Quick Tips for Creating a Greener Classroom

green classroom recycle

With all of the paper and materials that are used in schools, teachers have a great opportunity to teach students how to properly recycle. If conserving paper and resources is something you are looking to incorporate into your program or classroom this year, we have some tips for making it successful. Let us know in the comments what you do to conserve materials in your program.

Tips for Creating a Recycling Program in Your Classroom

  • Create a fun, colorful, and obvious area for students to recycle in the classroom.  If you are opening it up to all recyclables, having a reference guide near the area or attached to the bin will be helpful. If the children in the classroom are younger, fun, larger images of items will make it easier for them to refer to, reminding them what they can recycle. (We’ve included inspiration at the bottom of this post).
  • Create a lesson plan or activities on recycling and paper waste. Since paper is one of the most heavily used items in a typical classroom, teach your students how much can be wasted and just goes into landfills each year. Call the the town’s waste management department or check the website to see if they have any numbers to share.  Get students to participate by getting them to guess quantities.  Here are 10 of Our Favorite Green Crafts!
  • Recycle and reuse. In addition to a recycling trash area, create an area where students can place scrap paper where only one side has been used, so it can be used again.
  • Create flash cards or index cards from the scrap paper when it starts to pile up.
  • recycled paper in classroomCreate fun notebooks from scrap paper. See tutorial for notepads shown here at Design Sponge.
  • Use both sides of paper. Plan handouts and assignments accordingly. This will allow you to practice what you are teaching as well as train students that there are two sides to a paper, and only using one can be wasteful.
  • Consider investing in a small white board for practicing math, writing, etc. for each student. That is if your budget, school, or parents can provide for it.
  • Create a bonus rewards or extra credit system if this is something you are truly passionate about. Recognize students that are putting forth an effort to conserve in the classroom.
  • Send home a request with parents for ongoing materials that they can be recycled as well. – Toilet paper rolls, milk cartons, jars, lids, egg cartons, etc.

Classroom Recycle Area Inspiration

recycling center

from the Kindergarten Rock blog

fun trash can preschool

from the Teach Preschool blog

monster trash can

from the Teaching Madness blog

recycling center

free printables from the The Classroom Creative

CLICK HERE for some awesome green craft ideas!

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