These tips for zero waste schools are ideal to help leave a lighter carbon footprint. In fact, the fact that these buildings are likely larger, means the benefits are immense and payback time much shorter (for instance, a solar roof on a house takes year to pay back, but for a school, it won’t be long before it’s selling excess energy back to the grid). Leadership for Sustainability is a cry for schools to installed practices including those recognised by inspectors, for the benefit of all.
Green Teaching shows teachers how to introduce an awareness of the planet for young people, as part of the curriculum. Nature pedagogy encourages all educators to embrace eco-logical choices and to use nature as the location, resource and context for learning. The author draws on international research and case studies to offer a way forward, to embed green teaching to transform education.
- Ecoutfitters is the main UK brand of organic cotton school uniforms. It was set up by two mothers who wanted an alternative to crease-resistant Teflon coatings (toxic to birds, and harmful to health and the planet). It sells shirts, skirts and trousers, plus pinafore dresses and gingham dresses for summer, along with accessories like socks. Free from chemicals, these are ideal for children who wear their uniforms for at least 35 hours a week. Most school clothes are made from polycotton mix or plain polyester, a plasic made from crude oil that is not sweat-absorbent and does not allow skin to breathe. Many toxic coatings can trigger rashes and aggravate skin conditions like eczema.
- Sign up to Green Schools Project. This is a program that lets your school work through various projects, to help green up your school.
- Remarkable makes pens & pencils from discarded items. Use with recycled stationery.
- Most children at school now apparently drink bottled water, rather than tap. Install a Frank Water Cooler to serve filtered tap water, and profits help provide fresh clean water for children in India.
- Most school accidents happen at the gates, when lots of cars are congregated together. Set up safe routes to schools (which could include a walking bus, with volunteers either end. Use solar bus stops.
- Digital Frog is the gold-standard digital software, as an alternative to dissection. Taking frogs from the wild is cruel and dissected frogs are often covered in formaldehyde. Digital frog experiments can also be repeated over and over.
- Solar panels on school roofs have quick payback time, and some offer grants or loans. If you follow energy-saving advice, you can sell excess energy.
- Cyclehoop makes award-winning cycling parking spaces, which can fit more cycles into one place. Their Cycle Parking Rentals Scheme is used by councils nationwide, with items sold in 16 countries.
Zero Waste Pencil Pots & Cases
Zero waste pencil cases and pots are ideal, if you have lots of loose pencils and pens around, without need to buy a plastic or nylon case. As pencil cases are not usually washed, they are great ways to use up recycled plastic, as you don’t have to worry about microplastics breaking off in the machine, and going into the sea.
This organic cotton leaf pencil case is super-cute, and kind to the planet too. Beautifully shaped to look like a leaf, it will keep any child’s pens and pencils tidy and safe at home, or at school. Makes an ideal school gift. Made from 100% organic cotton canvas.
- These recycled newspaper pencil holders are the perfect way to add some rustic elegance to your desk. Also in a round version. As these are made from old newspapers, each one is unique, although you can ask for the most prominent colour preference, if wished.
- These pretty pastel pencil recycled pencil cases are made from cotton-off-cuts from the fashion industry. Made in Hampshire, everything is hand screen-printed using eco-friendly dyes and glues. See Heart & Parcel for matching file folders and office stationery.
- ‘Moody Hues’ Recycled Pen Pots are made from recycled board, and covered in cotton-off-cuts from the fashion industry. Made in Hampshire, everything is hand screen-printed using eco-friendly dyes and glues. In purple, midnight blue or forest green.
- This recycled cotton ‘London’ Pencil Case has a fun and colourful design, and is made from recycled cotton. London is aiming to be a zero waste city in a few years, so this is a great way to play your part.
- ‘I Used to be a Truck Tyre’ Pencil Case is a beautifully designed pencil case made from quality upcycled rubber. Waterproof, durable and long-lasting, this is handmade by local crafters and features original tyre markings and a distinctive brightly coloured zip (red or yellow). One tree planted for each sold.
Plant-Based Food for Schools
Plant Based Juniors Nut-Free Plant-Based Lunchbox is a super e-book to download, for any family or school that wishes to offer allergy-friendly meals and snacks for children. After discovering that their children’s schools were nut-free, they needed foods to replace the protein, fat, energy and minerals found in nuts, so created alternatives that are free of peanuts and tree nuts. The book also includes info on navigating nut-free schools and has tips to get children to eat what’s in their lunchbox. The recipes can be adapted for families with compound allergies.
Whitney and Alex are founders of the Plant-Based Juniors community, both registered dietitian nutritioniasts, and certified personal trainers. After developing thousands of recipes and writing cookbooks, they started this resource for families who want to raise plant-based nourished children. They also have written:
- The Plant-Based Juniors Pregnancy Guide that covers all you need with 175 pages of evidence-based advice, to make the best nutrition decisions, for your growing family.
- Plant-Based Juniors First Bites for all you need to know to raise and wean a plant-based baby and toddler. Includes a first foods visual guide, tips on calcium and iron, a shopping list and simple recipes.
- Batch Cook E-book is a book of easy recipes, including tips on making foods safe for younger children, to prevent choking hazards.
Plant-based Playground offers kid-friendly family recipes with colour photos and easy recipes and conversions. Recipes include:
- Box mac and cheese
- Shamrock shakes
- Meaty spaghetti
- Fluffy pancakes
- Tasty taquitos
- Chickpea nuggets
- Softserve nice Cream