Becoming green is a journey of a thousand miles that begin with a single step: education. Here, we can share the stories, ideas, and resources that keep us going.

Dream Green

Jason Flom 5th grade teacher in Tallahassee, FL

Imagine for a second there are unlimited funds, no red tape, and a fully supportive staff and administration. ("Calgon, take me away" right?)

What's a "Blue Sky" green project would you love to see at your school, in your classroom, or in your district?

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My 'blue sky' project is

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My 'blue sky' project is simply to get EVERY BODY (teachers, janitors, administrators and students) to understand the impact of their every day purchasing choices and become better earth-friendly consumers (not buying items with wasteful packaging).

Also wish for EVERYONE to separate their waste properly. Properly labeled bins are already available, but for some reason, most people don't even seem to notice the sign's. Hoping everyone will begin to separate their waste into the proper waste receptacles. With everyone recycling and composting the majority of waste, there'd be very little buried into landfill's.

I'm already in the process of creating a children's book on the subject (well it's a bit different, because it is all about the kid's creating this movement where the momentum just build's and grow's from community to community, and only then do the adult's finally accept the fact that there is a lot they can learn from the children, too).

Hopefully everyone will someday just do the right thing. Making this world a much better place, filled with the type of wisdom our earth deserves. That's my ultimate wish. ♥

High School Language Arts /AP teachers

"blue sky" dream project

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I agree with what Chantal wrote and would love to simply see, at the most basic level, clearly placed and utilized waste receptacles.

But on a grander scale, my dream would be to have natural day lighting in all classrooms. I just recently had a couple solatubes installed in my house, specifically one in my previously dark office, and what a difference!! I LOVE it! I never have to turn on a light during the day, and my mood and the whole feel of the room is improved. I can just imagine what would happen to my classes with this natural lighting. Now THAT is my dream. : - )

5th grade teacher in Tallahassee, FL

Solatubes?

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Solatubes sound fascinating. Simple and high impact. I wonder if they make industrial strength ones . . .

High School Language Arts /AP teachers

Solatubes

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Well, they do put them in classrooms; I asked. The lights can come with dimmers, so that the teacher can adjust the light according to lesson needs (i.e. using overhead projector, movie, etc.). Regular lights can also be installed within them so that on cloudy days, or with out sun, lighting is still possible. Again, I wish I had them in my classroom. I would simply love to do a study on how the students are affected by the change in lighting.

I've had solatubes in two

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I've had solatubes in two different places in my home and yes, they are wonderful!
My husband got hold of a very old video featuring the Dr. Ott who created Ott lights - they are full-spectrum lights as close to real daylight as you can get - and he showed dramatic improvements in students' attention and behavior when they were not subjected to florescent lights, which are used in most classrooms. The improvements were especially remarkable in students diagnosed with ADD.

Science Teacher, grades 3-6 in Washington DC

Science Coordinator N-6, Science Teacher 3-6

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I agree with Chantal's comments and am so perplexed about WHY people don't properly sort their recyclables/trash etc. We have that same problem at my school and have tried to re-educate everyone using peer instruction, student-made signs, a funny skit in an assembly, and yet, every day I pull out soda cans from the trash (must be from teachers) and trash trash from the recycling bins! The only thing that seemed to have an impact, at it was short-lived, was having students inventory each trash can/recycling bin for correct sorting during a Green Challenge month. Any ideas?

curriculum

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Any resources around 'Green' curriculum??

Have any of you tried to integrate 'Green' into all the subjects? I need some stories for the 'How to' integrate 'Green' into my classes.

Thoughts?

Director of NY Sun Works

Lights and Curriculum

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I agree that the fluorescent lighting can be quite harsh. Some special needs populations are greatly affected by these lights. For example, I know of a few children with Asperger's who have hypersensitive ears and sight and they are driven to extreme discomfort by the sound and intensity of the light.

As far as how to integrate "green" into your lesson plans, Kerry, please check out the EPA's resource page below:

http://www.epa.gov/education/eepubsEPA.htm#resources

I would like to start a Green Curriculum discussion group so we can all contribute ideas!

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