If I’d ever be a student council president again, here’s what I’d do with my time and funds to green my school––aside from the usual waste management and turn-off-the-lights-when-not-in-use campaign:
If our school has a roof deck, we’d rally (using recyclable placards, of course) for a roof deck garden. The first rule of green thumb is simply to Plant More Trees.
Just so these gardens don’t only satisfy aesthetic requirements, we’d have someone train the janitors, security guards, and personnel on urban farming. This way, they can also sell the products and make a livelihood program out of it. For example, the Unilab Ideas Positive Contest grand winner, team BIGGKAS from University of Asia and the Pacific, launched its hydroponics gardening project.
Change the lights to Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) one classroom at a time. These CFLs might be more expensive to buy, but more can be saved from electricity charges.
If we can’t make the main caterer go full-on organic, we’d look for someone to invest in putting up a certified organic food stall. We no longer want genetically modified organisms and toxic chemicals in our food.
We’d run an ad campaign promoting the use of our own water jugs, to lessen plastic bottle waste.
We’d ask our teachers to use an online collaboration tool for a classroom setting, such as www.edmodo.com. Readings and announcements can be posted online. This will avoid the need for excessive photocopying, which saves paper, fossil-fuel energy, and money! Even grading can be conveniently done online, too.
We shall encourage the use of biodegradable pens and recycled paper for note-taking.
We can fix the carpool system. Those who reside in the same area can take one car instead of five. We reduce carbon emissions and traffic jams in an instant.
We would organize a week for vehicle emission testing, and have the school implement a strict policy about prohibiting smoke belchers from entering the campus, even the parking lot.
We would write a letter to the janitorial department to use nontoxic, all-natural, and biodegradable supplies, such as Messy Bessy.
Bonus: We’d also get the freshmen to use the stairs, if they’re only going up or down one floor. It lessens your carbon footprint and tones your calves, too.