Our kids grow up so quickly. In a blink of an eye, today’s kindergartner will be tomorrow’s senator. To help prepare them for the challenges they will encounter, all students need credible, science based information about climate change. They also have the right to learn in a healthy school building. Here are 5 ideas to help you make your school a little greener.

  1. Start a carpool, biking or walking group.

Brainstorm with neighborhood families to find energy efficient ways to get to and from your local school. If you live close to school, walking together will save non-renewable resources while giving all involved some exercise.  

  1. Volunteer for a classroom cleanup.

Classrooms, school libraries and school offices can harbor dust and mold under all the stuff on surfaces, in cupboards and under things. Offer to help your school organize a cleanup once a month to declutter and dust. You’ll help reduce asthma triggers and keep your kiddos, other students and teachers healthier.

  1. Organize a recycling program at your school.

If your school isn’t recycling, offer to organize recycle bins throughout the school. Recycling paper is the easiest way to begin. Our school has a box in the teacher workroom for paper recycling. We reuse the paper by making it available for students who like to draw during their free time and recycle the rest.

  1. Organize a Local Food Day.

Consider finding a local farmer or grocery store that would bring a fresh, local snack to school once a month (or whatever works for your school). Maybe start small with one grade level. Depending on the size of your school or school district, it might be best to start small with one grade level and work from there. The students will get to learn firsthand about the health and environmental benefits of local food.

  1. Ask your school to use green cleaning products and avoid toxic chemicals.

Toxic cleaning supplies, pesticides, and so on can pose serious health risks for children. They are also not good for the cleaning and maintenance staff that uses them, not to mention their negative impacts on the environment. Ask your school administration or district office to consider using healthier options at school.

Need some great kid-friendly information about climate change? Check out the PBS show, Global Weirding, from climate scientist, Katharine Hayhoe. Find episodes at http://www.pbs.org/show/global-weirding/.