Here are some useful tips to implement in the classroom to make students more environmentally conscious and to help them make changes.
Teachers are in a great position to help young students in primary school learn about the damage we cause to the environment and how they can help prevent this from happening. Young people are the next generation, so it is crucial to get them on board by doing their bit to help the planet. Here are our top tips to an eco-friendly classroom;
Recycling bins are a must have in the classroom as they encourage children to get into the habit of using them to dispose of recyclable waste, such as paper and plastic bags. It may be a good idea to set a target for the class to reach by the end of the week and give them a reward when they achieve it.
Soon they won’t even have to think about throwing their banana peel into the food waste bin and their used paper scraps into the recycling bin. When your class are in the swing of recycling, you can start a zero-waste policy by teaching them ways to use reusable items instead of disposable ones, such as food containers for lunchtime and reusable water bottles.
Be Energy Efficient
Cutting down on the amount of energy the classroom uses is one of the easiest ways to become environmentally friendly. Turning off the lights when the last person leaves the room and shutting down laptops when school is over means that your class is reducing their energy usage.
It could be worth putting up a few signs or posters in the classroom to remind the students when they have finished using their electrical devices. Another idea is to keep the blinds open and use natural light throughout the day, minimizing the number of lights used or eliminating the need to use them at all.
Lessons in Living
Getting the students on board with the eco-friendly classroom is vital, and for this to happen, they must understand how it can benefit them in the future. Fitting environmental education into the curriculum is an effective way to reinforce the benefits of helping the planet. Using scenarios like the weight of plastic in math’s problems or learning about ocean levels in geography are examples of how students can continuously learn about the environment. You could even get the students to calculate their carbon footprints!
Encouraging each student in the class to have a plant to water every day is an engaging method to keep the children interested. It also teaches the children about the responsibility involved when taking care of their plant and to see who’s can grow the highest! Having 30 small plants around the room will also purify the air and bring a lot of colour to the classroom.
Don’t forget to check out the Little Learners issue 9 magazine for fun, inspiring activities and ideas focused on understanding our impact on the environment.
Or visit our previous blogs ‘how early years can become eco-schools too’ and ‘continue your eco-school journey for early years’ to begin your green flag journey!