School Gardens and Grants
Teaching your students more about the Earth and everything it provides for us on a daily basis can foster creative ideas that can help keep our planet healthy. Taking action is important to help keep the Earth as beautiful as she is! Finding small ways to change habits on your school campus can have a huge impact on the environment.
Here are some tips to improve your environmental imprint throughout your school:
Have students brainstorm ways your school can Go Green. Kids say the darndest things! Your students can come up with creative ways to reuse materials, decrease waste and save utilities like water and electricity. Allow for classroom brainstorming sessions to see what ideas your students come up with!
Sort food and waste during lunch time. By sorting food waste from recyclable materials, your school can make sure that your waste is being turned into something more! Check with you waste management company to see if they have any sort of recycling program where products are upcycled once picked up.
EX: A waste management company in Southern California actually takes their recycling products to a facility in Pomona, CA, where the materials are upcycled into plastic rulers and picture frames!
Host a recycled arts and crafts fair or contest! Check out Pinterest for cool ways to upcycle items into unique arts and crafts.
Host a Clean Up Your School event. Have your community help pick up debris and trash on the school campus to enhance its beauty. See if local gardens or nurseries are willing to donate plants or trees!
Switch to paperless communication. Instead of printing flyers for communication with parents, switch to online communications. Whether using email, a parent portal on your website, or social media, there are many ways to connect with your community!
Reduce electricity usage. Encourage staff and students on campus to turn off lights when rooms are not in use and to shut down electronics before leaving for the day. You can also encourage “lights out” time during the brightest time of the day.
Boost your recycling program. Check with your local waste management company to see how you can increase your recycling program and if they offer any incentives for composting green waste.
Get parent and community buy-in. Your local community and parents may already have ideas on how your school can improve their eco-friendly practices. Parent and community volunteers are a great way to get time-consuming projects and programs started.
Start a school garden! School gardens are a great way to give your students hands on experience for taking care of the Earth. Not only does it show them how to have a green thumb, but it can also show students in urban areas that growing your own food is still possible with fun ideas like tower gardens! There are many school garden grant options if funding is tight. Check out this awesome link with MANY school garden grant opportunities or check with your state education agency to see what grant opportunities might be available!