Schools are leading the way in environmental initiatives and are fostering a new generation of environmental leaders and champions in our communities. By providing creative learning environments that empower our youth to make positive efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste, students develop a stronger connection to the environment. Below, we have a few resources that will help your teachers inspire students to keep waste out of the landfill.
2016-17 green school calendar
From Earth Day to World Environment Day, there are lots of opportunities to go green throughout the school year. Get a head start by adding these special occasions to your school calendar!
October 16-22, 2017
Waste Reduction Week
March 22, 2018
World Water Day
March 24, 2018
April 22, 2018
May 6-12, 2018
Compost Awareness Week
June 4-10, 2018
June 5, 2018
World Environment Day
June 8, 2018
World Ocean’s Day
Tips for sustainable schools
We know how important it is to reduce, reuse and recycle at home but we can also take our daily green routine to school where teachers and students spend most of their day.
Keep in mind the order of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and THEN Recycle. We all have control over the choices we make – it is these daily choices that can have a profound effect on the environment. Remember, if we’re part of the problem, we can be part of the solution!
In the office
- Use reusable intra-office envelopes.
- Pre-print envelopes or use return address stamps.
- Purchase supplies in bulk and choose items with less packaging.
- Avoid purchasing supplies that do not last or cannot be repaired.
- Email notices home to parents or post updates on your website.
In the staff room
- Post staff memos in a centralized area or email memos to staff.
- Collect coffee grounds and filters for composting.
- Share resources with other teachers instead of making multiple copies.
- Donate unwanted computer equipment to a local charity.
- Plan a school-wide rummage sale or swap.
- Organize a school-wide composting program.
- Make art and technology projects out of reused material.
- Promote the 3Rs in school with a creative mural.
- Conduct a waste audit to find out how much waste you generate.
- Have a “green day” at school – everyone wear’s (and thinks) green.
- Start an environmental group at school.
In the copy room
- Print tests and assignments double-sided.
- Set the copier defaults to print double-sided.
- Post directions on how to load special paper.
- Collect and reuse office paper that is blank on one side.
- Encourage your school to purchase recycled paper.
- Encourage your school to buy reusable toner cartridges.
- Set aside and reuse office supplies such as file folders or binders.
In the computer lab
- Edit documents on screen and only print your final draft.
- Use joint-editing software if you are working in a group.
- Always use the print preview before printing.
- Print documents double-sided – post a sign if you tend to forget.
- Print in colour only when necessary.
- Collect and reuse printer paper that is still blank on one side.
- Recycle used ink cartridges where possible.
In the cafeteria
- Encourage cafeteria staff to use reusable dishes and cutlery.
- Encourage students to pack a waste-free lunch.
- Have a school-wide waste-free lunch day once a month.
- Place a beverage container recycling bin in your cafeteria.
In the classroom
- Use both sides of the paper.
- Collect scrap paper in your classroom for notes and art projects.
- Try not to waste school supplies – use only what you need.
- Collect recyclables in your classroom.
- Start a class vermicompost bin.
- Encourage parents to purchase durable school supplies.
- Make arts and crafts projects out of recycled material.
- Celebrate the holidays by decorating with reused items.