On average a child spends at least 6 hours at school every day. Children learn and acquire most of the skills at school. It is a well-established fact that children follow their mentors and adopt many habits and practices taught to them by their teachers. Keeping this in mind, we can say that implementing waste management practices and teaching sustainable lifestyle habits in schools become extremely important.
Every year, children and schools buy a new set of supplies such as books, stationery, and uniforms. They toss out tonnes of old supplies, resulting in huge waste and increased expenditure. Here, we discuss a few steps that could be taken at schools to reduce and avoid wastage of resources. If you are an educator or a parent who is looking to reduce waste at schools, you are in the right place! Let’s get started.
Reduce Food Wastage
About a quarter of the waste coming out of schools is food waste. It is essential to teach kids the value of food and help them reduce wasting food. Encourage students to bring only how much is required for the. This way, you teach them to reduce and avoid wasting food. If at all there is food waste, teach them about composting. Talk to them about the perks of composting over just dumping the waste in trashcans. Schools could also teach students about Composting. Children would love to get their hands dirty and learn the importance of Composting.
Reduce Plastic at Schools
Switch to eco-friendly substitutes for plastic straws, plates, and cups at school cafeterias. This way, you teach them to let go of single-use plastic products and adapt to a sustainable lifestyle. Encourage students to switch to Metal Lunch Boxes and Copper Water Bottles.
Reduce Paper Waste
Kids are generally interested in arts and crafts at school. Encourage them to use old newspapers for their craft lessons instead of new dyed color papers. By doing so, you teach them to reuse old products. Organizing ‘Best out of Waste’ competition in schools could also encourage students to learn the art of making useful material out of discarded products.
Schools could print on both sides of papers for question papers and other reference materials. Encourage the students to practice the same when they are writing.
Regular pencils are made of wood logs that come from cutting trees and chopping down forests. To put an end to this, encourage your students and parents to switch to pencils made of recycled newspapers and card-boards. Make it a point to use waste-free stationery like ink pens, wooden rulers, etc. There are even plantable color pencils made of recycled newspapers. This teaches your kids about the importance of recycling.
Using interesting sustainable products such as plantable recycled newspaper pencils, which will blossom into beautiful plants will arouse curiosity and interest in children to use eco-friendly products.
Donations and Drives
Instead of throwing away old uniforms and school essentials, donate them. Teach your students about the donation and its importance. Organizations such as Goonj accepts used uniforms and clothes. Your old clothes can make a child’s dream come true. Make it a point to involve your students in donating school supplies to the less fortunate; it makes them more compassionate and kinder.
Organize and involve your students in plantation and cleanliness drives. Make this a learning experience for the kids. Teach them how to plant saplings and care for them and why is it necessary to grow plants. Teaching this way would help them remember better. Conduct a cleanliness drive in and around your institution; talk to them about the importance of keeping the environment clean. This might not be a part of the curriculum, but it would shape them into better citizens.
Schools and colleges are the pillars of our education system, its time these pillars are further strengthened to take on the new responsibility of teaching the lessons of sustainability to our children, who will shape the future of this planet.