school uniform shop, where parents and students can donate their old school uniform for others to purchase second hand.
Cut Out Single-Use Plastic
This tip may be more difficult to implement however will be a huge step into reducing your school’s carbon footprint. As a school, it is important to help students and teachers understand what single-use plastics are and advising them on suitable alternatives. Such as, reusable water bottles, lunch boxes (instead of opting for clingfilm or tinfoil) and keep cups for teachers.
Another way that teaching staff can get involved in this is to discourage laminating by asking the question over whether something needs to be laminated or whether they are doing something out of habit.
These are just a handful of methods that you can introduce into your school to help you reduce its carbon footprint. There are plenty of other ways to get involved with using less stuff. Have you got any useful methods to help schools or any organisations become greener? We’d love to know! Equally if you need advice we would be happy to help.