T he Sustainable Development Commission's new report on the carbon footprint of English schools recommends that, with decisive action … Wait a minute. Take inspiration from Katie and her EarthClassroom Instagram account. If you invest in reusable materials at the beginning of the school year, like this teacher did, then you can save a lot of time. They work great. Other academic institutions, including the University of California system, have taken steps to fully divest from fossil fuels. She says this one soap has lasted four months. Replace or reduce your use of plastic water bottles by using a reusable one instead. • Allow students to choose appropriate portions to reduce food waste . We hope they inspire you to try a few swaps yourself. Broadly, the term “net carbon neutrality” means that a campus zeroes out all of its carbon emissions, says Timothy Carter, president of Second Nature, a nonprofit focused on climate action in higher education. Ms. Heidi of Zero Waste Classroom has reduced her classroom’s carbon footprint with this idea. Lesson Extension Activities ... designed for secondary school and beyond. This story is part of that partnership, Available for everyone, funded by readers. Plus, more ways to increase recycling in your classroom. But as young activists like Daas urge their universities to do their part to avert climate disaster, many are frustrated by tepid responses from administrators whom they feel lack their same sense of urgency and drive. All rights reserved. HOLIDAY GIVEAWAYS FOR TEACHERS, Classroom Coding & Robotics … Everything You Need to Get Started, Protected: Classroom Talk-to-Text Project, 50 Ideas, Tricks, and Tips for Teaching Kindergarten, Join the WeAreTeachers Influencer Network. The University of North Carolina system – which includes 16 universities and one gifted public residential high school – has set a 2050 goal to go carbon neutral, the same year as the state at large. They can help with the washing and putting away! Ask them to create individual designs for the next week that help to reduce their carbon footprints. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, and other naturally produced gases. But really in 2020, it is literal. Laura England, a ClimACT member and senior lecturer in sustainable development at Appalachian State, approaches the issue with similar gravity as the undergraduates at her school. Spread the word. Students will think critically about their lifestyle choices, identify ways to reduce their carbon footprint and create a plan to decrease it. Nearly everyone in her family is a teacher. [embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyIk0Wq-QBc[/embedyt]. Carbon neutrality often falls within a wider umbrella of climate neutrality, which also incorporates justice and other concerns. ways you can help reduce it. Divestment campaigns, meanwhile, pressure universities to shed investments in fossil fuels in their endowments. Discuss footprint reduction strategies and envision broader solutions on our new discussion forum (launched 9/14). “If our voices don’t matter, can you please stop telling us that they do?” Daas says. This isn’t going to be easy, but it would be an awesome challenge to try to accomplish with your students. Across North Carolina, the heated campus battles brewing over climate policy this fall represent a microcosm of the national conversation. Be inspired by Green Teacher Tess. Take … The sum of activities by each individual human is their carbon footprint. If you want to reduce the number of plastic containers your classroom uses, then look into dry-erase markers that you can refill. On the other hand, residential heating from biomass has a carbon footprint of zero but has a non-negligible black carbon footprint. Before thinking about efficient ways to reduce our impact on the planet, we need to know exactly how much our different behaviors impact our carbon footprint. Did we just suggest that teachers stop using the laminator? Thanks for the idea! And how is it related to the climate crisis? Through involvement in the programme, students gain employability skills, specifically developing social and environmental skills which are increasingly desired by business leaders ( NUS, 2015 ). Bonus: Students can even bring in their snack waste from home and your classroom can become a community resource for this type of recycling. Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers. A few more tips… Conserve Paper Print and copy on two sides, save single-sided pages for notes, and print only what you need. There are many ways to control the emission of black carbon. Straws can offer great learning opportunities in the classroom. She always saves her toilet paper rolls, and there are so many things you can do with them. “Do we have the political will to chart a path toward a safe and just climate future, or will we continue careening toward hot house earth?”. All students and staff need to acknowledge and comprehend the problem, the solution, and its importance. Our International Student Footprint Calculator will allow you to do just that! So she found a more sustainable option with this felted soap. If you want to reduce the number of … Here’s another one from Green Teacher Tess, and it’s one we hear from many teachers. You can watch this idea (and others) in action from the above video. In Second Nature’s definition, investment holdings don’t factor in a school’s carbon footprint. “India is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by 30-35% today. Calculate your carbon footprint, and then post class data on the Challenge world map. We need to increase natural gas’ usage by 4 times in our need for energy. For example, a return flight from Los Angeles to … Basic Calculator. You don’t have to be stuck with just plastic options, though. She’s baffled that an institution devoted to higher learning is seemingly ignoring the science around the climate emergency. Sunshine splashing onto school rooftops and campuses across the country is an undertapped resource that could help shrink electricity bills, new research suggests. General Environmental Footprint Calculators. Find out how big your own carbon footprint is, and explore ways you can reduce it. Subscribe Stanford Earth Matters Magazine. Recycle Take a few steps to a recycling center in your building to deposit aluminum cans, plastics, glass, office paper, newspaper, cardboard. This is an easy practice to implement. Pickup of office electronics, bulk metal and surplus furniture can be arranged by contacting Facilities Work Management. Create a bin, like Green Teacher Tess did, to collect papers that can be reused. “Returns [on investments] are very, very close” between the competing portfolios so far, says John G Pierce, vice-chancellor for budget and finance at UNC Asheville. Here are some answers to your questions. As West coast wildfires color the skies dystopian red and orange and an aggressive hurricane season batters the US Gulf coast, college students are demanding their schools take bold action to address the climate crisis. ClimACT lambasted the school’s administration last week in a letter emancipating themselves from the official climate action planning process, at least until its leadership declares a climate emergency and responds accordingly. Educators might want to provide students with a parent letter explaining the lesson, since parents have to help students with determining the amount of electricity and water usage in their home. Check out her idea for using it for addition, patterning, sorting, measuring, and more. Plus the smell of lemons is refreshing without being overpowering. “The question we face is astonishingly simple,” the group wrote. There are several compostable options, as EarthClassroom mentions. But university leadership isn’t prepared to entertain divesting more of its endowment just yet. Carbon neutrality commitments typically require schools to dramatically cut their carbon emissions by reimagining how they run their campuses — everything from the electricity they purchase to the air travel they fund. They will not only propose their ideas on paper, but also implement them to test the effectiveness of their actions. successfully pushed the school administration. Although student activists often direct their ire toward school administrations, their greatest antagonist may simply be a ticking clock. This is an eco-friendly way of bringing clean into your classroom. Many referred to driving less, which is indeed a high-impact action, and recycling, which is not. Using This Lesson: This lesson is a mixture of group discussion and individual work. Upcycle those cardboard shipping boxes by using it in place of paper. Whether you’re looking for Earth Month ideas, hoping to reduce your carbon footprint, or trying to achieve a zero-waste classroom, we have sustainable swaps for you. But to reach neutrality by 2025, the university would need to spend tens of millions of dollars it doesn’t have. Few mentioned air travel, which can make up a huge portion of an individual’s carbon footprint. Reduce the fossil fuel impact of your transportation. The idea of setting up recycling in a central location can really boost efforts. Clackamas's recycling program began with students educating other students and staff about the value of recycling and their goals for the program through ten-minute presentations in … Materials: • Carbon Footprint Survey sheet, one per family team • Carbon Footprint drawing • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils in the suggested colors The Carbon Footprint Survey will ask a series of questions that will direct the participant to color lines . (Check back with students in a week and ask if they have implemented their intended changes.) Most snacks are packaged similarly, and Ms. Heidi from Zero Waste Classroom wanted to find a way to collect and recycle it. She gets her students and parents involved by proudly telling others that she’s a zero-waste classroom. Here’s one more from Ms. Heidi. His goal is to reduce Killara High’s carbon footprint and increase awareness through the student body, staff and community. one realistic way to reduce the contributions of the heating system to the school’s carbon footprint (1 point for correct description of a realistic way to reduce the contributions of the heating system) • Switch to renewables (solar, wind, etc. Kelsey Hall, the leader of a divest campaign at UNC Asheville, successfully pushed the school administration to divest around 10% of its endowment from fossil fuels last year. Tell your students that the goal of this lesson is to come up with an action plan on how they can reduce their ecological footprint. This can be achieved through modifying campus operations, often with the help of alternatives, such as renewable energy certificates and voluntary carbon offsets (activities that atone for other emissions). If you’re an elementary teacher, you’re going to see a LOT of broken crayons in a year. She says she uses scraps of material for a lot of things, including for noses (in place of tissue), for clean up, and more. Plus, it provides great lessons for your students about being responsible. This one can go right along with the zero-waste classroom party challenge. The study, published in the April issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters, shows taking advantage of all viable space for solar panels could allow schools to meet up to … College activists concerned about the climate crisis have largely focused their efforts on two popular movements that go hand-in-hand: reaching carbon neutrality, and divesting university endowments. “That concept, ‘our house is burning,’ was a metaphor. Instead of going to big box and chain grocery stores, … But the other 90% remains in the hands of the UNC management company, which invests in a nebulous category of “energy and natural resources” – oil, natural gas, power, etc. That concept, ‘our house is burning,’ was a metaphor. In fact, … Instead of tossing old dry-erase markers, buy refillable ones. We are also working to double the oil refining capacity of the nation in the next 5 years,” the PM said. If you collect them along the way, then you can make new crayons, like this teacher did. We love this eco club in Canada because they really have worked to get their entire school involved in their recycling efforts. Speaking of markers, did you know about the Crayola recycling program, where you can send in old and dried-up markers? Thank you for the tip, Zero Waste Classroom. You can spend so much money on bulletin board supplies. How green is your school? Sustainability and being green aren’t just buzzwords or passing trends—they are the future. bike more and drive less: Traditional cars put out a lot of exhaust, which pollutes the air. The students also complete the class carbon footprint. Gabriela Duncan, co-president of UNC Reinvest at UNC Chapel Hill, found article after article in her school paper about past divestment movements, and she knows that “there realistically is no way” that the university will divest during her academic career. So she uses (and reuses) clear sheets like this all year. Few mentioned air travel, which can make up a huge portion of an individual’s carbon footprint. Undergraduates generally only get a four-year window on campus to make a difference, and they’ve lost precious time because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has in some ways pulled focus from climate issues. To avoid yet another loss of momentum, she’s focusing on creating “a really strong foundation, so that we can have a sustainable movement for many years”. This is a great idea from Katie at EarthClassroom. Stacy Tornio is a senior editor with WeAreTeachers. Not only are paper folders a LOT less expensive, they are more eco-friendly, too. Plus, sometimes you just need a straw. The teachers featured below are all making amazing strides to reduce their classroom’s carbon footprint. And the classroom is a great place to start preparing for it. “It’s frustrating,” Hall says. “I do believe 2050 is realistic,” says Isaiah Green, president of the UNC system-wide Association of Student Governments. The convenience of glue sticks can be great, but Ms. Heidi with Zero Waste Classroom found that her students went through them too quickly. But if you get your students (and parents) on board, you’ll stand a fighting chance! In the study, we first asked participants to describe the single most effective action they could take to reduce the emissions that cause climate change. Katie uses this for kitchen cleaner, but it would work well for classrooms, too. Carbon footprint is the overall amount of greenhouse gas emissions, consisting primarily of carbon dioxide, associated with an organization, event or production. Dec 27, 2016 - Schools are reducing waste and improving their carbon footprint in exciting ways. At Duke University, a top tier private institution in North Carolina, the administration has agreed to a much quicker 2024 climate neutrality date. “It’d be very easy for a huge polluter to, you know, only pick a low-hanging fruit, maybe bring emissions down 10%, and instead buy very cheap carbon credits for the remaining 90% and say they’ve reached carbon neutrality,” Wang says. But students are frustrated by the distant deadline.
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