With climate change continuing to grab headlines in both local news and major international outlets, there’s a growing need for schools to educate kids on improving the environment and sustainability. Raising student awareness on climate change, overpopulation and air pollution makes perfect sense – after all, the generation coming through your halls shall become the decision-makers of tomorrow.
How then do we better light the spark of social responsibility in our schools and wider communities? What is the best way to have the current generation be ever mindful of conservation, sustainability and the challenges they may well face in this less-than-pristine world we’re handing them?
Well, for starters, you could…
Get with the program!
Specifically, the Bostik Smart School program that launched on April 22nd, 2019. Smart Schools is designed to help primary school kids foster their creativity and make a project with Bostik’s range of products. This year’s theme is sustainability and our environment, with the aim of highlighting the need for greater conversation on conservation.
Even better, entrants have the chance to win a share in $21,000 worth of grants and prizes! This year the prize pool is divided up as follows. Three major $5000 grants are up for grabs, one for the winner of each age group category (5-8 years, 9-10 years and 11-13 years). In addition to this one runner up in each category will receive a $1000 Bostik product pack.
Moreover, Bostik has included a People’s Choice Award this time around. This particular leg of the competition allows your family and friends to vote for projects. The winner of this worthy popularity contest will score a $3000 grant for their school. It always pays to have friends!
You’d best get cracking, however, as schools have until July 14, 2019 to submit their projects. The lucky winners will be announced on July 26th.
“The aim of the program was to link […] the importance of caring for our environment with our future leaders in a more impactful way,” Mellissa Coulter, Bostik Category Manager
Become a green campus
“More than 3 million students are enrolled in 9,477 schools in Australia’s school system.”
Limiting the rubbish created by that sizable chunk of our population and the energy that’s being used in their respective campuses will go a long way toward improving our natural environment. All that’s required is for each of us to be accountable for our actions and to act in an environmentally responsible way on the average school day.
The good news is it’s a cinch to do! Below are a handful of measures you can implement right now.
Minimise lunch waste. Encourage students to transport their food and drink to school in washable containers that can be easily reused.
Avoid packing excess/pre-packaged food that will be throw away. Alternatively, consider implementing a lunch share system. The general idea: if a student is full and has no need of a sealed item provided to them, they can donate it to a community share tray, thereby allowing another student to have a fuller lunch.
In the same vein, arrange an inter-grade book trade scheme/swap shop at the end of every term. This can help you to minimise the garbage stream in the school while also allowing students to secure cheaper textbooks and/or materials as they move up in forms.
Instigate some good old fashioned recycling measures. Check with your local community to see if you’re a part of a single-stream recycling system. If you are, educate yourself and your students on what said system will accept. You’d be surprised by just how many different materials can be taken in nowadays.
Encourage your students to make use of both sides of any paper sheet and/or page in their exercise books. Also, be sure to purchase recycled stock paper for all of your office printers.
Here’s one we can all implement at school and home both. If you’re the last person to leave a room, switch off the lights to conserve electricity.
Fire up your calendar and set up a monthly notification to do a school-wide waste audit. Figure out exactly how much garbage your school produces in a day. Identify especially wasteful classes, too. Likewise, find out how much electricity and water is used by your school per quarter and set up a school competition to find ways to reduce it. Also, assess your tuck shop to ascertain how much food wastage there is – and if there’s a lot, investigate local charities or food drives.
Go digital with your newsletter
We touched upon this a little earlier. Attaching a newsletter PDF to an email might solve some of your inter-office correspondence, but you can extend things further by ditching ye olde school newsletter print outs in favour of an eNewsletter.
Web-based or “e” newsletter platforms (like SkoolBag’s own eNewsletter!) can let you build newsletters that automatically respond to the device on which they’re viewed, changing screen size and ensuring that viewers don’t have to zoom into the content.
If you’re nervous about stepping into the wider world of eNewsletters, there’s nothing to be afraid of. I’ve whipped up a [step-by-step guide here](a step-by-step guide here) that can turn a newbie into a pro in next to no time at all. You can save the planet and dazzle your audience in one swift stroke!
Over to you!