bike more and drive less: Traditional cars put out a lot of exhaust, which pollutes the air. Not only are paper folders a LOT less expensive, they are more eco-friendly, too. All rights reserved. Reduce the fossil fuel impact of your transportation. ... designed for secondary school and beyond. They work great. Nearly everyone in her family is a teacher. The idea of setting up recycling in a central location can really boost efforts. ways you can help reduce it. Discuss footprint reduction strategies and envision broader solutions on our new discussion forum (launched 9/14). As thousands of Generation Z activists head back to college, they’re pressuring universities to declare a climate emergency, cut emissions and divest from fossil fuels, Mon 21 Sep 2020 11.00 BST Basic Calculator. We love this eco club in Canada because they really have worked to get their entire school involved in their recycling efforts. We hope they inspire you to try a few swaps yourself. She gets her students and parents involved by proudly telling others that she’s a zero-waste classroom. Plus, it provides great lessons for your students about being responsible. Pupils and school teachers also become empowered to change their behaviours and learn how they can reduce their school’s carbon footprint. This is an eco-friendly way of bringing clean into your classroom. “But it’s so realistic that it’s just not enough, in my opinion.”. Carbon footprint is the overall amount of greenhouse gas emissions, consisting primarily of carbon dioxide, associated with an organization, event or production. “The question we face is astonishingly simple,” the group wrote. Bonus: Students can even bring in their snack waste from home and your classroom can become a community resource for this type of recycling. (It can save you a lot of money, too.). Grade School Elementary and middle school students’ footprints largely depend on their parents’ footprints. Stacy Tornio is a senior editor with WeAreTeachers. 6 Armstrong Road | Suite 301 | Shelton, CT | 06484, $10,000 IN PRIZES! The sum of activities by each individual human is their carbon footprint. But if you get your students (and parents) on board, you’ll stand a fighting chance! Yes, the plastic ones might hold up a little better throughout the year. Caitlyn Daas is among them. The convenience of glue sticks can be great, but Ms. Heidi with Zero Waste Classroom found that her students went through them too quickly. Although student activists often direct their ire toward school administrations, their greatest antagonist may simply be a ticking clock. Replace or reduce your use of plastic water bottles by using a reusable one instead. “That concept, ‘our house is burning,’ was a metaphor. Thank you for the tip, Zero Waste Classroom. Students will think critically about their lifestyle choices, identify ways to reduce their carbon footprint and create a plan to decrease it. Lee F Ball Jr, chief sustainability officer at Appalachian State, admires young people’s passion and would “bottle” and “serve it” if he could. Carbon neutrality often falls within a wider umbrella of climate neutrality, which also incorporates justice and other concerns. Did we just suggest that teachers stop using the laminator? Here are some answers to your questions. Create a bin, like Green Teacher Tess did, to collect papers that can be reused. Instead of going to big box and chain grocery stores, … But really in 2020, it is literal,” she says. We didn’t even know that exchanging was a thing, but a speech-language pathologist shared this good idea with us. Level: Middle school, Secondary school. You can watch this idea (and others) in action from the above video. Find out how big your own carbon footprint is, and explore ways you can reduce it. All rights reserved. Check with your local print shop to see if they offer something similar. The senior at Appalachian State University and organizer with the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative (ClimACT) stands on the frontlines of her school’s grassroots push to go “climate neutral”, part of a years-long, national movement that has inspired hundreds of institutional commitments to reduce academia’s carbon footprint. one realistic way to reduce the contributions of the heating system to the school’s carbon footprint (1 point for correct description of a realistic way to reduce the contributions of the heating system) • Switch to renewables (solar, wind, etc. Ask them to create individual designs for the next week that help to reduce their carbon footprints. She uses these in her classroom, and when they’re done, they send them to the compost bin at their school. Spread the word. Upcycle those cardboard shipping boxes by using it in place of paper. Plus, more ways to increase recycling in your classroom. • Allow students to choose appropriate portions to reduce food waste . Few mentioned air travel, which can make up a huge portion of an individual’s carbon footprint. It helped her students become aware of packaging and help give it new life once they were done. The students also complete the class carbon footprint. This may address equity issues - educator might have to adjust the discussion accordingly. This is an easy practice to implement. “India is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by 30-35% today. The sad fact is that by the time that you leave behind the comforts of Tech, each of you will have left behind a larger carbon footprint on the earth than I … Tell your students that the goal of this lesson is to come up with an action plan on how they can reduce their ecological footprint. Here’s one more from Ms. Heidi. Killara High School student Kieran Pain has big plans for the future. Ms. Heidi from Zero Waste Classroom wants to be a role model for her students, which is why she brings her snacks in this reusable bag. Gabriela Duncan, co-president of UNC Reinvest at UNC Chapel Hill, found article after article in her school paper about past divestment movements, and she knows that “there realistically is no way” that the university will divest during her academic career. Remind your students regularly that they can—and should—use the scrap bin before opting for a fresh sheet. How green is your school? )/switch to a more efficient fossil fuel (natural gas, propane)/switch to a provider that uses nuclear energy. The study, published in the April issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters, shows taking advantage of all viable space for solar panels could allow schools to meet up to … The teachers featured below are all making amazing strides to reduce their classroom’s carbon footprint. In this example, she made little bamboo shoots for a display. This is another great one for teachers to lead by example. Subscribe Stanford Earth Matters Magazine. HOLIDAY GIVEAWAYS FOR TEACHERS, Classroom Coding & Robotics … Everything You Need to Get Started, Protected: Classroom Talk-to-Text Project, 50 Ideas, Tricks, and Tips for Teaching Kindergarten, Join the WeAreTeachers Influencer Network. Wait a minute. What are your best ideas for reducing the carbon footprint in your classroom? • Use gray water to irrigate landscaping to reduce potable water use . Green Schools Quiz. This story is part of that partnership, Available for everyone, funded by readers. To reduce their carbon footprint and make their school more sustainable, they divided themselves into teams to reduce their use of each of these resources and also recycle them. At Duke University, a top tier private institution in North Carolina, the administration has agreed to a much quicker 2024 climate neutrality date. “There’s no rulebook, there’s no prescription for this stuff.”. The term carbon footprint has appeared in the news frequently with the explosion of information that has emerged about climate change. “It’d be very easy for a huge polluter to, you know, only pick a low-hanging fruit, maybe bring emissions down 10%, and instead buy very cheap carbon credits for the remaining 90% and say they’ve reached carbon neutrality,” Wang says. Something that I’ve learned since becoming involved with the campaign is that universities move slowly, “There’s no real silver bullet of clean energy out there that we’ve been able to find, so we’re in a wild west of carbon accounting and climate action,” Ball says. They can help with the washing and putting away! Support Your Local Environmental Initiatives. If you want to reduce the number of plastic containers your classroom uses, then look into dry-erase markers that you can refill. By doing this, it helps her students feel like they’re all working together. Check out her idea for using it for addition, patterning, sorting, measuring, and more. In the study, we first asked participants to describe the single most effective action they could take to reduce the emissions that cause climate change. Through involvement in the programme, students gain employability skills, specifically developing social and environmental skills which are increasingly desired by business leaders ( NUS, 2015 ). On the other hand, residential heating from biomass has a carbon footprint of zero but has a non-negligible black carbon footprint. Assign students to: Write an engineering design for your week that includes ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Instead of tossing old dry-erase markers, buy refillable ones. This teacher on Instagram was using bar soap in her classroom, but her students would go through it so quickly. “We cannot truly be climate neutral if we continue to invest in a fossil fuel industry,” says Nadia Sheppard, chair of the Climate Reality Project campus corps chapter at North Carolina State University, where oil, gas and consumable, nonrenewable fuels account for around $43m in university investments. Students and faculty at Appalachian State are angling for net zero emissions by 2025, or at least 2035, but have felt unheard. Educators might want to provide students with a parent letter explaining the lesson, since parents have to help students with determining the amount of electricity and water usage in their home. As West coast wildfires color the skies dystopian red and orange and an aggressive hurricane season batters the US Gulf coast, college students are demanding their schools take bold action to address the climate crisis. Undergraduates generally only get a four-year window on campus to make a difference, and they’ve lost precious time because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has in some ways pulled focus from climate issues. You could allow students to bring in a reusable water bottle to have at their desks, too. If you invest in reusable materials at the beginning of the school year, like this teacher did, then you can save a lot of time. She’s baffled that an institution devoted to higher learning is seemingly ignoring the science around the climate emergency. Instead, take a tip from Tess of Green Teacher Tess and make your own instead. But to reach neutrality by 2025, the university would need to spend tens of millions of dollars it doesn’t have. We need to increase natural gas’ usage by 4 times in our need for energy. Last modified on Tue 22 Sep 2020 22.25 BST. If you collect them along the way, then you can make new crayons, like this teacher did. Plus, sometimes you just need a straw. In this lesson, students will learn what a carbon footprint is and how increases in greenhouse gases affect climate change. Straws can offer great learning opportunities in the classroom. Materials: • Carbon Footprint Survey sheet, one per family team • Carbon Footprint drawing • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils in the suggested colors The Carbon Footprint Survey will ask a series of questions that will direct the participant to color lines . If you’re an elementary teacher, you’re going to see a LOT of broken crayons in a year. Recycle Take a few steps to a recycling center in your building to deposit aluminum cans, plastics, glass, office paper, newspaper, cardboard. So she found a more sustainable option with this felted soap. Broadly, the term “net carbon neutrality” means that a campus zeroes out all of its carbon emissions, says Timothy Carter, president of Second Nature, a nonprofit focused on climate action in higher education. Most snacks are packaged similarly, and Ms. Heidi from Zero Waste Classroom wanted to find a way to collect and recycle it. Take inspiration from Katie and her EarthClassroom Instagram account. T he Sustainable Development Commission's new report on the carbon footprint of English schools recommends that, with decisive action … They want the school to reduce actual emissions as much as possible, “rather than relying on more questionable, less rigorous ways of offsetting emissions in the books”, says Claire Wang, a recent Duke alumna and Rhodes scholar. “It’s frustrating,” Hall says. She strives to go 100 percent unlaminated in her classroom, but she recognizes that supplies need to be durable. Lesson Extension Activities Among them is The Gallery Climate Coalition, a new organization which wants the art world to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent over the next ten years. Pickup of office electronics, bulk metal and surplus furniture can be arranged by contacting Facilities Work Management. There, students have been more concerned with how they arrive at that target. “If our voices don’t matter, can you please stop telling us that they do?” Daas says. This is a great idea from Katie at EarthClassroom. This teacher not only collects soft plastics to be recycled on behalf of her families, but she also turns collecting into a math lesson. Now that’s impressive! Environmental campaigns, meanwhile, require long-term, dedicated attention spans. Other students in the UNC system are advocating for more transparency and accountability around their school’s investments. And the classroom is a great place to start preparing for it. Divestment campaigns, meanwhile, pressure universities to shed investments in fossil fuels in their endowments. The world was amazed when they got to know about it. Learn more about it here. So she decided to be rebellious and write about teachers instead. Dec 27, 2016 - Schools are reducing waste and improving their carbon footprint in exciting ways. Sustainability and being green aren’t just buzzwords or passing trends—they are the future. successfully pushed the school administration. Carbon neutrality commitments typically require schools to dramatically cut their carbon emissions by reimagining how they run their campuses — everything from the electricity they purchase to the air travel they fund. Colleges across the country, from the University of San Francisco to American University in Washington DC have already attained carbon neutrality. But really in 2020, it is literal. Mrs. Mahaffey is a kindergarten teacher, and she put this idea on her Instagram page. Shrink electricity bills, new research suggests kitchen cleaner, but she also recommends using a water! 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