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An enviromentally friendly classroom? 
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 1:31 pm
Posts: 2
Post An enviromentally friendly classroom?
What do you do to keep your classroom an enviromentally friendly one?

My class is a conversation class in junior high school. The students are not tested on the material we do in my class, and there is no homework.

This year I have photo copied conversations that I want to practice in class from other textbooks, but I do not allow the students to keep these. We use them for a short portion of class and then move on to another activity. I reuse the sheets each week in each of my 4 classes, so instead of making 138 copies, I only make 35.

When I feel that the students understand the conversation and no longer need the pictures that are on the larger sheets I make little dialog and vocab sheets that they can use instead of the larger paper - 4 of these will fit on an A4 sheet (back and front). These they can keep. Most students actually like holding these smaller `hint sheets` more than the larger papers since they are so small. I also find that students look up at their partner more than only at their larger sheets.

I am just wondering; what other ideas people have to make thier classroom more enviromentally friendly?


Mon May 24, 2010 1:56 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
In general I just try to reuse everything that I can. Like you said make one set of copies that you use with several groups. I also laminate my cards and games so they are sturdier and I can use them for years. My oldest set is 8 years old and still looks pretty good.

While there are a lot of items that promote themselves as protecting the environment, please think about it before you purchase one these and make trash of what you already have (and can probably still use.) The use of plastic items and technology might be more harmful to the environment than more paper. Think about how much plastic and non-biodegradable pieces are in these items: projectors, screens, smart-boards, monitors and all of the notebook computers (possibly a second computer) used to control these. There's so much energy and waste used just to produce these items as well. To be honest, I think the old blackboard, some chalk and more printouts is probably better for the environment.

I'm certainly not a saint. I have a white board and all of the plastic pens that you need to write with, as well as many other non-ecofriendly items that will make it to the trash can far sooner than they should. I just try to reuse what I can for as long as I can, buying ink refills, putting up with poorer performance instead of trashing it and buying a new one. I also try to find new uses for items or sometimes refrain from throwing them away so that I don't have room for more stuff.

Here's a very sad, but powerful video on the great Pacific trash island and all of the plastic trash that's never going to go away.

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Mon May 24, 2010 10:26 pm
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