To become an eco-friendly citizen, you must start with your home, classroom, etc.  Even for those who are not going green in the home can learn from the classroom and implement in their home. You might be teaching your students about the significance of environment. Then why don’t you turn into reality by making your classroom eco-friendly?

To create an eco-friendly classroom, green up the things you make use of in the classroom; create eco-friendly projects for your students.

Making your classroom eco-friendly doesn’t happen at once. Here are some tips which you can do to green your classroom. If you start these at the earliest, kids can pick up on these habits and implement it everywhere.

Education isn’t all about mugging up what is given in the text books. It is also about learning to respect all living beings and to coexist with the nature. As a class teacher, you can initiate your students to celebrate the wonderful planet we live in, through an eco friendly classroom.

Wondering how to do that?

Here are few tips:

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Smart Eco Friendly Classroom Tips for Teachers

  • Open those windows

If the classes are during day time, you have ample light coming from outside. The first step towards an eco-friendly classroom is to let the fresh air and natural light pour in through the windows.  This will help to rejuvenate you and your students. Also, you can save electricity by not using the lights in your class room.

  • Switch off lights and electronics

In case lights are used in the classroom, assign the last student to exit to switch them off before leaving. During day time, put the class computers in sleep mode than using screen savers, when not in use. This can help to reduce 60-70% of energy use. Also, switch off and unplug any electronics used in the classroom at the end of the day to reduce energy use by 40%. You can assign students to ensure that all lights, fans and electronics have been turned off at the end of the day.

  • Encourage reusing and recycling

Once students are done using chart and construction papers for a project, collect and keep the leftover pieces that are worth reusing. The pieces that cannot be used again can be recycled. Also, encourage students to use reusable lunch boxes and water bottles.

  • Minimize paper wastage

Paper is an inevitable part of every classroom. But, it is a common scene in almost every classroom, where the students grab a sheet of paper and use just a part of it, before grabbing another. Encourage your students to use both sides of a sheet of paper. Enlighten them about how paper comes from trees, the role trees play in our lives and why it is important to protect trees. Also, collect used papers from students and recycle them to use in the classroom.

  • Use eco-friendly school supplies

Denmark based company called Sprout World produces pencils of different varieties that can be planted after they wear down to stub. The capsules in the pencils contain seeds that grow into plants. If you look online, you will find similar school supplies that are made of eco-friendly materials that you may have never thought of. Encourage your students to choose these over regular pens and pencils, and other school requirements that add to the nonbiodegradable waste.

  • Go digital

Many schools have already introduced the concept of smart classrooms. Encourage your students to use technology for learning purposes. Instead of printing the study material for each student, make it available online so that the students can download them. Also, allow students to submit assignments and projects digitally.

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  • Place plants in the class room

What’s an eco-friendly classroom without plants? Plants help to purify air. Also, bringing plants to the class room help students learn to take care of living beings. Let the students take turns to water the plants.

  • Use separate waste bins

Place separate waste bins in your class room to collect food, paper and non-biodegradable wastes. The food waste collected can be used to prepare compost for plants in the school. The paper waste can be recycled and used again, thus minimizing wastage.

  • Get out of the classroom

Although, this isn’t actually an ‘eco-friendly classroom’ tip, this will benefit you for sure. Students will find it refreshing to get out of the classrooms once in a while. Find a nice place in the school campus, where you can assemble your students and teach. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the regular lessons. You can talk to them about the different eco-friendly measures you can adopt and how they can make a huge impact in the nature.

  • Assign environmental projects

Let the students choose a topic each that they can work on, research and hold a session. This gives the students a better understanding of how being eco-friendly benefits and its importance. This will encourage the students to act and also, make the people around them aware of the importance of protecting the environment.

  • Use leftover water for the plants

You obviously have to water the plants you have placed in your classroom regularly. For this, you can use the water left from an experiment or a workshop for the plants instead of going for fresh water from the pipe.

  • Conduct a room check at the end of the day

Ensure that the lights and fans in the classrooms are switched off at the end of the day. Also, ensure that there are no insulation leaks in the windows or water leakage in the faucets, in case you have one in your classroom. In case you find any kind of leakage, notify the school maintenance department as soon as possible.

As a teacher, your duty doesn’t end by imparting what is mentioned in the assigned books to your students. It is also your duty to mould them to be better citizens. If you had not given it much thought till now, why not take the first step today itself by going green?

Are you still confused about where to start?  Then, try these smart eco friendly classroom tips:

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Reduce Paper Wastage

Paper is a necessity in any classroom. But, what usually happens is that students simply grab a sheet of paper, but use may be one page of it and then, grab another. Avoid such situations by advising the students to use both sides of the paper. Teach them about how papers come from trees and how trees play an important role in our survival on Earth. Opting for recycled paper is also a great idea that can make a huge difference.

Use eco-friendly school supplies

If you look online, you may find pens and pencils made from denim, recycled plastics, newspapers and other such materials you might have never thought of. Add them to your eco friendly classroom for your students to use. Also, make them understand why the pencils and pens they  use are eco-friendly.

Maximise the use of Technology

The idea of smart classrooms has been spreading slowly. It’s time for you to opt  the same. Use of technology in classrooms can help limit the use of papers and hence, help in saving trees. You can make your syllabi available online so that your students can easily download and use. Also allow students to submit assignments and attend exams online. While using technology, consider the following tips to a make your classroom more eco-friendly:

  • Instead of using screen savers, put classroom computers in sleep mode, when they are not in use. This can help you reduce energy use by 60 to 70 percent.
  • Plug all classroom electronics into a power strip and switch it off at the end of each day thereby reducing energy use up to 40 percent.

Get a Recycling Bin 

Add a recycling bin to your classroom and encourage your students to use it to dispose recyclable waste such as paper and plastic in them. You can get them recycled and use it again in your classroom. What more do you need for an eco friendly classroom?

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Turn off the lights when not needed

Ask your students to switch off the lights if they are the last one to leave the class. Also use minimum number of lights or no lights at all if you have enough natural light coming into your class while opening the windows. This is a simple way to save energy.

Bring plants into the Classroom

They will help purify the air in the classroom. Also, this will help students to learn about taking care of living beings. Also, assign the responsibility to each student to water the plants every day.

Turn the lunch time green

Ask your students to use re-usable lunch boxes and water bottles to the class to turn it to an eco friendly classroom. Also, place a bin in your classroom for your students to dispose food waste. This food waste can then be turned into fertilizers for the plans placed in the classroom.

Have a lesson outside

This is not exactly an eco-friendly “classroom” tip. Take your students outside the classroom once in a while. Let them mingle with the nature while you teach them about weather, flora and fauna and local geography. Also, plan some eco activities for schools to make learning time fun for your students.

Did we miss any eco-friendly classroom tips? Teachers, feel free to add the steps you take to turn your classrooms eco-friendly in the comment section below. Also, do not forget to adopt the above mentioned tips for an eco-friendly classroom if you are not using them already.