As thousands of Generation Z activists head back to college, they’re pressuring universities to declare a climate emergency, cut emissions and divest from fossil fuels, Mon 21 Sep 2020 11.00 BST His goal is to reduce Killara High’s carbon footprint and increase awareness through the student body, staff and community. The students also complete the class carbon footprint. Take inspiration from Katie and her EarthClassroom Instagram account. She switched to wet glue, and it’s lasted a lot longer. Yes, the plastic ones might hold up a little better throughout the year. Monitoring Desk As climate change becomes a major theme for many artists, art and culture professionals are asking themselves tough questions about their own environmental impact. This teacher not only collects soft plastics to be recycled on behalf of her families, but she also turns collecting into a math lesson. 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. She also recommends creating your own glue sponge container to extend the life of the supply. Speaking of markers, did you know about the Crayola recycling program, where you can send in old and dried-up markers? Straws can offer great learning opportunities in the classroom. Although student activists often direct their ire toward school administrations, their greatest antagonist may simply be a ticking clock. What are your best ideas for reducing the carbon footprint in your classroom? Across North Carolina, the heated campus battles brewing over climate policy this fall represent a microcosm of the national conversation. This is a great idea from Katie at EarthClassroom. To reduce their carbon footprint and make their school more sustainable, they divided themselves into teams to reduce their use of each of these resources and also recycle them. Sunshine splashing onto school rooftops and campuses across the country is an undertapped resource that could help shrink electricity bills, new research suggests. There, students have been more concerned with how they arrive at that target. Support Your Local Environmental Initiatives. But if you get your students (and parents) on board, you’ll stand a fighting chance! Thanks for the idea! We all know that traditional cars emit exhaust, … Instead of going to big box and chain grocery stores, … “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?”. 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. This teacher on Instagram was using bar soap in her classroom, but her students would go through it so quickly. Spread the word. Other academic institutions, including the University of California system, have taken steps to fully divest from fossil fuels. We hope they inspire you to try a few swaps yourself. She says she uses scraps of material for a lot of things, including for noses (in place of tissue), for clean up, and more. 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. Dec 27, 2016 - Schools are reducing waste and improving their carbon footprint in exciting ways. Divestment campaigns, meanwhile, pressure universities to shed investments in fossil fuels in their endowments. Basic Calculator. “India is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by 30-35% today. This story is part of that partnership, Available for everyone, funded by readers. If you want to reduce the number of … Learn more about it here. Here’s another one from Green Teacher Tess, and it’s one we hear from many teachers. This is an eco-friendly way of bringing clean into your classroom. Did we just suggest that teachers stop using the laminator? See more ideas about Carbon footprint, School, School food. 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. This one can go right along with the zero-waste classroom party challenge. 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 . But to reach neutrality by 2025, the university would need to spend tens of millions of dollars it doesn’t have. They want the school to reduce actual emissions as much as possible, “rather than relying on more questionable, less rigorous ways of offsetting emissions in the books”, says Claire Wang, a recent Duke alumna and Rhodes scholar. Many referred to driving less, which is indeed a high-impact action, and recycling, which is not. This may address equity issues - educator might have to adjust the discussion accordingly. Create a bin, like Green Teacher Tess did, to collect papers that can be reused. The sum of activities by each individual human is their carbon footprint. How green is your school? Environmental campaigns, meanwhile, require long-term, dedicated attention spans. In Second Nature’s definition, investment holdings don’t factor in a school’s carbon footprint. • Allow students to choose appropriate portions to reduce food waste . )/switch to a more efficient fossil fuel (natural gas, propane)/switch to a provider that uses nuclear energy. Level: Middle school, Secondary school. That concept, ‘our house is burning,’ was a metaphor. Last modified on Tue 22 Sep 2020 22.25 BST. Colleges across the country, from the University of San Francisco to American University in Washington DC have already attained carbon neutrality. She uses these in her classroom, and when they’re done, they send them to the compost bin at their school. Calculate your carbon footprint, and then post class data on the Challenge world map. 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. [embedyt][/embedyt]. (Check back with students in a week and ask if they have implemented their intended changes.) 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. successfully pushed the school administration. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, and other naturally produced gases. Plus the smell of lemons is refreshing without being overpowering. Among them is The Gallery Climate Coalition, a new organization which wants the art world to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent over the next ten years. “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. ways you can help reduce it. They work great. 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. Check with your local print shop to see if they offer something similar. Remind your students regularly that they can—and should—use the scrap bin before opting for a fresh sheet. 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. T he Sustainable Development Commission's new report on the carbon footprint of English schools recommends that, with decisive action … (It can save you a lot of money, too.). And how is it related to the climate crisis? She always saves her toilet paper rolls, and there are so many things you can do with them. Killara High School student Kieran Pain has big plans for the future. In this example, she made little bamboo shoots for a display. Here’s one more from Ms. Heidi. A few more tips… Conserve Paper Print and copy on two sides, save single-sided pages for notes, and print only what you need. Here are some answers to your questions. Reduce your carbon footprint. What is a carbon footprint, exactly? “The question we face is astonishingly simple,” the group wrote. Bonus: Students can even bring in their snack waste from home and your classroom can become a community resource for this type of recycling. Students and faculty at Appalachian State are angling for net zero emissions by 2025, or at least 2035, but have felt unheard. Something that I’ve learned since becoming involved with the campaign is that universities move slowly, “There’s no real silver bullet of clean energy out there that we’ve been able to find, so we’re in a wild west of carbon accounting and climate action,” Ball says. “That concept, ‘our house is burning,’ was a metaphor. 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. Subscribe Stanford Earth Matters Magazine. But university leadership isn’t prepared to entertain divesting more of its endowment just yet. Check out her idea for using it for addition, patterning, sorting, measuring, and more. Lesson Extension Activities around the footprint drawing. • Use gray water to irrigate landscaping to reduce potable water use . 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. The Guardian is the lead partner in Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. Caitlyn Daas is among them. 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. Plus, it provides great lessons for your students about being responsible. If you collect them along the way, then you can make new crayons, like this teacher did. Take … Using This Lesson: This lesson is a mixture of group discussion and individual work. 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. The senior at Appalachian State University and organizer with the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative (ClimACT) stands on the frontlines of her school’s grassroots push to go “climate neutral”, part of a years-long, national movement that has inspired hundreds of institutional commitments to reduce academia’s carbon footprint. On the other hand, residential heating from biomass has a carbon footprint of zero but has a non-negligible black carbon footprint. bike more and drive less: Traditional cars put out a lot of exhaust, which pollutes the air. You can watch this idea (and others) in action from the above video. Nearly everyone in her family is a teacher. “But it’s so realistic that it’s just not enough, in my opinion.”. We love this eco club in Canada because they really have worked to get their entire school involved in their recycling efforts. This isn’t going to be easy, but it would be an awesome challenge to try to accomplish with your students. “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. We are also working to double the oil refining capacity of the nation in the next 5 years,” the PM said. The world was amazed when they got to know about it. Plus, more ways to increase recycling in your classroom. There are many ways to control the emission of black carbon. She learned about a program through Terracycle that allows you to send in snack packaging, which they’ll turn into something new. The teachers featured below are all making amazing strides to reduce their classroom’s carbon footprint. The term carbon footprint has appeared in the news frequently with the explosion of information that has emerged about climate change. There are several compostable options, as EarthClassroom mentions. You can spend so much money on bulletin board supplies. It’s a pretty bold move, but if you want to have a more sustainable classroom, it’s the way to go. Upcycle those cardboard shipping boxes by using it in place of paper. 6 Armstrong Road | Suite 301 | Shelton, CT | 06484, $10,000 IN PRIZES! • Purchase organic foods to reduce pesticide use . 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. Be inspired by Green Teacher Tess. And the classroom is a great place to start preparing for it. She says her students definitely notice. But really in 2020, it is literal,” she says. So she uses (and reuses) clear sheets like this all year. • Decrease the temperature/thermostat in the school during the … “There’s no rulebook, there’s no prescription for this stuff.”. By doing this, it helps her students feel like they’re all working together. You don’t have to be stuck with just plastic options, though. Discuss footprint reduction strategies and envision broader solutions on our new discussion forum (launched 9/14). The convenience of glue sticks can be great, but Ms. Heidi with Zero Waste Classroom found that her students went through them too quickly. In fact, … She’s baffled that an institution devoted to higher learning is seemingly ignoring the science around the climate emergency. They can help with the washing and putting away! “We cannot truly be climate neutral if we continue to invest in a fossil fuel industry,” says Nadia Sheppard, chair of the Climate Reality Project campus corps chapter at North Carolina State University, where oil, gas and consumable, nonrenewable fuels account for around $43m in university investments. 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). Middle school students: Explore climate science Explore A Student's Guide to Global Climate Changeto learn more about the science and impacts of climate change. 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. Copyright © 2020. Replace or reduce your use of plastic water bottles by using a reusable one instead. Our International Student Footprint Calculator will allow you to do just that! Instead of tossing old dry-erase markers, buy refillable ones. If you want to reduce the number of plastic containers your classroom uses, then look into dry-erase markers that you can refill. 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. For example, a return flight from Los Angeles to … Lee F Ball Jr, chief sustainability officer at Appalachian State, admires young people’s passion and would “bottle” and “serve it” if he could. Katie uses this for kitchen cleaner, but it would work well for classrooms, too. The sad fact is that by the time that you leave behind the comforts of Tech, each of you will have left behind a larger carbon footprint on the earth than I … Reduce the fossil fuel impact of your transportation. ... designed for secondary school and beyond. All students and staff need to acknowledge and comprehend the problem, the solution, and its importance. But students are frustrated by the distant deadline. So she found a more sustainable option with this felted soap. 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. At Duke University, a top tier private institution in North Carolina, the administration has agreed to a much quicker 2024 climate neutrality date. “If our voices don’t matter, can you please stop telling us that they do?” Daas says. Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook. She strives to go 100 percent unlaminated in her classroom, but she recognizes that supplies need to be durable. You could allow students to bring in a reusable water bottle to have at their desks, too. They want the school to reduce actual emissions as much as possible, “rather than relying on more questionable, less rigorous ways of offsetting emissions in the books”, says Claire Wang, a … Mrs. Mahaffey is a kindergarten teacher, and she put this idea on her Instagram page. 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. In this lesson, students will learn what a carbon footprint is and how increases in greenhouse gases affect climate change. Most snacks are packaged similarly, and Ms. Heidi from Zero Waste Classroom wanted to find a way to collect and recycle it. Plus, it would be a perfect Earth Month challenge. Ms. Heidi from Zero Waste Classroom wants to be a role model for her students, which is why she brings her snacks in this reusable bag. Appalachian State, part of the University of North Carolina system, has committed to reaching net-zero emissions decades down the line, but Daas and her fellow activists fear that’s far too late. Few mentioned air travel, which can make up a huge portion of an individual’s carbon footprint. So she decided to be rebellious and write about teachers instead. Ms. Heidi of Zero Waste Classroom has reduced her classroom’s carbon footprint with this idea. Grade School Elementary and middle school students’ footprints largely depend on their parents’ footprints. The idea of setting up recycling in a central location can really boost efforts. All rights reserved. Thank you for the tip, Zero Waste Classroom. 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”. “I do believe 2050 is realistic,” says Isaiah Green, president of the UNC system-wide Association of Student Governments. Other students in the UNC system are advocating for more transparency and accountability around their school’s investments. Few mentioned air travel, which can make up a huge portion of an individual’s carbon footprint. Not only are paper folders a LOT less expensive, they are more eco-friendly, too. Schools move class trips closer to home as eco-conscious pupils try to lower their carbon footprint, leading headteacher says. Give a presentation to your family, school, or community group that explains how their actions can cause or reduce climate change. Assign students to: Write an engineering design for your week that includes ways to reduce your carbon footprint. “But it’s something that I’ve learned since becoming involved with the campaign, is just that, like, universities move slowly.”. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the consumption of fossil fuels by an individual or group. Plus, sometimes you just need a straw. Carbon neutrality often falls within a wider umbrella of climate neutrality, which also incorporates justice and other concerns. Pupils and school teachers also become empowered to change their behaviours and learn how they can reduce their school’s carbon footprint. Wait a minute. Now that’s impressive! This is a simple note she sends home with her first graders. Students will think critically about their lifestyle choices, identify ways to reduce their carbon footprint and create a plan to decrease it. She gets her students and parents involved by proudly telling others that she’s a zero-waste classroom. This is an easy practice to implement. Through involvement in the programme, students gain employability skills, specifically developing social and environmental skills which are increasingly desired by business leaders ( NUS, 2015 ). 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 … 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. Ask them to create individual designs for the next week that help to reduce their carbon footprints. 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. We didn’t even know that exchanging was a thing, but a speech-language pathologist shared this good idea with us. We need to increase natural gas’ usage by 4 times in our need for energy. She says this one soap has lasted four months. But really in 2020, it is literal. Stacy Tornio is a senior editor with WeAreTeachers. 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. Recycle Take a few steps to a recycling center in your building to deposit aluminum cans, plastics, glass, office paper, newspaper, cardboard. If you’re an elementary teacher, you’re going to see a LOT of broken crayons in a year. Pickup of office electronics, bulk metal and surplus furniture can be arranged by contacting Facilities Work Management. Instead, take a tip from Tess of Green Teacher Tess and make your own instead. 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 … Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers. General Environmental Footprint Calculators. Carbon footprint is the overall amount of greenhouse gas emissions, consisting primarily of carbon dioxide, associated with an organization, event or production. They will not only propose their ideas on paper, but also implement them to test the effectiveness of their actions. All rights reserved. Sustainability and being green aren’t just buzzwords or passing trends—they are the future. It helped her students become aware of packaging and help give it new life once they were done. “It’s frustrating,” Hall says. Green Schools Quiz. This is another great one for teachers to lead by example. Find out how big your own carbon footprint is, and explore ways you can reduce it. She made this one, but she also recommends using a simple jar as well.
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