Did you know that you have the tools to help ensure a learning environment for your students that is healthy and enhances academic performance? Did you know that almost everything you do that has a positive effect on personal health can also help protect the health of the environment? Read on to learn more about the changes you can implement, big and small, that will ensure your students have the type learning environment they deserve.
- Request and purchase environmentally-preferable supplies such as binders, markers, and other art supplies. Look for products that don’t contain PVC’s, BPA, or phthalates, as these off-gas and have been shown to have negative long-term health effects. Instead of plastics, purchase supplies and manipulatives made of natural materials and recycled content. Not only will you benefit from the beauty of natural materials, but you will also avoid potential toxins.
- Advocate for the use of paints and other finishes that are no or low VOC (volatile organic compounds). Again, avoiding these substances can, not only reduce instances of asthma and other respiratory problems, but can also reduce the potential for other diseases later in life.
- When making larger purchases, like furnishings, advocate for sustainably sourced products, such as FSC-certified wood to minimize your carbon footprint. Request products made with glues and finishes that contain little or no-VOC’s to avoid fumes and off-gassing.
- Lastly, educate parents to let them know about the changes you have made in the classroom. Provide families, not only with the what and the how, but also share with them the impact these changes will have on their children’s health and well-being.
As an educator, you have a tremendous opportunity to positively impact your classroom and school. Not only can you provide your own students a healthy and sustainable classroom environment, but you also have the ability to set an example and pave the way for others to do the same. Download our catalog to learn more about how you can give your students the chance to learn in a green and healthy school.