Start walking to school if the roads are safe. On nice sunny days why not ask your friends to walk with you? Walking together in a group to school could be much more fun. That way you can all get some exercise and reduce your car emissions.
Cycle as much as possible (if it’s safe!). If you live near your friends and your school, rather than having your parents drop you off, why not cycle there? It’s good for the environment and your body. Make sure you wear a helmet!
Try carpooling with your friends if you cannot walk or ride your bike. If you and your friends are all going to the same place, ask your parents if you can all ride together. This will reduce the number of cars on the road and will also make the trip more fun!
Ask your teachers to talk to your class about climate change. What is it? Why is it happening? How can you help? This will help you and your friends understand what is going on in the world around you.
Think about your school. What can you do to make it more environmentally friendly? You can ask for eco-friendly light bulbs. You can ask your teachers to print on both sides of the paper, rather than one. Maybe you can even request toilet tissues made from recycled paper.
Bring climate change to the classroom. If you have flexibility on a research topic or paper, why not pick climate change? You may learn something and will definitely enlighten your classmates!
Bring your own lunch and pack it in reusable boxes. Not only can you control what you are eating, but you can reduce your waste by packing it in your own lunchbox or thermos.
When taking notes or doing homework, make sure you use both sides of your paper. You’ll use much less this way!
Ask your teachers if you can plant a garden. If you pick out the right seeds and treat them well, you’ll be growing your own plants, fruits and vegetables in no time!
Organise a school clean-up programme. Rather than going home to watch TV, take an hour with friends to help pick up the litter around your school. It will make everything look nicer and give you a bit of exercise, Just make sure you confirm with your parents and teachers that it is okay to stay late!
Think about your Transition Year. There are probably plenty of great ways you can spend it combating climate change! Talk to your teachers about research projects, volunteer programmes, and study tours that would help you to learn more about what you can do to change.
The best way to make a difference at school is to try to get the whole school involved. This may seem like a big task, but there are organisations that can help. If your school is not already involved in environmental initiatives, ask your teacher or principal if the school could get involved in the Green School’s programme.
The An Taisce Green Schools Programme (Scoileanna Glasa) is an international environmental education programme that is run all over the world. Thousands of schools in Ireland are currently taking part in the programme and many have been awarded the Green Flag. To go to the Green Schools Ireland website follow this link: http://www.greenschoolsireland.org/.
The environmental education unit of An Taisce is currently developing a green-flag programme for third level colleges and universities called Green-Campus. For more information go to this link: http://www.greencampusireland.org/.
Green Schools focus on the following themes:
- Litter and waste
Climate change affects all of these issues, as well. Find out more about Green Schools at ENFO Kids.
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