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Ways to Educate Kids and Schools for a Better Environment

Now that summer is here and the kids are out of school, it is the ideal time for parents and kids to get serious about our environment and keeping it a safe and beautiful place. According to a recent article in THE Journal by Chris Riedel entitled, "Green Schools: The Color of Money" school districts have finally discovered that going green can mean financial rewards. It is not just about turning off lights, changing light bulbs or shutting off idle computers -- it is about rethinking the way things are done at every level from companies, to schools, or even at home.

Schools need to analyze everything from natural gas and electricity use to heating and air conditioning systems, along with maintenance and construction procedures. It is important for any organization to develop long-term plans. The Taunton Public Schools called in a group known as Energy Education, who helps develop energy conservation programs for U.

S. school districts with the goal of converting dollars spent on energy to dollars spent on education. Tis group was retained to help find ways to decrease its energy consumption and their bottom line.

One interesting example mentioned in the article; typical school vending machines cost up to $450 a year to run, but by using a motion sensor that shuts down the machine's compressor when there is no activity, schools can save up to two-thirds with each machine, and most schools districts have from 40 to 50 vending machines. The Energy Education program helped Taunton save more than $660,000 in energy costs in just two years, including costs on electricity, natural gas, water and fuel. Everything from disabling vending machine lights to managing irrigation played a role in savingsand our environment. Students in schools across the country are also beginning to get the message about taking responsibility for helping to save our environmental. To help parerets out, following is a list of environmentally inspired websites for kids to take a look at this summer: Environmental Education for Kids is an online magazine for grades four to eight created by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which has short articles and activities about animals, and plants. - EPA Student Center - This Environmental Protection Agency site includes information on a wide range of environmental issues.

Kids can click on "Fun Activities" to play environmental games. - Be, Live, Buy Different - A project of the World Wildlife Fund and the Center for a New American Dream, the site was created to inform young people about how everything we buy and use affects biodiversity. Take the Buy-O-Diversity Quiz! - The Green Squad - An NRDC website that's also available in Spanish shows you how to identify and solve environmental problems. You can can explore a colorful virtual school room by room, and use the mouse to locate potential hazards.

Teachers and parents will find the site useful as it offers a wide range of resources. - The Greens - Izz and Dex are green animated characters that not only have green skin, but they have lots of great ideas about protecting the planet. Visit this site to watch short cartoons about environmental issues Nature Challenge for Kids. Nature Challenge for Kids - a David Suzuki Foundation website place for all kinds of fun activities starting with ten simple ways you can protect nature. Remember to join community projects this summer in your town to help pick up garbage at the beach, or simply at a nearby park. Teaching our children about the importance of the environment is a job that both parents and teachers must share -- at home and at school.

Author and social media marketing professional, Kristin Gabriel works with Rocco Basile of the the Basile Builders Group based in New York. Basile is involved with several education-based charities including Children of the City and the Joe DiMaggio Committee for Xaverian High School.

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Ways to Educate Kids and Schools for a Better Environment - Summertime is here and kids are out of school, so it is the perfect time for parents and kids to get serious about our environment and keeping it a safe and beautiful place to enjoy for many years to come.


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