A school is an academic institution built with the purpose of providing learning spaces and environments for the teaching of students under the instructions and supervision of the teachers. A report by the Sustainable Development Commission on carbon footprint for schools suggests that there are several ways and techniques to reduce carbon footprint in schools. When certain actions are taken with the support from the governments at all levels.
The study shows that emission of greenhouse gases from schools stand at 9.4 metric tonnes yearly. They spread from heating of school buildings, the students and staff wastes, also from the activities of companies providing goods and services to schools. It is projected that by 2020, the schools would have successfully reduced these carbon footprints to half if effective actions are taken.
In essence, carbon reduction methods in schools should be projected towards focusing on activities that align with their core values: teaching and ensuring the academic welfare of students.
Here are 10 suggestions on how to handle carbon footprints in schools:
1. Go with the greener alternatives
If you would like to reduce the carbon footprints in schools, then the need to check and make a review of the schools’ purchases becomes quite imperative. You obviously need to check what the school needs and weigh the available options and suppliers as there would always be an efficient alternative.
Take paper consumption for instance. If the school is conscious about the effect it creates in the environment then the schools can take actions to use less paper and recycle them afterwards.
Also, the computers used at schools should be the ones with higher efficiency and less energy consumption. Companies that supply goods and services to the schools should be eco-conscious. The schools should choose the ones with green manufacturing processes. Their supply vehicles should also be energy efficient.
2. Run a more eco-friendly school system
An eco-friendly school system can be established if certain things are taken into consideration. This is done by encouraging students and even teachers and staff to walk or cycle to or from school if possible instead of driving. Carbon footprints can be reduced if walking buses can be introduced.
3. Get students to be involved
One of the many methods of reducing carbon footprints in schools is to educate more students to become more conscious about our planet. They are young and they have ambitions, dreams and enthusiasm for a bright future. Get them involved and work together on a great cause of saving the planet.
They can be involved in sustainable workshops where they participate in environmentally-friendly projects within the school. They can learn how to read energy meters, monitor and report energy consumption while setting targets towards reducing the rate of energy consumption.
4. Encourage active travel
If you’re leading the carbon footprint reduction projects in schools, then encouraging active travel among students, teachers staff members becomes quite important. Local authorities should take the responsibility to make roads safer and more attractive for walking and cycling. Raising awareness with students and teachers can also make a difference.
5. Make new connections and networks
Many times when you first start out working towards a big cause, it can seem a little bit scary and lonely at the beginning. So make connections, create networks, find people that can be a part of your great cause of saving the one and only planet. The change starts with one single steps and it spreads forward. Reach out to and connect with other schools and environmental organizations and use the power of unity to influence local authorities to contribute to your fight with the climate change.
6.Make compost trash can for non-animal based organic matter
When you make a compost for non-animal materials, that can be put into good use on your school garden. You can also purchase it from various stores with garden supplies.
7. Reduce energy waste
If you would like to improve the insulation in your school building to lower the quantity of heating required, you can make use of a motion sensor lighting. You can effectively reduce the electric energy used most especially when light bulbs are left on in the classrooms without making use of them.
8. Use the air conditioner and the heater wisely
Anytime you use air conditioner or the heater to either cool or heat your classroom, you should always make sure that the windows of the class are closed. If you’d like to get some fresh air then turn off the air conditioner or heater just before you open the window.
9. Switch off your computer when you’re not using it
A computer can consume up to 65% of energy when it is left on. So make sure you switch them off completely when you’re done using it. Keep in mind that when electronics are not in power, they can still make use of energy. Whenever electronic gadgets are not in use, switch them off and unplug the cables.
10. Recycle more
Recycling is a very important aspect of reducing carbon footprint in schools. Teach your students how to separate wastes. This would be very helpful as significant amount of the things they use can actually be recycled. In fact, to make it more fun, you can plan a trip together with the kids to a local recycling center as this would provide them the opportunity of seeing how lots of wastes ends up in landfills. You can also to show them a documentary on how unrecycled materials are harming the environment.
These suggestions on how to reduce carbon footprint in schools can also be used in many places. They can expanded. If our kids are eco-friendly and know the real value of saving our planet then when they become adults they will be even more conscious.