Is your classroom eco-friendly?
An eco-friendly classroom will teach children to be responsible for the environment and help take care of our planet. An easy way to do this is to teach them the three "Rs": reduce, reuse, recycle.
Reduce Try to produce less waste whenever possible.
Reuse Opt for reusable instead of disposable items if you can.
Recycle If you cannot use it again, recycle it. Teach children to separate their waste from an early age.
Here are some simple tips to help get you started!
Make sure recycling bins are easily accessible
Encourage kids to recycle everything: plastic bottles, aluminium cans, waste paper, leftover food and more. This is easy with clearly marked and colour coded bins. Show them what goes where and how easy it is to get it right.
Turn off the lights
Teach children to save energy by turning off the lights and any electronic devices not in use when leaving the classroom. Consider appointing a child as light monitor and giving them responsibility for turning everything off at break times and at the end of the day; you could set up a rota so that each child is in charge for a week. Try to use natural light as much as possible. Not only is this better for the environment, it is also better for the children’s well-being as natural light has been shown to boost moods and lead to higher productivity.
Use a whiteboard instead of handing out worksheets whenever possible. If you have to use paper copies, give out shared worksheets to reduce the number needed. Encourage children to use both sides of the paper. You could also consider keeping a waste paper box for paper that has only been used on one side and is no longer needed; the children can use the scrap paper for writing drafts, doing practice drawings and for play.
Choose eco-friendly furniture
Choose eco-labelled classroom furniture that demonstrates your commitment to the environment and the world we want our children to grow up in. AJ Products was the first supplier on the market to develop a range of furniture carrying the Nordic Swan Ecolabel specifically designed for schools and preschools. AJ chose the Swan Ecolabel because it sets the strictest requirements. The entire production chain from forest to finished product and end-of-life recycling is carefully controlled to ensure the products are environmentally conscious.
Use recycled school supplies
Using recycled stationery shows children what happens to their waste when they recycle it. It also sets a good example on how they can make a difference to our world through simple everyday choices. Recycled pencils are readily available. You could also consider whether recycled paper would be suitable for some or all of your classroom needs.
With just a few simple changes, you can create a much more eco-friendly classroom that helps show children how to make a difference to the future of our planet and why they should care about it.