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Getting Ready for Back-to-School

As millions of kids are preparing to log out of remote learning and head back to in-person class this fall, there is an excellent opportunity to encourage eco-friendliness in the classroom. School buildings are the third biggest energy users, with U.S. school districts spending more than $6 billion on energy per year. These costs, although staggering, are necessary to ensure the maintenance of students’ academic performance. However, by encouraging environmentally friendly practices in school, benefits such as a reduction in asthmatic incidents and increased test scores are possible.

Reducing, reusing, and recycling is more important than ever, and the classroom is the perfect place to incorporate these practices. To lead by example this school year, students can:

    •    • Recycle plastic bottles, cans, and paper
    •    • Pack reusable lunch bags instead of disposable bags
    •    • Donate old electronic devices, or contact your city/county to learn more about disposing of them properly
    •    • Bring a reusable water bottle and reusable lunch containers instead of plastic disposable options
    •    • Cut out processed and pre-packaged foods during snack time
    •     Donate or repurpose old clothing when preparing for new school clothes
    •     Save the previous year’s school materials to reuse for the new school year
    • Teachers also have a big impact on going green in schools! To encourage sustainable practices, teachers can implement the following:
    •     Label trash and recycling clearly for students
    •     Add indoor plants
    •     Clean classroom with environmentally friendly products
    •    • Help students understand why recycling is important
    •     Utilize natural lighting by opening blinds and shades
    •     Minimize usage of paper