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Published: 21 October 2022 in Sectors

The Eco-Friendly Classroom

Sustainability is a crucial part of our future; the current UK government is focused on Environment and Climate Change Bills which will force companies to take steps to commit to a carbon-zero future.  

One way of ensuring a sustainable future is by educating children from an early age, starting at school age. Our younger generations are leading the charge on the environmental change as seen by activists such as Greta Thunberg. If we give children a head start with a progressive school environment, they can continue to lead the way as they grow. As modular building manufacturers, we are keen to play our part and seek every opportunity to build environmentally.  

Energy Efficiency 

Probably the greatest contribution is having a purpose-built energy-efficient modular building for your classroom needs. Our buildings are energy-efficient-for-life and represent an energy saving of up to 67% over more traditional construction methods.  

We can enhance benefits further by installing energy-efficient glass, solar panels, and many other eco-friendly features. As a result, not only is the actual construction of the building green, but the long-term running of the building is sustainable. 

You can see more about the sustainability of our modular buildings in our previous blog Are Modular Buildings Sustainable? 

Springfield has also led the way by installing PIR lighting (passive infrared) in all our buildings which ensures lighting is switched off when no one is present. The addition of LED bulbs throughout each and every light helps your classrooms reduce their energy usage overall. 

You can rest assured that Springfield is doing everything in their power to improve your green credentials and there are of course many, many things that schools can do to help further. 

Eco-Friendly Supplies 

Simple changes can be made such as using books made of recycled paper, and recyclable products, reusing paper and making sure both sides are used. 

Choosing other manufacturers that are also passionate about environmental improvement when purchasing can also have a dramatic impact, for instance, many products are now being manufactured from revised formulas using natural ingredients. Packaging is another area where great strides have been made with improved material choices to make it more environmentally friendly.  

Another easy choice is to switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products, check labels for warnings and avoid anything that is unsafe. There are several options for cleaning products made of natural products and companies can provide refill packs to avoid packaging waste.  

IT purchases are often overlooked but there are opportunities for eco-friendly choices here too. There are companies that specialise in refurbishing and recycling laptops, a great idea when you consider that the mining, manufacture, and production of a single laptop generates 316 kg of CO₂ on average, so as well as the financial savings, buying refurbished equipment can provide massive sustainability benefits and is a much cheaper option too. 

Get Outdoors 

Organise outdoor classes, and explain the effects of environmental issues in a setting where they can have more impact. Show children trees and plants, talk about animals, and explain the benefits of recycling in a way with which they can engage.  

Bring plants indoors; plants can be looked after by the children, teaching them about responsibility but also providing the additional benefit of purifying the air.  

Encourage walking to school when appropriate. This could be accompanied by an assembly about the benefits of walking or some incentive scheme. As well as the environmental benefits it also encourages healthy living for both body and mind. 

Encourage Recycling 

Having colour-coded recycling bins and teaching children about recycling is a great place to start. You can even take this a step further by introducing reusable water bottles and making star charts or other incentives for correct recycling.  

Add products such as bottle caps to a craft box, allow the children to add their own supplies and use products from the box in their art projects.  

Set up a programme in your school for last year’s school uniforms to be reused. Items that still have life left in them could benefit a family on a tight budget as well as encouraging giving clothing a new home. 

Environmental Learning 

Make your classroom a place for environmental learning at all times of the year, and read articles about pollution and climate change regularly. You can include child-friendly books in your classroom library that feature environmental topics.  

Children are more engaged when they can connect learning with their own lives, discuss their home recycling, and allow them to think of their own initiatives or do their own research projects.  

Food  

If you have the facilities, a classroom composting project can also help reduce food waste while teaching the children about waste and how to dispose of food waste in a way that helps the environment.  

Set up a vegetable patch where children can learn to grow their own food while also learning responsibilities. 

Introduce meat-free Mondays – talk to children about the environmental impact of their food and why even one day a week going meat-free can positively impact the environment. This can also be an opportunity to discuss healthy eating. The Meat Free Mondays schools programme can be a suitable place for resources.  

Encouraging children educationally and socially to engage with a sustainability framework can give them a life-long love of nature and a feeling of responsibility for the future. Adding a fun element is an essential part of keeping children interested and getting them to invest their time outside of the classroom. 

If you would like to know more about how Springfield Mobile can help you with your environmental concerns, contact us.

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