Schools and universities around the world are going green to reduce their carbon footprint and impart values of sustainable living to future citizens of the world. Green schools are schools that are eco-friendly, sensitive to the environment and have a sustainable ecosystem. Here are some great ideas for a green school:
Did you know that the paper and pulp industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy? It is estimated that 18 million acres of forest is lost each year to deforestation in total. Though going paperless is possible in today’s tech savvy world, most of the schools still use paper for exams as well as administration work.
Reducing paper usage will significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Many schools have already recommended their students to take notes on laptops and tablets. You may also want to check for government aides available for laptops and tablets for educational institutions in your region.
Water harvesting is one of the most engaging projects that can be done on campus. You can involve students in planning as well as execution of the plan. This will give them the know-how of water harvesting, in case they want to implement it in the future.
This is again a hands-on project for students, where they can segregate waste and start a compost pit. They can also recycle paper and glass that were used for art and craft. You may also want to find a waste hauler who picks up waste if you cannot recycle at the premise.
Environmental campaigns can be done on a monthly basis to create enthusiasm around for going green. Ideas can be invited from students for each month and the theme can be followed for that month.
For e.g.: The monthly theme could be reducing carbon emissions. Encourage all students to commute on foot or bicycle within and outside the campus. The student with the least use of automobiles can be awarded at the end of the month.
Another example could be minimizing electricity consumption. A monthly target for electricity unit consumption can be set and unit utilized can be shared every week to check progress. This is a good way to create excitement around going green amongst students.
Green buildings minimize energy consumption and are environmentally responsible. You can check with your architect on what can be done to make your school campus more resource- efficient. Structural glass roof installations are popular way to reduce electricity consumption. Does your campus have elevators? How can you stop or minimize their use? Insulation materials also provide a great way to save on indoor air conditioning of the premise. Use of renewable solar energy is a viable option depending on your region.
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Tree and plant plantation drives within and around the campus can be done to improve the environment. Garden plantation competitions that run throughout the academic year are also a great idea. Each class can be given the responsibility to nurture the trees planted.
Outdoor classes are refreshing way to reconnect with nature if the climate in your region permits. This not only breaks the monotony of the classes but also consumes less energy.
Maximum student participation will ensure that students are sensitized to the pressing environmental issues that we are facing and are able to see the many options available to take action on it and act responsibly.