Sustainability is a word that often gets thrown around in schools, but what does it really mean to be sustainable, and how can we work towards it?
Sustainability is all about meeting the present day's environmental, social and economic needs to ensure future generations can safely exist on planet earth for a long time. It's important to consider being more sustainable wherever you are; here are a few ways to do so in your school.
1. Reduce, reuse, recycle
It might seem obvious, but recycling is one of the most effective ways to start your school's journey to becoming more sustainable. Begin by putting together a recycling plan of action to encourage everyone in your school to do their bit. Teach the importance of recycling to children by incorporating it into lessons (psst, there are lots of free resources to help you on the internet).
You might like to install fun recycling bins with faces to encourage children to recycle paper, cans, bottles, etc. correctly. Hey, it might even encourage the teachers too!
2. Grow your own fruit and vegetables
Developing an allotment for your school is not only a fantastic way to become more sustainably conscious by reducing carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels, but it's also a lot of fun! Click here for a guide on how to start yours.
3. Switch off lights and electrical equipment
Saving energy can be as simple as turning things off! When you're not using your equipment or if the classroom is empty, at the flick of a button, you're on your way to being a more sustainable school.
4. Walk or bike to school
This could be an excellent initiative for your school to run. You could host a competition and ask children to walk or bike to school as often as they can over a period of time (accompanied by parents if the children are young), then whichever child/children did it the most wins a prize! There could even be prizes for each class, first, second and third.
At the end of the competition, both children and parents may be more inclined to opt for this greener and more sustainable route of transport due to developing the habit.
5. Decorate the classroom with plants
Did you know plants and greenery have a positive effect on the mind as well as the planet? Studies have shown that indoor plants reduce stress levels, boost concentration, and improve productivity and mood. NASA conducted their own research and found that there are over 50 plants that act as a natural filter to indoor pollution – a win-win sustainability option!
6. Invest in sustainable furniture
Purchasing 100% recycled furniture is fantastic for reducing waste, becoming more sustainable and ensuring minimal environmental effects. At YPO, we've managed to save over 10 million milk cartons being dumped into our oceans by using recycled plastic to produce a range of sustainable outdoor furniture. Browse the range.
To shop our full range of school furniture, click here or visit ypo.co.uk/furniture to find out about our handy furniture and design service for schools.