As it relates to the eco-friendly movement, while we, as adults, are doing all that we can to protect our environment, the reality is that it’s our children who will be the ones leading the “going green” platform in just a few short years. This means that if they don’t have the proper tools and information needed in order to do so, in some ways, we all could pay a very hefty price.
This is why it’s so important that teachers do their part to instill certain energy efficiency values into their students within the classroom. One way to do that is by conducting energy audits. We have included five ways that they can do that in a way that’s easy as well as educational for their students:
Lights out. Being energy efficient is about using resources wisely, right? On the top of that list would be the amount of electricity that is used and one way is via the lights that are on in the school building. Encourage your students to provide ways to use as little light without compromising their need for it as much as possible. This can include opening the blinds, turning out the bathroom lights when they leave it or only using the overhead lights in the classroom when they’re absolutely necessary.
Plug in. The modern classroom is very different than it used to be. A room that was once filled with books now has computer monitors. So, of course, it causes the electricity to be used more than ever before. Ask your students what can be done to use less electricity. Make suggestions like turning off computers at the end of the day and unplugging items that are not in use. Also, consider providing incentives for when they opt to read a book than go online to do their research. If they get into the habit of being more responsible with electricity at school, it is sure to “rub off” at home too.
Heat up (or cool down). Whoever was the master in urban planning at your school, there’s a great possibility that they made sure that there were accommodations like central air and heat. However, just because it’s available, that doesn’t automatically mean that it has to be on the entire time that school is in session. Ask your students about ways that central heat and air can be less utilized. In the spring and summer months, this could include opening up the windows and letting a breeze in or providing recycled water bottles (with water in them) to keep them cool. Although it’s kind of unavoidable to go without heat in large parts of the country during the winter months, fall is an ideal time to speak with the parents about encouraging the kids to come to class in layered outfits and to even use time in class to show kids introductory lessons on knitting, crocheting and upcycling clothes so that they can prepare to keep themselves warm without having to turn their central heat up too high. With whatever it is that you choose to do, just remember that the more creative that you get with your eco-friendly approach, the more excited your students will be to follow through as they come up with some innovative ideas of their own.