There are a number of things that cause pollution in schools leading to the degradation of the environment. This include things such as exhaust fumes caused by old/faulty cars, print paper/ink, office waste, industries located nearby, mildew and mold, pesticides, toxins from furniture, floor coverings and paint among many other things.
These can cause problems to the environment which can lead to harmful effects at the end of the day.
It is possible to come up with green school initiatives which are normally successful if everyone is behind them including teachers, students and other staff. There are some tools that can be used for ecology in schools to motivate everyone to be part of the initiatives.
These are important as they can also be used to evaluate progress which will help celebrate the achievements that have been made so that students can continue working with the seven steps to a green school.
Prospect Sierra School is one of the schools that have used the footprint tool successfully. Students here were engaged with an analysis of how to reduce impact on the environment caused by the paper products purchased yearly.
Using the Paper Calculator that will be discussed below, they were able to realize the impact on environment the paper products they bought had. It also helped determine how many trees and how much energy would be saved simply by using paper products that have high recycle content. A cost benefit analysis was also conducted to develop a business case for utilizing recycled paper.
The online tools for students are important as they offer hands on experimental learning that is normally incorporated into social studies, environmental education, global issues and science curricula. These has resulted in:
- Enhanced critical thinking skills
- Improved student achievement
- Adults who are actively involved in taking care of their environment
- Nurtures children's ability to feel compelled to "do good" for the environment
Genera Footprint Calculators for the Environment:
Green Schools Quiz
This seeks to find out how green a school is. Taking the quiz will allows users to get the score that will determine whether the school is included among Green School Profiles to know if they are doing the best for ecology in schools.
Ecological Footprint Quiz
This answers concerns people have on the amount of nature needed for their lifestyle. This quiz helps to estimate the ocean and area of land that is needed to support consumption of food, services, goods, energy and housing as well as assimilates wastes.
Energy and Carbon Calculators:
The Cool School Challenge Classroom Carbon Calculator
This engages both students and teachers in some practical strategies that can be used to reduce CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and other green house gas emission in the school. It comes with a Classroom Toolkit that has easy step to step instructions and comprehensive calculator.
EPA Calculator for Schools
This helps students understand the importance of taking action at home when it comes to reducing impacts of changes in climate.
Green Schools Climate Change Carbon Calculator
This gives students instructions on how to gather data and analyze it. It was developed in Ireland by a company known as Repak recycling.
Greenhouse Gas Equivalences Calculators
This is ideal for people who are looking for the answers on how much CO2 emissions by a million metric tons means every single day. The calculator translates abstract measurements into some understandable concrete terms. For instance, it can be similar to avoiding CO2 emissions from about 183,000 cars every year.
http://www.eia.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=about_energy_conversion_ca (_US Energy Information Administration_)
These are simple calculators that can be used by kids in US to learn about greenhouse gas emissions from a number of things such as electricity, coal, crude oil and natural gas.
The Paper Calculator (by Environmental Defense Fund)
Using less paper, increasing use of recycled content and making other major/minor improvements can save water, energy, wood and cut solid waste and cut pollution. This calculator shows the impacts on environment of different types of paper across their lifecyle.
Waste Reduction Model (WARM)
This assists organizations and waste planners track and also voluntary report the greenhouse gas emissions reductions made from a number of waste management practices. This is available on Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and Web-based calculator.
Green Purchasing Calculators:
The Responsible Purchasing Network Calculators
The cost and benefit calculators are used to quantify results of purchasing responsibly. The Buying Guide can be used to help out in terms of more responsible purchases.
Water Footprint Calculators:
This helps to estimate how many gallons are wasted daily and yearly from leaky faucets. It is a pretty simple concept but it adds up to help engage in the best practices for ecology in schools. Data included is the number of leaky faucets and the number of drips per minute.
Water Footprint Calculator for Kids
Almost 95% of water print is hidden in the food a person consumes, energy used, services, products bought and water that is drunk, used for flushing and bathing. This helps estimate the water used.
The extended/quick calculator can be used to look at personal water footprint as well as national, global or corporate water footprints for other people.
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