Environmental sustainability is one of the major concerns, if not the biggest challenge facing the modern era. There are many things we can do to combat the challenges faced by environmental destruction and pollution and make the world more eco-friendly. Some of these issues are so huge they may seem insurmountable, but there are many things we can do on an individual and organizational level, and even the smallest acts can make a difference.
This is particularly true for educational organizations, which can not only impact on their own sphere of influence, but also set an example for future generations. Therefore, by being more eco-friendly, educational institutions can bring about huge changes in the world. Here are different ways that we can turn your institutions into inspirational environmental schools.
Educational organizations, notably schools and universities can spread mass awareness by growing their own food gardens. This practice will not only create a natural, charming environment on site, but also motivate staff and students to practice the same in their homes. These gardens can allow the institution to grow their own organic fruit and vegetables that they can use as ingredients in their canteens.
Another great initiative for educational organizations is to set up plastic collection points. These will not only minimize rubbish laying around your campus, but they are also a great way to educate students about the problems with using single-use plastics. Furthermore, you can use this project to promote recycling.
Students should be encouraged to participate in creative plastic recycling competitions. These collection points should be installed at key, accessible points, so that everyone finds it easy to dispose of their plastic waste in the appropriate place.
Educational organizations consume a great deal of stationary and should promote the use of eco-friendly supplies including biodegradable notebooks and pencils. Promoting wooden stationery instead of plastic can take this mission to the next level. This can also extend to cutting the use of plastics in other areas, such as promoting the use of paper supplies in canteens.
Lunches are a big deal at schools, universities, and other educational institutions. This means that there is going to be a lot of food going to waste. To address this issue, educational organizations should set up compost bins where they can promote composting. This can be done using small, airtight bins as well as through worm bins. Composting is not only a sustainable way to dispose of green waste, but it also eliminates methane and carbon dioxide which are the major greenhouse gases.
Composting is the perfect solution for the food you don’t need, but it’s better to reduce the amount of food that is going to waste in the first place. Ask your students to keep a record of the amount of food that has gone waste. Instead of wasting food and composting it, sticking to quantities that can be easily consumed is a better option. This not only minimizes your organization’s waste, but also teaches you students about the importance of this issue.
Educational organizations are also responsible for educating the masses. To make your organization eco-friendly, instead of waiting for Earth Day to come around, take every opportunity to spread the word about the enivronment. Discuss and carry out campaigns regarding the hazardous effects of pollution and propose suitable solutions to overcome them. Encourage students to walk or take local transport to minimize air pollution, and discuss who they can reduce other types of pollution in their daily lives.
Taking your students on a local park or beach clean trip can be an excellent way to make your organization more eco-friendly. These trips will instill in them a sense of responsibility to keep the natural environment clean. A sense of responsibility to protect Mother Nature will positively impact on your own site, as well as the wider environment.
You can’t eliminate energy use entirely, but you can take steps to limit your use of electricity. For example, make sure that the lights and computers are switched off at the end of the day. Don’t turn on artificial lights if there is enough sunlight coming through the windows, and minimizing the use of heaters by keeping doors closed and installing better insulation.
Promoting one day a week as a meat-free day can have a very positive impact on the environment. The impacts on the environment of eating meat have been well-documented, especially when it comes to greenhouse gases, and even slightly cutting down on consumption can make a huge difference. Meat-free days will also help promote different healthy foods which might slowly become part of your students’ routine.
Becoming eco-friendly can take time. However, following these steps can set your organization on track to be an eco-friendly and plastic-free environment that sets a strong example for your students.
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