Updated: Aug 5, 2021
How do you keep your classroom eco-friendly? We share some easy steps which teachers can take to help fend off our global climate crisis.
The environment is taking up an increasingly visible space in our public discourse – from school climate strikes to Extinction Rebellion, environmental activism is everywhere and people are really starting to acknowledge the fact that our planet is in desperate need of protection.
It’s easy to think that what you do in your day-to-day life doesn’t have a great effect on the planet, but when you add 7 billion people to the mix, suddenly the way everyone operates on a daily basis becomes hugely important.
As a result, changing our daily habits and using sustainable produce are just some important ways to ensure a long and healthy future for the world around us – and while the causes and effects of global warming are making their way into school curriculums, teachers and schools might be wondering how they can ensure that their pupils are actively living green, eco-friendly lives.
That's why we’ve come up with ways that positive, eco-friendly products can be brought into schools so that teachers and pupils can start saving the planet themselves!
1. Encourage schools to source uniforms through eco-friendly suppliers
Just as we have started to think about where exactly our food is coming from, we need to start thinking about how our clothes are sourced too. Most uniforms are made using viscose, which is a synthetic material requiring tonnes of energy, water and chemicals to be mass-produced. On top of this, Viscose factories in China, Indonesia and India have been found to cause water and air pollution with severe health impacts on local communities.
As an alternative, it would be great if schools could encourage parents to use eco-friendly uniform suppliers. Eco Outfitters uses organic cotton in its uniforms, which is free from fertilizers and pesticides and resultantly has little chance of water pollution entering its production line! Other options would be encouraging parents to use second hand or linen uniforms.
2. Recycled paper
This is a fairly easy one, but using recycled paper in the printers, during any Arts and Crafts projects, and for workbooks and jotters would be a huge step towards a more environmentally-friendly classroom. Office Depot offers this pack of 100% recycled printer paper which you can order in bulk for computer rooms, while the Green Stationery Company offers recycled arts and crafts paper in a whole host of different colours, shapes and sizes. The Green Stationery Company also sells recycled notebooks and diaries that could come in handy to teachers and students alike… going green never sounded so easy!
3. Biodegradable pens, pencils and rulers
Plastic is proving itself to be one of the most harmful materials in popular usage today – I’m sure everyone has been reading about nanoplastics in our rivers and farmland, animals choking on plastic debris out at sea and the 611,000 tonnes of plastic waste being exported and dumped by the UK last year.
As a result, it’s important for us to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic we are buying, and start buying multi-use plastics or biodegradable products instead. Onyx and Green stock a wide variety of pens, mechanical pencils, rulers and highlighters made from biodegradable, multi-use and recycled materials as an alternative to the usual plastics. Definitely a good use of any school’s stationery budget!
4. Eco-friendly playgrounds
Schools can make being eco-friendly fun by ensuring their playgrounds are durable and the materials used to make them haven’t been treated with harmful chemicals. Woods like Redwood or Cedar naturally resist decay, and so they tend to have been grown chemical-free. It can also be an idea to build playgrounds made from recycled components, such as grass mats made from recycled rubber. In fact, apparently these recycled grass mats are actually softer than new plastic mats, so it’s a double win!
These are just some ways in which schools, teachers, and parents can integrate eco-friendly habits into their culture. Be it a grand gesture or a small contribution, we can all play a part!
Blog Post Crafted by Madeleine
Madeleine runs our Admin Team. Despite the fact that she read Japanese at university, Madeleine’s main passion in life is opera and she hopes to become the next Maria Callas some day...
Madeleine manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors.