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Waste Reduction at Schools

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Reducing waste is smart!  Schools can lower expenses and demonstrate life skills to students by focusing on waste reduction.  Here's how.

Print less. It sounds simple, but one of the best ways to reduce waste immediately is to reduce the amount of paper used for printing and copying.  Innovative programs exist now for communicating with students and parents by email and even text.  School websites can also be used to post essential documents.  Check with your school regarding the communications policy.  If it needs updating, please bring it to the attention of your school's administrators.

Take a process improvement approach.  Examining the work of a school through a lens of process improvement can bring significant savings in general, and reduce material waste in particular.  

Ask students.  They are often the best source of information on where to find waste.  Kids will be brutally honest when asked what they don't use and don't value.  Those are clues to where waste can be reduced.  You can even assign students the job of finding and making recommendations for reducing waste.  Projects like that a great way to teach basic economics and teamwork.

For more ideas, visit these sources.

EPA Link 

Environmental Protection Agency - Tools to Reduce Waste in Schools

The EPA offers a specialty webpage dedicated to reducing waste in schools.  A special guidebook shows schools and school districts how to start a waste reduction program or expand an existing ones.  Instructions for conduction a waste audit, for doing a feasibility assessment and for tracking progress are included, as are many other helpful tools. There are also links to related educational materials for all grade levels.  

 Florida Green School Network Link

Florida Green School Network

The network is supported by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as well as private organizations.  On its website you will find links to administrative and teaching resources on a variety of green topics, including Recycling and Waste Reduction.

 

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