HomeImprove Your SchoolVolunteering & Fundraising

Extreme makeover: green schools edition

Put an environmental spin on your kids' education with these eco-friendly tips for schools.

By Karina Kinik

« Previous Page 2 of 7 Next »

Breath of fresh air

Looking for an easy way to get your kids active while reducing pollution? Encourage them to bike or walk to school (assuming they have access to safe routes.) If you’re nervous about letting them go it alone, get other families involved by organizing regular walk- or bike-to-school days.

If public transit or busing isn’t an option and you need to drive your kids to school, turn off your engine during extended drop-offs and pickups. Vehicle exhaust from idling engines not only releases carbon dioxide into the air but also pollutants that can trigger asthma attacks in children — one of the leading causes of school absenteeism — and contribute to chronic bronchitis and other diseases. (Scary stat: University of Cincinnati researchers found that more than 30% of U.S. public schools are in "air-pollution danger zones" because of their proximity to major highways.) Talk to other parents about the dangers of greenhouse-gas emissions and launch a school-wide no-idling campaign.

Karina Kinik is an associate editor for GreatSchools.

Related articles

Comments from readers

"Going green in MPS is ridiculous! The cooks use cardboard trays, plastic wrapped plastic utentsils, recently started using plastic cups for the fruit cocktail. The teachers NEVER shut off the coatroom lights during the day. Staff wastes more copy paper than one can imagine. They also use brown paper towels to wipe up milk spills in the rooms (they eat breakfast in the rooms everyday). How can we teach our children to go green when the school doesn't do it? Also, the concept of 'single sort' recycling hasn't caught on with the staff. They still believe that we have to 'divide' the recyclables. We don't! Oh yes, the cooks will use the excuse that they don't have enough staff or time to wash the plastic reusable trays!"