Tips: Green is the New Black-to-School

girls recycling newspaperDuring the past decade, technology has greatly impacted the way that kids learn in a classroom. In addition to desktop computers and television, many schools now use tools such as video conferencing and tablet computers to help bring lessons to life.

With the incorporation of new technology in classrooms comes a greater demand on energy because tablets, wireless routers and computers require more electricity. In order to help prevent straining resources and the environment, it’s important to look for creative ways to “go green.”

For example, more and more teachers, administrators, parents and students are helping to move schools toward a more eco-friendly path by making a few small changes in their day-to-day habits. Here are some of them:

  • Place devices in energy saver mode. Using energy-saver mode lengthens a device’s battery life and decreases the need to plug in and recharge. Energy-saver mode is easy to locate on Mac OS X – just look under your system preferences. The feature is also available on Windows and on Google’s Chromebook. For tablets, both iOS and Android devices have timers to adjust how long the tablet idles before sleeping.
  • Give new life to old paper. Many students and teachers seem to agree that paper is the most used (and wasted) item in the classroom. A solution is to teach your children about paper’s relationship to the environment – that each sheet was once part of a tree – and to encourage children and their teachers to create less paper waste by flipping over pages to write on both sides, printing on both sides, making notepads out of misprints and avoiding double-spaced writing.
  • Carpool, walk, or take public transportation. Many people live within walking or biking distance to school or have opportunities to choose public transportation. If these options do not work for your family, you might choose to carpool with a neighbor or friend. The benefits of these options are substantial. In addition to saving money on gas, walking or biking provides exercise, and the use of public transportation or carpooling decreases traffic and air pollution.
  • Take advantage of school recycling programs. Many schools have a recycling program in place, often in conjunction with their town’s recycling program. Classrooms use a lot of plastic and paper – some of the most easily recycled materials – so properly disposing of these materials helps lessen the ecological impact of your children’s school.

Although these eco-friendly tips aren’t all-inclusive, they are a great start. As technology continues to become an ingrained part of daily life – including in your children’s classroom – such basic steps can help save energy and while teaching kids to make eco-conscious choices.

If you liked these tips on going green, learn how you can save another kind of green by investing in your child’s future with a Gerber Life College Plan.

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Categories: Parenting Tips
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