May 11

6 Easy Ways to Go Green at School

For twenty years here at MHMS, we’ve tried to be GREEN as possible. We started a recycling program the first year we opened (1997), spray painted Chesapeake Bay Run-Off outside on parking lot drains. In 2000 we partnered with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to conduct a ground-truthing survey of permeable and impermeable surfaces with GPS.

But now, we’re going to make it official!

This year, we’re working on getting GREEN School Certification. We’re working with the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) to fulfill several objectives. The team I’m working with is student-driven sustainability practices. “MAEOE encourages, engages, and empowers the community to understand, responsibly use and promote the natural world.”

Here are 6 Easy Ways to Go GREEN at Your School!

1. Start a Student-Run Recycling Club

Have Science classes do a “trash inventory where kids go get a sample waste basket from different classrooms and different grades and, wearing plastic gloves, divide it between trash and recyclable materials. What’s being thrown away already that could be recycled?  Murray Hill has started a Recycling Program – but we can always do better!
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
What are 3 ways we could recycle MORE in our school?

2. Participate in International Walk (or Bike!) to School Day

International Walk to School Day (and Bike to School Day) promotes a healthy lifestyle and encourages students and parents to think about the effects that cars have on the environment.
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
Have you ever ridden your bike to school? OR What’s the longest you’ve ever ridden your bike?

From 2011: Example of a paper maché Alebrije. The Alebrije was created by Pedro Linares Lopez in the 1930’s. Pedro was a cartonero (papier maché crafter) from La Merced a neighborhood in Mexico City.

3. Recycle Newspapers & Magazines to Create Fabulous Art Projects

Another way to support your school’s “going green” effort is to get your ART teacher involved. The art teachers here at MMHS have had a long history of cool student projects using entirely recycled, newspapers, paper, books and materials.
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
What are 3 cool  school ART projects you can think of using recyclable materials?
4. Adopt an Endangered Animal

Take a look at the WWF Adoption program and raise money  in the school to help save an endangered animal. For only $55 you can get an adoption kit that includes a plushy, a species card, adoption certificate, photo, and gift bag. Each grade or classroom can strive to adopt a different animal. You can display your animals in the classroom or in the Library Media Center!

Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
What are endangered animals that you would like to adopt in your school?

BNewingham040711_iStock32161690_GoGreen_s5. Go Paperless

Consider reducing the amount of paper you use in the school by going paperless!
We’ve been distributing our Murray Messages online via, text, Twitter, email, and our website for at least five years now.
We’ve also been using Google Apps for Education since 2012 and kids can create documents, work on at school or at home, and share with their teacher since 2012.
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
What are ways you could go paperless in your school? Do you like Google Apps or GAfE?

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Dana & Ron

6.  Create a Birdhouse Habitat Around Your School & Playground 

Why not get together either Scouts or an after school group and create a birdhouse habitat around your school or playground.?
Birdhouses “provide nesting space in the birds’ increasingly threatened habitat. An increased bird population is not only pleasant for the eyes and ears, but is also important to our ecosystem. Birds scavenge wastes, pollinate plants, and search for food in the garden. They help our garden habitat by eating greenflies, caterpillars, and snails: a huge benefit for the organic gardener.” Plus, they’re pretty and could be an ongoing SCI-venture for kiddos to monitor.
Your Turn! – Sound off in the Comments:
Would you be interested in having a birdhouse colony at MHMS? Have you ever made a birhouse? Would you be interested in decorating or painting a birdhouse? What ways to go green did we miss? What else would be good to start at MHMS to help the environment?

Photo by Mrs. Simpson – Artwork by Karla – 7th grade

Resources:

Check out our MHMS Green Team Scoopit PAGE!

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Posted May 11, 2017 by gwynethj in category Green Team, MHMS Daring Library Media, Recyling, Uncategorized

About the Author

Hi! I'm Gwyneth Jones - The Daring Librarian and a Middle School Teacher Librarian & Technology Specialist at Murray Hill Middle School in Howard County, Maryland. You can follow me on Twitter @GwynethJones. Cheers & Thanks for visiting!

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