@ School


Greener School Tips

You spend a lot of time at school - probably more time than you would like. So, if you and your family are doing your part to get to half at home, why not do your part to get to half at school? All it takes is a shift in how you think about what you use and what you throw away.

Keep in mind the order of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and THEN Recycle. Now, each time you throw something in the garbage, ask yourself how you could have avoided creating that garbage.

We all have control over the choices we make - it is these daily choices that can have a profound effect on the environment. Remember, if we're part of the problem, we can be part of the solution!

The following tips can help you Get to Half @ School:

In the Classroom
  • Use both sides of the paper in your exercise book or binder.
  • Collect scrap paper in your classroom to use for notes and art projects.
  • Try not to waste school supplies - use only what you need.
  • Collect and reuse things like binders, folders, paper clips, thumbtacks, etc.
  • Collect recyclables in your classroom.
  • Start a class vermicompost bin.
  • Take care of your things so they will last.
  • Encourage parents to purchase durable, long-lasting school supplies.
  • Bring a waste-free lunch to school.
  • Don't waste paper towels - choose the hand dryer if that's an option.
  • Make arts and crafts projects out of recycled material.
  • Celebrate the holidays at school by decorating with recycled items.

In the Cafeteria
  • Encourage cafeteria staff to use reusable dishes and cutlery in your cafeteria.
  • Try not to waste food at lunch. Only take as much as you will eat.
  • Bring a waste-free lunch - a lunch packed using reusable containers and cutlery, a reusable lunch bag, and a cloth napkin.
  • Have a school-wide waste-free lunch day once a month.
  • If your school has a composting program, ask cafeteria staff to collect organic waste (like fruit and vegetable peels and scraps) from food preparation. Also, give students and teachers a place to put their organic waste.
  • Place a beverage container recycling bin in your cafeteria.

In the Computer Lab
  • Edit documents on screen and only print your final draft.
  • Use joint-editing software if you are working in a group.
  • Always use the print preview before printing.
  • Print documents double-sided - post a sign if you tend to forget.
  • Print in colour only when necessary.
  • Collect and reuse printer paper that is still blank on one side.
  • Recycle used ink cartridges where possible.

In the Copy Room
  • Print tests and assignments double-sided.
  • Set the copier to automatically print double-sided or post a sign as a reminder.
  • Minimize misprints by posting directions on how to load special paper, like letterhead.
  • When making copies from a book or periodical, use your copier's reduction feature to fit two pages onto one standard sheet.
  • Collect and reuse office paper that is still blank on one side.
  • Encourage your school to purchase recycled paper.
  • Encourage your school to buy reusable toner cartridges.
  • Set aside and reuse office supplies like file folders, binders, paper clips, etc.

Around School
  • Donate unwanted computer equipment and office furniture to a local charity.
  • Plan a class or school-wide rummage sale or swap.
  • Start a book exchange in the library for used paperback books and magazines.
  • Organize a school-wide composting program.
  • Make art/technology projects out of reused material.
  • Promote the 3Rs in school with a creative mural.
  • Find out how much waste your school generates by doing a school waste audit.
  • Have a "green day" at school - get everyone to wear (and think) green
  • Start an environmental group at school.

In the Staff Room
  • Post staff memos in a centralized area or email memos to all staff members.
  • If your school has a composting program, collect coffee grounds and filters for composting.
  • Share resources with other teachers instead of making multiple copies.

In the Office
  • Use reusable intra-office envelopes.
  • Pre-print envelopes or use return address stamps.
  • Purchase office/school supplies in bulk and choose items with less packaging.
  • Avoid purchasing supplies for your school that do not last or cannot be repaired.
  • Post staff memos in a centralized area or email memos to all staff members.
  • Email notices home to parents or post updates on your school website.
Use our 3R Checklist (.pdf) to see how your school is going green!

Contact schools@mmsb.nl.ca for more information.