Address425 Pine Creek Court, Elkhart, IN 46516
Call us574-294-5797

Sustainability in Schools: 4 Eco-Friendly Practices to Implement for Earth Day

March 5, 2024by Global Ozone

A single school wastes over 30,000 pounds of plastic each year, two-thirds of which will end up in the ocean (most likely contributing to Trash Island). As we prepare the next generation academically, we also need to teach them how to care for the Earth so that they can leave it better than they found it. 

How can you set an example for your students? By walking the walk. Rather than teach students about sustainability, create an environment that intentionally chooses eco-friendly options as often as possible. By the time that your science teachers get to their unit on sustainability, students will already be immersed in the concept and can take their understanding to the next level. 

Here are some sustainable changes you can make to your school that will reduce your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment. 

Embrace Sustainable Water Bottles

Every year, Americans purchase over 50 billion single-use water bottles, most of which will end up in the ocean. 

Are the big metal reusable water bottles a bit loud when they fall off of desks? Sure. Are your students thinking of them as more of a status symbol than a way to reduce plastic waste? Probably. But, you can’t deny that the latest trendy water bottle is much better for the Earth than single use plastic bottles

Encourage reusable water bottles on both your school supply lists and in the infrastructure of the school. For every vending machine where students can purchase a single bottle of water or soda, make sure you also have a water bottle refill station. Even when students choose to refill their empty single-use bottles, that’s one less bottle that ends up in a landfill. 

Make Lunch More Sustainable

After eliminating as many single-use water bottles as you can, start to identify other single-use plastics in your school. The first place to look: the lunch room. Do students eat with disposable silverware? Are salads served on a reusable tray or in a plastic to-go box? And are your hot lunches served on a styrofoam plate? 

These disposable items quickly add up. Each student eating with disposable products will create 67 pounds of plastic waste by the end of the year. If you’re looking to reduce waste, the lunchroom is the first place to trade out your single-use products. While there might be some up-front costs, over time the school district will ultimately save money by keeping a supply of reusable serveware for students to eat with. 

Raise Awareness 

Plastic is such a constant in our lives — to the point where we hardly think about how much waste we create every day. To put sustainability top of mind, encourage teachers to make a classroom plastic journal. Each time a student or teacher uses and disposes of a single-use product, they’ll document it in the journal. In less than a week, everyone will be more conscious of their carbon footprint and their reliance on plastic products — and start to see the sustainable alternatives at their fingertips. 

Reconsider Health & Safety Measures

Covid completely changed school sanitation practices (for the better). But it may have also increased our reliance on plastics. In order to prevent the spread of germs through shared items, we’ve created a lot more waste than necessary. Rather than cutting out reusable supplies (like lab goggles and gym equipment), look for eco-friendly disinfectants to make sure your school environment is safe for students. 

The Sports-O-Zone sanitizing system is the most sustainable way to sanitize your school supplies. Instead of wiping down shared items with chemicals or single-use wipes, you just place them in the machine, where all-natural ozone gas will eliminate germs from your supplies. In just 30 minutes, you’ll be able to safely redistribute your supplies to students.

Here are just a few ways that Sports-O-Zone can reduce your school’s carbon footprint: 

  • Eliminate single-use plastic bottles of cleaning products 
  • Reduce the use of single-use wipes
  • Reduce reliance on chemical disinfectants that can leach into the water supply 
  • Disinfect school supplies gently so they last longer

Do you want to do your part to make the Earth a safer place? Learn more about Sports-O-Zone’s trusted, eco-friendly disinfection systems.