Eco-friendly policies are a must-have for businesses worldwide and, really, schools are a type of business. Due to the general public becoming increasingly wary about their schools having a high environmental impact and with climate change targets being set in legal stone; we must now strive to be more environmentally friendly, lest we suffer the consequences.
This is the third of a series of industry-focused guides about measures you can take to be a lean, green school and hopefully save some cash!
The demand on schools in the UK is getting ever higher and the pressure is on to find ways to save money. Whether this is so you can redistribute the funds elsewhere, benefit your pupils as much as possible or simply tighten the purse strings. According to Gov.org statistics, the number of pupils requiring places in state-funded schools had risen to 8.4 million by the end of the 2014-15 academic year. But with a mere 24,317 state-funded schools available to cater for this demand, it’s no wonder budgets are strained.
By becoming increasingly eco-conscious, schools can significantly cut down on their outgoings.
So how can your classroom become eco-friendly?
Smart extension lead: Throw single sockets out with the old and bring smart extension leads in with the new this term. These multiple-socket power strips prevent the flow of electricity from turned off appliances, reducing your carbon footprint. You may also impress the parents; many smart power strips are now available in sleek wall-mounted designs allowing you to control the device via a wireless remote or mobile app! Although they’re a little pricier than the next best extension lead, you’ll soon start to see the benefit when you’re saving money on your school’s energy bill.
Turn down the heat and let in the breeze: We’ve not reached winter just yet, so turn off the heating or air conditioning units and open the windows when the weather is nice. Enjoy the fresh air! This will not only reduce your usage, but research conducted by the University of Rochester in 2010 suggests the fresh air increases energy in 90% of people, keeping those little ones focused and ready to learn!
Power Down: Printers, scanners, photocopiers and other equipment used intermittently should be set to sleep mode or be switched off when you don’t need them. Remember to shut down your computer before you leave, this can easily reduce energy consumption by nearly 40 per cent according to Rainforest Alliance (2015).
Keep the air circulating: Be sure to keep the classroom clutter free, especially in the vented areas.
FACT: Did you know that books and bulky items absorb the air circulated by vents and cooling units? Meaning those nasty back-to-school bugs, germs, bacteria and smells have no room to escape, and continue to circulate around the classroom.
A small leak can sink a ship: Stop the heat leaking out through the windows. Create a lesson where students can manage designated areas of energy loss, allow them to create ‘draught meters’ made from thin plastic wrap and pencils, and task them to source the heat-loss zones using their handmade draught meters. Remember to report any major leaks.
Lights out, all out! A good old-fashioned “Turn off the lights” campaign can work wonders, teach the children the benefits of turning off the lights, and challenge them to make posters that can be displayed around the classroom. Did you know that lighting typically uses over 25% of the energy used in a school? If you’re looking for ways to save energy and save money on your energy bill, you can find great tips from the Love Energy savings infographic, simply click to view: http://bit.ly/1hrC0Dn
Alternatively Love Energy Savings advices businesses to check their energy tariffs to ensure their on the lowest energy tariffs, you can easily compare business energy tariffs in just 60 seconds here!