As global climate change becomes increasingly problematic, educators and administrators need to consider sustainable solutions for schools. Making a school more sustainable can not only reduce emissions and energy consumption, but it can also teach students valuable lessons about conservation and the environment… and save money!
Saving energy saves money. Current school energy costs are estimated to increase to £652m per year, and this is predicted to rise still further. The average cost of energy per school is £27,000, although secondary schools can have bills of over £80,000 – double the amount spent four years previously.Top Tips to reduce energy and water use in schools Gov.uk
Take a look at these five strategies schools can implement to become more sustainable:
1. Increase Energy Efficiency
Upgrading to energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and appliances can help schools reduce their energy consumption and lower their energy costs. Smaller changes, such as adding weather stripping and insulation to the building, can also make a difference.
2. Promote Sustainable Practices
Schools can encourage the community to use less energy by implementing programs such as carpooling, walking or biking to school, and energy-saving campaigns that teach students how to conserve energy and water.
3. Start a Composting Program
Composting food scraps and yard waste can greatly reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, while also creating an environmentally friendly fertiliser. Schools can encourage students to start a composting program in which food scraps and garden waste are collected and used for gardening or landscaping projects.
4. Use Renewable Energy Sources
Schools can install solar panels or wind turbines to generate electricity onsite. Not only will this reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels, but it can also save money on energy costs.
5. Implement Recycling Programs
Schools can encourage students and staff to recycle paper, plastic, and aluminium. Having bins in each classroom can help make recycling easier and make a positive impact on the environment.
By making small changes, schools can make a big difference in the fight against climate change. Through education, implementation of sustainable practices, and renewable energy sources, schools can become more sustainable and teach students the importance of taking care of our environment.
For more in-depth look at sustainability in schools see the government report here
For more information on reducing the use of plastics visit World Environment Day