Top 10 Energy Conservation & Sustainability Tips For Schools

Below are the top ten energy conservation and sustainability tips for classrooms and schools.  By adopting the behaviour below you can dramatically reduce the school’s energy costs and help your students and faculty to promote energy conservation and sustainability.

1. Turning off the lights:

When you leave the classroom, turn off all the lights.  Furthermore, if you have windows that offer lots of sun light, turn off your lights while in the classroom too.  Only use what you need when you need it.  Plus, kids love to turn off light switches and be in control of their environment.  Assign a light monitor each week to manage the energy consumption from the lights in the classroom.  If your school has funds, upgrade your lighting to energy efficient LEDs.

2. Turning off electronics:

Overhead projectors, TVs, computers, monitors, refrigerators and all other classroom electronics consume energy.  Make sure these things are turned off when you leave for the day.  If there is nothing in the fridge that can go bad, unplug it.

3. Computers turned off at night:

Often we put computers on sleep mode.  This consumes unnecessary electricity when the classroom is empty.  Power down computers when you leave the classroom for the day.

4. Change the thermostat:

The standard is to have the thermostat set for 18C in classrooms in the winter and 16C in corridors. You can’t please everyone so it is important to bring layers of clothing to compensate.

5. Closing doors and windows:

Open doors and windows let the air out of the classroom.  This is counterproductive when you are trying to maintain a comfortable temperature in the classroom.  If the outside air temperature is not the same as the desired temperature in the classroom, make sure all your doors and windows are closed.  That way you don’t spend unnecessary energy trying to heat and cool the classroom.  If the temperature is pleasant outside, open the windows.

7. Windows are free of cracks:

Making sure the windows create a tight seal when they are closed can dramatically reduce your energy costs when trying to maintain a specific temperature in the classroom.  Ask the maintenance team to seal the windows that are leaking air.

6. Electronics away from thermostats:

Make sure there are no electronic devices or appliances next to the thermostat.  If the thermostat gets hot because it is next to a computer, it will cool the classroom unnecessarily.

8. Weather stripping on doors:

Making sure your doors create a tight seal with the doorway can dramatically reduce your energy costs when trying to maintain a specific temperature in the classroom. Ask the maintenance team to weather strip the door and seal it from leaking air.

9. Reuse:

This is an obvious one for most teachers with limited budgets for materials like paper, but it is nonetheless very important.  Use both sides of the paper when printing class materials.  If you need to print only on one side of the page, save the paper and use the other side to print an in class assignment.  Also, what might look like garbage could also be used for art projects like paper bag hand puppets or plastic bottle floating pirate ships or whatever your mind can conjure up.

10. Recycle:

Have a small recycling bin so you can recycle paper, cans and bottles and other recyclables.  Use the bin as a tool to educate your students on responsible waste management but make sure they understand that Using Less Stuff is even better than recycling.  You can check your Area Recycling Guide for more details on what can and can’t be recycled.


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