So…sorry to bring this up, guys, but it’s almost back-to-school time. And while the end of vacation might be kind of a bummer, we’ve go a project for you to tackle that might make the school year pass just a little quicker. How about making this the year that you try to green-up your school?
It might seem like a big job. That’s because it is. But just because there’s lots to do doesn’t mean that you can’t make a difference. Here are some tips and tricks you can try this year to make your school a greener place:
Idling, or leaving the engine running while the car isn’t moving, emits 20 times more pollution than if you were travelling at 30 miles per hour. And it happens every day at your school, when students get dropped off and picked up. You can help cut down on that pollution by getting people to turn their cars off when sitting for more than 30 seconds.
Cutting back on idling can make a HUGE difference in the air quality at your school. Wanna get the word out? Try Facebook, Twitter, even YouTube to get people talking. You could even create a #noidling hashtag and make the idea go viral!
Walk, Bike, Pool, or Bus to School
Everyone has the option of riding the bus – so, hop on. One full school bus takes approximately 36 cars off the road. That’s 36 fewer cars emitting harmful pollution into the air. Plus, that morning and afternoon ride gives you optimal time to listen to your favorite tunes, look up game cheats, catch up on celebrity gossip …you get the picture.
If you live within walking or pedaling distance of your school, walking or biking can be easier than you think. Just make sure to map a safe route, and don’t be afraid to scout the neighborhood for walking and biking buddies. Try downloading the Map My Ride app to find the best route to your school.
If you’re not close enough to walk or bike, consider carpooling. This is another area where you could utilize Facebook—try creating Facebook groups for people to safely link with others in their area.
If your school has recycling bins, use them. And encourage your classmates to use them too – especially for paper. If there’s no recycling service at your school, petition your school principal and superintendent to get one. Remind them that adding a recycling service could save their budget up to $7,000 a year, according to Mass Recycle.
Pack Your Lunch
Eat a waste-free lunch everyday by avoiding packing things like plastic seal bags, plastic forks, paper napkins, etc. Instead, pack your lunch using:
– Reusable lunch containers
– Regular, washable utensils
– Cloth napkins
– Reusable drink containers
– Reusable lunch boxes
Basically, try to stay waste-free when you pack your lunch. Challenge your friends and classmates to pack their lunches too.
Bring in the Green
Plants are natural air purifiers. Their roots and leaves work together to soak up chemical pollutants in the air. Bringing any plants inside will help, but for the best results, have one plant for every 10 square yards of floor space.
So, try to get one plant in every classroom. The best air purifiers are spider plants, English Ivies and Gerbera Daisies. All three are low maintenance and easily found in stores.
How green do you think your school is? Let us know in the comments below. And, don’t forget to log your on-campus green activities in the AirCreds tool for points and prizes.