Here are some easy initiatives to implement into a classroom and to get students thinking about their Eco footprint and what they can do to change it........
I did these things in my first classroom experience, students were happy to use them and felt they were helping to do their part for the environment.
1. Go Organic! : Bring an organics bin into the classroom and encourage students to dispose of their organic waste the good old natural way. If possible, discuss with caretaker (or someone else that would know in the school) whether or not there is a place on school grounds where composting can take place. If not, as the teacher, you could bring the bin home and empty it in a home Green bin or if possible, create a student schedule for them to bring it home and back the next day.
Either way it's a little extra effort for a big reward!
2. What's blue and grey but green all over? : Bring a blue and grey box into the class for recycling purposes. Have the students create clear and concise labels for each box indicating what each one is for. Post a list beside each box that indicates what specific materials/objects can go in the box. (Check with your local waste management centre for your region/municipality's requirements for this information) Encourage students to create visual aids to be posted in the classroom for products that can/cannot go in the boxes...possibly a visual arts lesson??? (Be sure to also check with school collection procedures, as these boxes may also need to be emptied at home.) Again, a little effort...a long way.
3. Depending on the school recycling procedures, a teacher can introduce students to "green" initiatives that students can begin at home. One great way is to encourage students to bring litter-less lunches and snacks to school. There are many reusable, washable containers available for bringing food to school. Students often find it exciting to chose containers that visually appeal to their personal tastes and style. Have a student record chart (or class one - if other classrooms are competing against each other) to indicate which students (class) bring litter-less lunches/snacks the most every month. (Note: recycle is not litter) Have a special way to acknowledge these students (class) but ensure not to discourage or de-motivate others. This approach can really motivate students to participate, is green and fosters individualism and self-drive.
Note: These are suggestions that worked for me and that I used in my classroom and at home and thought I would share.
Here are some useful links as well:
Feel free to add any comments or further suggestions that may be helpful!