Environmental & Recycling Tips
Global warming debate
If your school doesn't have a recycling program for office paper, glass, plastics, and aluminum, get one started! Reducing, reusing, and recycling at school helps conserve energy and reduces air pollution generated by manufacturing and disposal.
Start a no-idle rule in your school's carpool lane.
Cars that sit for more than 30 seconds with their engines running use up more gasoline and emit more global warming pollution than if the motor is turned off and on again.
Suggest changing the paper in your school.
Talk with your school's principal about using only recycled paper made from at least 30 percent post-consumer waste. Also, educate fellow teachers and office staff about double-sided printing to save on the total amount of paper your school uses.
Investigate your school's water heater.
If your school's water heater is more than five years old, it's inefficient and too much CO2 is being released when heating the water. Check into replacing it.
Fund-raise for a green school.
Raise money to fund projects that reduce your school's greenhouse gas emissions. Some planet-friendly ideas include a walkathon (encourages people to leave their cars at home) and a switch-off day, in which everyone switches off their computers and lights at home and at school.
Ask your principal about getting solar panels on the roof.
Ask your principal about getting solar panels on the roof, as a long-term solution to lowering the school's electrical bills. Across the country, elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as colleges, have installed solar panels to supplement or generate their own electricity. These schools are saving money and stopping global warming at the same time.
Start a no-waste policy in your cafeteria.
Institute a policy requiring all food brought to school to be in reusable containers and all trash to be taken home with the students. This will help kids and parents see just how much is wasted at lunchtime.
Reprinted with permission from Scholastic Instructor magazine (Nov./Dec. 2007). Some material in this article was adapted from The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming, by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon (Orchard Books, Scholastic, 2007). Illustrations by Stephen Schudlich.