Easy Ways that Primary School Children can help the Environment

With Earth Day and the Go Green Initiative being recognized in primary schools, children in the 21st century are learning how to be environmentally friendly very early.  Learning about the environment is one of the first steps to becoming environmentally conscious.  

With teachers taking an active role in helping students understand the significance of saving resources and protecting the environment, children learn values that they will carry into adulthood. With so many ways to help the environment, anyone can do it, no matter how big or small.  Here are a few fun and easy ways primary school children can help the environment.

Have a contest

Kids love competitions.  To keep students engaged and involved, have a poster contest promoting environmentally-friendly school practices.  Display the winning poster in school hallways or the cafeteria.  Another great competition is to have students make art pieces out of recycled material.  See which child has the best recycled art.  Lastly, engage in a friendly trash reduction contest with another class. This is a great way to get both classes involved in reducing waste.

Recycle

This sounds simple enough but often younger children don’t think to put their yogurt containers in the plastic recycle bin on the way out of the cafeteria.  A simple reminder to students to use recycling bins can go a long way.  Fourth grade students at Franklin Elementary School in Massachusetts have a recycling area that gets good use, from cardboard and books to bottles and other containers.  Every Friday they weigh the paper and count the containers they have collected for the week.  As an added learning activity students graph the information to keep track of their progress. 

Grow a Garden

Planting a garden on school grounds is great for hands-on learning.  Planting can help school children connect with the world that’s just outside of their window.  Consider also a short trip around the school grounds which provides the opportunity to introduce students to native plants.  If getting outside just isn’t feasible then bring nature indoors.  It’s easy to make containers out of recycled items for planting.

Re-Use

Encourage children to reuse everyday items.  Primary school children love to draw.  Remind them to use paper on both sides and make use of scrap paper.  Another environmentally fun activity is to have students bring a plastic milk jug to school and turn it into a bird feeder.  Simply cut a strip out of the side opposite the handle, fill the jug with birdseed, and place it in a protected spot outdoors. 

Start a Team

Organize an Eco-Monitor team. This is a team of students who would be responsible for saving energy at the school. Kids love to feel important so make it official by providing them with a sash or badge that identifies them as part of the team.  The group would be tasked with reminding students and faculty to be environmentally conscious by recycling, turning off unused lights, and a number of other energy saving activities.

These fun ideas will help children develop a connection to the environment through both experience and learning.   Teachers take an active part in saving the environment just by teaching students how to be good stewards of the earth.  After all, the fundamental skills they learn today will be planet-saving in the future.