With Earth Day fast approaching many classrooms are dusting off their Lorax books and recycling resources to pay tribute to a very important cause- sustaining our planet for a better future. Whilst a day in the spotlight raises global awareness across the planet, is one day enough to celebrate this cause? Rather than making Earth Day a celebration one day a year, there are many small things your classroom can do to celebrate Earth Day every day of the year and make our planet a better, cleaner, sustainable place.
I have created some real life Earth Day posters with practical and easy to apply suggestions that you and your students can follow to celebrate Earth Day everyday.
REUSE in the classroom
1) Plastic Bottles: Why use and waste another plastic bottle when you can simple wash, rinse and reuse your plastic water battles? Fact: Plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting http://greenupgrader.com/3258/plastic-bottle-facts-make-you-think-before-you-drink/
Reuse cleaning cloths: Paper towels and tissues create an enormous quantity of waste for the environment. By simply reusing cleaning towels, your classroom can reduce paper waste. Fact: To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed. https://www.peopletowels.com/aboutpt/WageWarOnWaste
3) Reuse your lunch bags: If your students use lunch bags encourage them to reuse them and treat them as important objects, not a readily disposable material. A paper bag that is treated with care can withstand dozens of reuses.
Fact: RecycleWorks.org estimates that an individual using a disposable lunch generates 4-8 ounces of garbage each day, which can add up to as much as 100 pounds of trash per year.
RECYCLE in the classroom
1) Recycle paper and cardboard: There is potential use for every scrap of paper, whether it be for an art project, class projects or simply for free coloring time. Encourage your students to collect and store their scrap paper and how to use it again and again. Pieces that cannot be reused can then be recycled. https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-recycling
Fact: If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
2) Plastic Bottles: Recycle all plastic bottles in your classroom, such as milk containers, juice packages, and drink bottles.
Fact: Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic bottles every hour. https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-recycling
3) Aluminum Cans: Aluminum cans are very easy to recycle.
Fact: Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod. Recycling 100 cans could light your bedroom for two whole weeks.
REDUCE in the classroom:
1) Energy: The classroom is full of machines, lights and other fun things that can be put to sleep when not in use. Simple flicks of switches all make a difference in supporting an environmentally friendly classroom. Fact: Turning off the lights in one classroom for one hour keeps over two pounds of pollutants out of the environment. (National Energy Foundation)
2) Water: Remember to turn off all taps when not in use, and to only turn the tap on the run for the shortest amount of time possible. Encourage students to use the water fountains sparingly. I like to use the 1-2-3 rule, where students count to three in their heads while they have a drink of water. Fact: The average household's leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/pubs/fixleak.html
3) Waste: Reducing your classroom waste, will reduce your impact on the environment. Fact: In 2009, Americans produced enough trash to circle the Earth 24 times. https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-recycling
If you would like a hard copy of these posters for your Earth Day lessons they are available for FREE via my Facebook page. Just click the picture below and search for the Earth Day tab on Facebook (as seen in the picture):