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How Can You Help Your Child's School Go Green?

So, you and your family have gone green. Your home is energy efficient, you use public transportation, and you make full use of your town's recycling programs. So what is the next frontier? Take your environmental savvy to the classroom -- give your child's school a lesson on going green!

Q: What emphasis should schools give to environmental education?

Highest. Our survival as a species depends on it!

Strong.

Medium.

Low.

It's too political. Leave it out of the curriculum.

View Results

The first and most important step in going green at your kid's school is to get others involved. It's much more difficult, if not impossible, to make significant, lasting change on your own. Identify one person within the school system who can champion the environmental cause at your side. There are probably already teachers or administration members who are as concerned as you are about their school's impact on the environment. Try asking your children whether they know of any teachers (perhaps a science teacher) who might be interested in helping you out. Form an environmental committee with other parents, students, officials, and townspeople. If your child's school has a Parent Teacher Association (PTA/PTO), schedule time during one of the association's meetings when you can present your concerns to its members. One way of doing this is to produce your own multimedia presentation (like Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"), sharing your knowledge of the science and ethics of global warming and other environmental issues. It's important that people understand the pressing reasons for making the school eco-friendly.

Once you've built your support base, keep environmental concerns fresh in the minds of those involved with the school system. To keep students involved, you might hold a student poster contest promoting environmentally-friendly school practices. Make copies of the winning posters and display them in prominent locations on school walls. If you've formed a committee within the school, encourage the members to continually monitor the school's use of resources, and the possibilities for making the school greener. When an environmental issue arises in local or national news, make sure that the school community is aware of what's going on.



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