Next Monday (22nd April 2019) it is World Earth Day. This annual event raises awareness about the environment and how we can do simple things in our daily lives to have a positive effect on the world around us. It started in the 1970s in American and has grown to become a global phenomenon ever since.
More than a billion people take part in World Earth Day and it is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. The national day is now extended to include health, community, and schooling as part of the term ‘environment’.
At Save Energy 2 Day, we know that small acts can make a huge impact when it comes to reducing CO2 levels. In the schools where we have installed new lighting under Salix funding, there has been a significant energy saving achieved. It also means that the children in those buildings have lighting designed for how they use the rooms.
Here are some other simple acts you can do on an everyday basis to help the environment in schools.
Reduce plastic use
By swapping our plastic soap dispensers for bars of soap we can cut back on the plastic bottles needed to transport all the liquid soap. Bars of soap last longer too. An alternative is to use refill bags and stainless steel soap dispensers once your plastic one has reached the end of its life span.
If your school provides milk cartons or disposable plastic bottles in the canteen, consider changing these for jugs of milk, water, and juice that the children can self-pour into reusable cups.
Change plastic wallets for paper clips, staples or paper folders that can be recycled.
Build a plastic bottle greenhouse. Encourage children to donate their old two-litre bottles and build a greenhouse in which they can grow plants.
Plants that encourage wildlife do not often need lots of green spaces to thrive. Pots and planters made from recycled containers can make great homes for plants and flowers that attract bees. Likewise, herbs and beans are quick growing and do not needs lots of space.
Set aside a small area for the plants and add a mini pond to attract frogs and dragonflies. Pondlife can often survive in a washing up bowl sized body of water. Set an experiment and see which mini-pond can attract the most bugs.
Switch off the lights
Sensors are a great way to make sure your school lights are not accidentally left on. Some areas of the school building are always in use. Simple sensors can detect movement and turn on when needed. Likewise, swapping out your high wattage lamps for low-watt LED lamps is one of the best ways to make a big CO2 reduction.
Cycle and Scooter Park
Encouraging children to get to school by foot, bike or scooter is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint for the school as a whole. While parents can be in a rush on a morning, having a place to safely park bikes and scooters can help reduce cars on the school run. Or encourage parents to lift share.
World Earth Day is also about involving the community as part of the environment. Many schools have strong links within the community and work with the elderly, charities and places of worship. Getting to know the people around the school can help children consider others in their day-to-day actions.
Do let us know what small actions you are taking this World Earth Day.