The timely debate about living an eco-friendlier lifestyle is affecting all industries and has also reached schools. Teachers and parents are discussing ways to use greener resources while teaching children how to do the same. But they’re not alone and various education news UK websites and blogs are reporting about this hot topic too such as the UK Education Blog, which also covers current Ed Tech trends.
Under UK Human Rights Laws, Veganism is a protected philosophical conviction. Because of that, schools need to give every parent the right to provide an education for their children that’s in line with their personal and moral beliefs and this is not limited to their home.
Vegan families are a growing group voicing their concerns about a large proportion of teaching materials containing animal products or being tested on animals. Because of their lifestyle choices, they also care more about the use of sustainable and eco-friendly products in the classroom.
7 Practical Green and Clean School Equipment Solutions
Many are probably not aware that mostoffice and school supplies contain various animal products or have been tested on animals to ascertain how toxic they are. This ranges from whiteboard markers to the classroom boards and various other classroom items.
At the forefront of this endeavour should be to create an awareness of when and where children may encounter non-vegan or unsustainable items at school. Teaching staff and parents can work with the students to find cruelty-free and earth-friendly alternatives to common classroom items. Because talking about Veganism in the classroom means to also discuss ways to be eco-friendlier.
Many schools now follow an agenda to go green and there are a lot of environmental benefits that can derive from switching to vegan alternatives. The environmentally friendly nature of the vegan diet is one key example, but switching to green, cruelty-free class suppliescan reduce the overall waste output of the school and improve its ‘recyclability.’
It is therefore vital that schools and families work together to achieve this goal. Everyone involved, including the students, should try to suggest practical solutions that can benefit the school and wider community as a whole.
Being involved and helping to inform others is the best way to enact change within the school community and beyond. So, take the outlined green and vegan school equipment options into account for the use in your classroom and school:
1. Bamboo Rulers over PlasticRulers
Plastic rulers and pencil cases contribute so much unwanted waste to the school environment and even in the homes of families with children. Bamboo options will not only reduce plastic in the classroom, but will also reduce plastic waste, as plastic rulers are notoriously fragile, and we already have a huge plastic waste problem at hand!
2. Choose your School Equipment Brands wisely
Plenty of high street stationary titans like Staplesdo not yet offer the eco-friendlier office supply options that brands like Staedler for example do, which are also completely cruelty-free. Switching to these brands when ordering school supplies won’t hurt your budget, or any animals!
3. Humane Pest Control in School
Pest control is a vital part of running a school and children should not perceive insects or rats as enemies. They should rather learn that there are cruelty-free insect-catchers for the classroom to catch pests humanely, and demonstrate to children that life is valuable in the adequate places.
4. Cruelty-free Hygiene Options
Hygiene in the classroom is paramount, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. Switching to cruelty-free and eco-friendly hygiene and cleaning products can reduce the carbon footprint of the classroom and stop harmful chemicals from being released into the environment while keeping the students safe!
5. Find Alternatives to any Plastic Products
If you take the time to analyse how many items in the classroom or even the whole school are made of plastic, you will realise the true extent of this operation. Common plastic school equipment includes plastic whiteboards, plastic toys, plastic storage boxes and many more. Being aware of this will help to purchase more sustainable alternatives such as glass whiteboards or wooden toys. These will last longer and are therefore also more cost-effective in the long-term.
6. Art Supply Alternatives
Many arts and crafts items are known for including animal products, but there are so many cost-effective cruelty-free options available such as recycled paper, wooden paint brushes etc., so the use of animal products in art supplies is easily improvable!
7. Update Filing Solutions
Using paper cinches instead of staples and selecting recyclable plastic wallets are excellent practical ways to keep your classroom organised in an eco-friendly way.
Although teaching staff and parents can’t control every aspect of the school environment and equipment, it is worth taking the time to take stock of how the school is trying to go green and where this can be improved. Making small changes, and being involved, informed and aware can definitely help this important good cause. By implementing a few of the listed small, cost-effective ideas, communities can reduce the harm that is done to animals and the environment!
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