Global warming is not a problem created by higher powers, beyond our control. Rather, it is created by the individual choices we make every day. The choice to drive 2 minutes instead of having a quick walk. The choice to change the world is ours.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
On a personal basis, having been raised in an environmentally conscious family I do as much as possible to lessen my impact upon our planet. I bike to school every day and carry a lap top with me everywhere. This allows me to minimize my use of paper and conserve resources. When I do have to print something, I do so on 100% recycled paper. In addition, I print on both sides of paper. I encourage you to join me in saving out planet and combating the wastes of humanity. Specifically for teachers, here are a few ideas:
- Try to bike or walk to work if you can at least once a week. It will make you feel far more refreshed and prepared for the day ahead. If this is not viable, try taking public transportation or car pooling.
- Ensure there is a recycling bin in your room. Encourage students to use it.
- Give students the option of submitting work electronically. This will save paper and increase the number of assignments turned in on time.
- Publish publications (newsletters, announcements, grades) on a blog instead of printing them out for every student. Only make hard copies for families that specifically request them. (My school does this very well - daily announcements are published on the website, as well as quarterly grades behind a password system)
- Think outside of the box (and in the cloud)! Instead of having every student make a large poster board for a project, have students build a class wiki or web page to demonstrate their learning.
- Talk about the environment in class. Ask what students due to cut down their economic footprint. Tailor the discussion to the subject and age level you teach.
I urge you to consider the solutions above if you are an educator. I also recommend everyone calculates their carbon footprint and looks for ways to reduce it. Every single one of us is responsible for global warming and is responsible for finding a solution. We owe it to the planet, ourselves, and each other.
I wrote this post as part of Blog Action Day - a great method of leveraging the blogesphere for a worthy cause. While I hope you can take personal steps, a contribution to an enviromental organization is always welcome.