Going Green in the Classroom
Going Green is a term commonly coined when referencing recycling or giving back to the earth somehow. A lot of people are probably already familiar with recycling bins and have talked about going green on Earth Day, or planted a tree on Arbor Day. While these are all good starts, what I wanted to know is how I can make not only my classroom “green,” but extend the green awareness throughout the whole school year and educate my students and by extension their families how important and easy it is to go green.
My previous knowledge about going green was limited to what I do in my household. When I bought my house in 2009, I began sorting my recyclables and taking them off to one of the many recycling centers in Jefferson County. I quickly noticed how I was not accumulating as much trash and now, four years and one baby later, my family probably averages one bag of trash a week. Donating no longer wanted items to Goodwill, replacing light bulbs with more energy efficient ones, turning off lights and appliances when not in use, packing lunches into reusable containers, opening windows on nice days instead of running the air or heat, using recycled computer paper and using reusable grocery bags are a few more steps I take to go green within my household. While these are all great starts, I feel like I can take this a step further and incorporate it into my future classroom.
What I wanted to find out with my research was what could I do in my classroom to go green. Immediately recycling came to mind but I began thinking that there are probably a lot of other ways to go green besides recycling, and I wanted to know what they were. I wanted to find things that not only could be done inside the classroom, but that could be incorporated within the home as well. I wanted to find ways to incorporate going green into lessons, like not only showing my students a recycling bin and explaining that paper goes in it, but explaining to them how paper is made, and how many trees could be saved by recycling paper.
To begin my search, I went straight to the computer and began searching using the key words going green in the classroom. I searched through blogs and websites looking for ideas and topics that may give me inspiration on ideas that could be incorporated into a future classroom. Throughout the course of this search, I not only went to sites that Google suggested to me based on my key words, but I also looked at the websites that those pages referenced. I kept a list of ideas I cane across that I felt were good enough to be applied into an elementary classroom. I then went to the Jefferson County Public School’s website for information on what is currently in place for recycling. Finally, I did some reading on Terracycle, as it is a program that is in use at my daughter’s school and I wanted to know more about it.
What I learned about research with this project was the amount of wealth out there on this...