Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

The days of casually throwing things “away” are long gone.  Many adults have begun incorporating sustainability into their daily lives in the form of recycling and consciously using less energy.  Kids can also begin forming good habits at home and at school. Teachers and students can work together to reduce their collective carbon footprint, adding valuable lessons in sustainability to the standard curriculum of reading, writing and arithmetic. Some sustainability lessons can be combined with fun projects, while others can be taught as good habits for students to carry out at home as well as at school.

Recycling & Reusing

learning environmentalism at schoolElementary school children enjoy crafts and projects they can work on with their friends and take home to share with their families at the end of the day.  Recycling materials that would wind up in a landfill accomplishes dual goals of allowing kids to exercise their creativity while helping maintain a healthy environment. Kids can bring the needed materials from home or use materials from the classroom.

For instance, plastic milk jugs can be cut to create durable bird feeders that will stand up to any weather conditions.  Bottle caps from soft drinks can be converted into magnets that can be used to post notes on the refrigerator.  Old magazine photos, calendars and holiday cards can be combined to create a colorful collage worthy of hanging on a wall.

Older children can be encouraged to volunteer in their neighborhoods for recycling drives or cleanup campaigns. For instance, students can spend an afternoon cleaning up a local park or planting trees.  Start a blog on sustainability in your school, with students serving as writers, editors and photographers.

Students can also practice recycling beyond creating crafts. For instance, old one-sided documents can be turned over and used as scrap paper for calculating math and science problems. Students can also be encouraged to make double-sided copies for their school reports and other school-related documents.  Teacher and administrators can set up recycling bins around the school and encourage everyone, students and teachers alike, to recycle paper, aluminum cans and other materials.

Electronic Books

These days many kids have access to Smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. Nearly every library also has computers that are available for patrons to use. Assigning electronic books for classroom reading saves the resources necessary to produce paper and book bindings. In addition, with electronic books, students have the advantage of interactive texts with live links that can provide information from related sources. Students can also more easily share their notes with friends for group assignments.

Smart Classroom Practices

Many students, along with their parents, employ conservation practices at home. Teachers can encourage students to carry over those good habits in school by encouraging students to be environmentally conscious in the classroom.  Instruct students to turn off lights whenever they leave a classroom. Instruct them to open windows when the weather is pleasant, rather than depending on air conditioning or heating. In rooms that have good natural light, turn the lights off and allow the light of the sun to illuminate the room.


Visit Alberta electric providers  for more eco friendly information.