Summer is winding down, and kids are heading back to school. Educators are still swimming though—swimming through legions of lesson plans, memos, meetings, classroom decorating, student profiles, and new computer software that’s supposed to make life easier. With the pressure to leave “no child left behind,” preparing for state testing, and aspiring to earn high marks on district state report cards, recycling might not be at the forefront of a teacher’s mind. Regardless, many schools are going green because they recognize our children need a healthy world to work and function in as adults.
It’s easy to start a school recycling program. The Go Green Initiative is the premier source in lighting the path. Visit their website at http://www.gogreeninitiative.org to receive step-by-step instructions and essential tools for implementing a recycling program tailor-made for your school’s needs.
Make recycling a reason to celebrate at your school! Many teachers wait until spring to plan special activities around Earth Day on April 22. While Earth Day is widely recognized and the culmination of group efforts to keep our planet safe, clean, and healthy, many students have already “checked out” by then and may not retain the importance of the message. Start earlier in the school year by celebrating America Recycles Day on November 15. Initiated in 1997, America Recycles Day doesn’t address all components of environmental stewardship—the importance of recycling is its specifically targeted goal. Since America Recycles Day is more than 2 ½ months away, educators have ample time to organize lesson plans and events to kick-off the celebration. Since America Recycles Day is a subsidiary program of Keep America Beautiful, you can visit their website for ideas and to download a toolkit at http://www.kab.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ARD_Homepage
If your budget allows for the distribution of promotional products for your event, Target Marketing Group is the exclusive vendor of America Recycles Day materials http://recycledpromos.com/AmericaRecyclesDayMerchandise.aspx . Our products imprinted with the America Recycles Day logo include T-shirts, stickers, tattoos, buttons, pencils, sports bottles, and calendar magnets. You aren’t restricted to purchasing only items containing the America Recycles Day logo. We offer a host of recycled-content materials perfect for your students, such as rulers, coloring books, floral seeded or circuit board bookmarks, crayons, pencil boxes, tote bags, and a large variety of writing instruments www.recycledpromos.com .
America Recycles Day on November 15 is the key time to organize a recycling program in your school and to train and equip students with the knowledge they need to conserve our natural resources for a lifetime. The sooner you start shaping student behaviors with environmental programs like this one, the better the chance recycling will become an unconscious habit they will practice through adulthood. Reading, writing, and arithmetic have the prominent place in school curriculum, but leave a little wiggle room for going green to do your part to make the world a better place to live, work, and play.