University of Florida

Sustainable Elementary School Tips

As children return to school, parents may scramble to buy last-minute supplies, coordinate rides for their children, and manage grocery lists. While all of these tasks are important, parents should also consider ways their children can make this school year more sustainable.

Help children become more “green” in the classroom and help protect the environment with the following sustainable tips for gradeschool children.  

  • Buy recycled or “green” school supplies, such as pencils, paper, and pens. You can also have children reuse school supplies from previous years and donate unwanted items.
  • Have children ride the bus to school or carpool with a nearby family.
  • Pack healthy school lunches for children, using reusable Tupperware to lessen waste.
  • Purchase refillable binders to save money and to reuse in the future. (Remember to use both sides of paper when taking notes, too.)
  • Help your child’s school become more eco-friendly by establishing a school waste-reduction or recycling program.
  • If your child has to buy a school lunch, tell them to only take as much as he or she needs.
  • Create a school garden to make your child’s school more sustainable—it can also be a fun way for students to learn and interact.
  • Remind children to turn off lights and unplug unnecessary appliances when leaving the classroom.
  • For school dances or events, borrow, rent, or reuse decorations from previous years.

While this list contains only a few ways elementary school students can be more sustainable, encourage your children to brainstorm other ways they can make this school year an eco-friendly one.

Adapted and excerpted from:

At School: Waste Reduction & Recycling for Students," United States EPA (Accessed 08/2014).

A Guide for Schools & Groups on Waste Reduction,” United States EPA (Accessed 08/2014).


Related Sites & Articles

Related Hot Topics

Popular Stories