12 Ways to Save the Planet: For Teachers

As a teacher, you are in the position of being empowered to propel real change by encouraging your students to be environmentally concious and by instilling a respect for the ecosystem. Here are some suggestions on group and classroom projects that can help you spread the green word!

Cut your vampire power! Money Saver!

Vampire Power: Not Dracula, but the home electronics we leave on standby: TV, printer, DC re-chargers and converters… they cost you and the country almost $100 million worth of WASTED electricity each year.

Purchase recycled paper products

Check out the Conservatree page for information on buying Environmentally Preferred Products (EPP).

Recycle/refill printer cartridges Money Saver!

If you use inkjet printers, buy replacement ink and refill them when they are empty. There are also several programs that will allow you to send in your empty ink and laserjet printer cartrdiges for recycling.

Also check out:

Sponsor a child in a developing country

Sponsor an endangered species

Plan a community event

Coordinate an event at work, at your school or within your community that helps raise awareness about environmental issues such as recycling, waste reduction and conservation.

Use phosphate-free soap for car washes

Whether you're just washing your car at home, or doing a full-scale group fundraising car wash event, be sure to use phosphate free soap. At your fundraising car washes, be sure to advertise that your car wash is eco-friendly to spread awareness.

Recycle everything you can! Money Saver!

You benefit either directly or when local taxes are kept lower by reduced disposal costs.

Turn off your monitors Money Saver!

If your computers are on a network or need to be left on for remote access and can't be shut down at night, turn off the monitors.

Turn your trash into crafts!

Okay, so that doesn't really rhyme- but use popsicle sticks, newspapers, used office paper, etc. for craft projects.

Avoid disposable straws if you can

While disposable straws can be massively useful to folks with certain disabilities, if you don't need them, skip the the straws. Or if you prefer to use them but still want to spare the extra trash, consider bringing your own bamboo or metal straws.

Steer-clear of flushable wipes

They can cause severe issues in septic systems, and as they fragment, they will release microscopic fragments of plastic. These join an estimated 86 tonnes of microplastics released into the environment every year in the UK from facial exfoliants alone.

The Marine Conservation Society has seen a 400% increase in wet wipes found along the British coast over the past decade. Source: The Guardian

There are "eco" wet wipes which claim to be compostable however it's best to use these sparingly, as you don't want to overload a normal compost bin.

In the end, "flushable" bathroom wipes are usually anything but (puns intended).