Many schools are back in session for the year, which means hallways and classrooms will once again be flooded with students and their materials. Keep your school neat and eco-conscious by promoting your own recycling program and guidelines. For schoolteachers and administrators trying to encourage recycling in the classroom, follow these back-to-school recycling tips.
Encourage Reusable Products
During the back-to-school shopping season, many teachers send out lists of the school supplies their students will need for the coming year. This is the perfect opportunity to encourage parents to invest in reusable school supplies for their kids. For example, encourage children to select a washable, reusable lunchbox instead of bringing their lunch in paper bags daily. Additionally, reusable water bottles, mechanical pencils, clear files, and more can help keep unnecessary plastic and other waste out of your school’s garbage and recycling receptacles.
Teach Children About Recycling
It can be difficult for young children in grade school to wrap their heads around the importance of recycling. Rather than fully relying on their parents to teach them such a complex concept, introduce a recycling unit into your lesson plan at school. Teach your students how they can help practice recycling at school and at home. Additionally, you can introduce the basic concepts of why recycling is so important to the environment and for an eco-friendly future.
Distinguish Recycling and Waste Receptacles
Once your students understand how and what to recycle, make sure your waste receptacles help guide them through the process. For example, when your garbage cans and recycling bins have the same appearance, this can lead to recycling contamination. Your students should be able to tell the difference between recycling and waste bins at a glance. Choose recycling bins in bright colors like green or blue and make sure they are clearly labeled. You can also place educational materials and recycling prompts near your bins to further promote recycling.
Minimize Electronic Waste
Many schools are minimizing the use of printed materials by incorporating more technology into the classroom. While providing students with tablets or laptops can certainly reduce paper waste, don’t forget about the electronic waste technology can create. When you replace parts like batteries or the entire unit, don’t simply throw the old models away. Try to find a compatible e-waste recycling center in your area when it’s time to dispose of classroom electronics.
Back-to-school season can be chaotic for teachers, students, and administrators alike. However, try to find time to employ some of these back-to-school recycling tips for school administrators. With everyone working together to utilize these ideas, your school will become more eco-friendly.