Your child spends about a third of his life inside school walls. And that’s just in a typical school day. Add to that any time spent in extra curricular activities, sporting events, club meetings, or (even detention!) and it can work out to half or even more. So it makes sense to take steps to make sure your child's school is a greener, healthier, more interesting place to be. Here's how:

  1. Start a green team: Help your child join forces with other eco-savvy students to form a Green Team that evaluates the school’s environmental programs and brainstorms innovative ways to improve them.  Green Team members can initiate a school recycling program, present environmental education workshops in other classrooms, or lobby the school board to replace existing light bulbs with energy-saving CFLs.
  2. Skip the supplies: Before you head to the store to buy new pencils, notepads, and binders for school, check to see what’s hiding in your desk drawer from last year. Borrow or rent equipment (like musical instruments or sports gear) that your child will only use a few times.
  3. Ban bus idling: If your child rides a bus to school each day, he may be exposed to dangerous levels of pollution.  Check out this post on the dangers of bus ilding and make sure your school has a policy in place to ban it.
  4. Go paperless: Encourage your child as well as teachers and other school staff to go paperless whenever possible at school. Ask teachers if they will accept assignments turned in via email or on disk instead of on paper. School announcements and meeting minutes could be distributed via email. Daily lunch menus could be printed on a chalk or dry erase board
  5. Clean up: Does your school use a bucket load of chemical cleaners to clean and disinfect classrooms? If so, ask them to make a switch to eco-friendly cleaners that are better for the environment and non-toxic for the students, teachers, secretaries, and administrators, that spend their day there. Order the free Green Clean Schools guide from the Healthy Schools Campaign and hand it over to your school administrator.

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