Book covers, school supplies wrapped in plastic, new clothes in single-use bags, plastic lunch boxes….Back to school generates a lot of plastic waste. But is it possible to turn your school into a zero waste champion?
We have some good news: Yes.
The truth is that you as a parent, carer or teacher, have an enormous power to raise awareness and bring zero waste to the classroom.
RETURN TO SCHOOL ZERO WASTE – A UTOPIA??
Would´t it be wonderful if schools were the place where, in addition to traditional learning, your children could get used to zero waste being a normal way of life?
Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of your environmental awareness staying between the four walls of your home, you sow the seed of caring for the planet throughout your community and schools?
We believe so.
That´s why we´ve prepared this post, so that as a parent, carer or teaching professional, you put your knowledge in educating the little ones about the importance of reducing waste everyday in all their environments.
WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR SCHOOL TO BE ZERO WASTE
1. PARENTS & CARERS
You are the champions of your children (except if they are teenagers, which is a whole other story). So the first step is to start from home and educate them on waste reduction by example.
Once this is done, you can collaborate with the teaching staff, propose solutions and alternatives to the plastics that are used in your center or organize activities from the parents’ association.
Take advantage of initial meetings with parents to explain a few simple measures to reduce plastic at home.
Yes, we know.
Starting school can be a daunting, busy time for children, parents, carers and teachers but the affects of plastic in childhood are serious – HAZARDS OF PLASTIC IN CHILDHOOD – BLOG. As teachers we have the authority especially with the children to pass on some basics of hwo top be more enviromentally friendly and the children will also then pass back information to the parents. You can even include your centre in international programs such as ecoshcools. which gives the children something to be very proud of.
5 STEPS TO A ZERO WASTE SCHOOL
1. Second-hand school supplies
Backpacks, cases, books … almost everything you need to start the course can be bought used in second-hand stores and apps like Gumtree or Facebook, thus avoiding not only the plastic wrappings of new products, but the ecological footprint of producing and transporting it.
2. Second hand clothes
There are now many second hand clothes shops that are great for sports clothing but also talk to your school about donating last years school uniform to pass onto the next year.
3. Protected school books
Grease proof paper?? is a fantastic alternative to plastic when it comes to protecting school books, they are also great to decorate and easy to add names and subjects.
4. A reusable bottle that lasts for years
The school year lasts 37 school weeks. That is approximately 185 days. If each child carries a plastic bottle a day, the total is 185 plastic bottles each course. Now multiply it by 25 students: there are 4624 plastic bottles in only one class! Use a stainless steel children’s bottle and you will only need one.Talk to your school also about ordering bottles for the whole class so all the children can be the same, not leaving anyone feeling left out or competing for who has the best bottle.
5. Bring back stainless steel lunchboxes.
Do you remember the stainless steel lunch box of your childhood? It turns out that its the greenest and healthiest option you can find for lunches. In our store we offer lunch boxes of different shapes and sizes. Also remember you can replace foil for either a bees-wax wrap or a simple cotton cloth.
You have the power to change things. Use it. See you in the classrooms.