Just like their students, teachers are getting ready to head back to school and are anticipating what the first day of classes will bring. Since several of our contributors are educators, we thought we’d focus on four areas teachers can choose better supplies for a greener school year.
1. Drink Up, The Earth-Friendly Way
Put shopping for stainless steel water bottles and coffee/tea containers on the top of your the back to school list. Alternatively, gather up your #1 Teacher mugs from years past and keep a stash of reusable mugs in your classroom or staffroom. Make a plan to ditch plastic water bottles and paper cups once and for all!
2. Use Pedal Power
Dump the daily car commute and get pedalling. Teachers can spend a lot of time sitting at desks or standing around a classroom. Treat yourself to a great pair of shoes and a back to school bicycle. You’ll get exercise, be a role model to your students, and contribute to reducing air pollution…doing the world all sorts of good before you even start the school day!
Fall brings with it the beginning of cold and flu season but stay away from hand sanitizers especially ones containing the antibacterial Triclosan which is linked to health problems as well as having adverse effects on the environment. Cleanliness is great but there’s simply no need to sanitize yourself. Use the Dirty Dozen Cosmetic list to help you choose non-toxic, unscented soap for your classroom; wash your hands frequently and encourage students to do the same.
4. Nourish Yourself
School days are full and between teaching addition, reading stories, marking assignments, recess duty and an impromptu meeting…some days it can be easy to forget to eat. Keep energy up by packing nut-free healthy snacks that can be eaten on the go, helping avoid the afternoon slump and search for staffroom sweets. Shop for the staples of your favourite snack recipes and keep them stocked in your pantry, ready to make at a moment’s notice.