10 Sustainability Ideas for Schools with Biome

First of all, congratulations! It's incredible that you've taken the initiative and consideration for the environment to reach out to brands like Biome for guidance on coming up with sustainability ideas for schools, pupils and teachers. We'd love to show you a few useful and sustainable school supplies that many teachers are introducing to their students and colleagues. We'll also include a few links to some sustainable school grants you can look into - we understand that making change is just that little bit easier with funding behind it. We don't want to keep you too long; unfortunately, the pile of work on your desk isn't going to grade itself!

Read on for 10 ideas on how to improve sustainability in schools!

1. Education


Like most things, education is the fundamental platform that ensures a sturdy foundation on which to build. Without it, students will not completely understand why they have to work in the school garden or why they have to travel an extra 20 metres to use the correct bin. The key to improving sustainability at school is achieving buy-in, and the only way to get buy-in or commitment is through educating, inspiring and motivating students (and maybe teachers at times). Begin with the life cycle of consumerism.

  1. Production
  2. Sale
  3. Disposal

Help your pupils understand that there is a solution to the damage we've caused and are causing, and it starts with something small; from there, the compounding impact has the potential to shift the direction of climate change. We understand that this article won't necessarily impact the stimulus that needs to be approved and regulated by the Department of Education. So we'll leave a few convenient links for you to peruse.

Sustainable Resources from the Department of Education


2. Correct Wastage Solutions

- Compost Bins

Correct Wastage Solutions

Food decomposes when it rots, producing methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas that is even more powerful and toxic than carbon dioxide (CO2). Controlling food waste should be at the top of our priorities if we truly want to combat global warming. There are several alternatives for getting started with compost at school: vermicomposting (worm bins), having a family volunteer add to their home compost, or collaborating with a local farm that accepts food waste.

- Recycling Bins

Providing recycling bins dispersed evenly and frequently throughout the school grounds will increase the convenience of correct wastage disposal. Recycling waste (that is recyclable) reduces landfill and methane emissions.

Pick up a Terracycle Recycling box to recycle supplies that aren't included in the council's recycling program. These are a great option for schools as the cost is shared amongst all the people who will be using it.

- Regular Waste Bins

Having the proper amount of regular waste bins will counteract littering and pollution. This must coincide with educating students to be diligent with disposing waste correctly.

- Donation Bins

For materials and miscellaneous products that can be donated or reused in the art room, Donation Bins can implore students and teachers to be resourceful and conscious of their impact on the environment. Read on for more sustainability ideas for schools!

3. Green Thumb Education

10 Sustainability Ideas for Schools

How can students be more sustainable at school? Idea number three - teaching them through the practice of gardening. Gardening is a science of life. The simple practice of nurturing living soil and plants provides kids with a foundation for comprehending fundamental concepts like birth, growth, maturity, death, competition, collaboration, and many more lessons that apply to human existence. Children encounter these concepts in a school garden through a learning approach that is rich and inclusive to a variety of learning styles. The impact teachers witness on a daily basis has now been backed by science: school gardens may assist our kids in achieving academically as well as emotionally.

4. Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

One of our recommended sustainability ideas for schools is evaluating the efficiency of all appliances. Understandably this is where sustainable school grants and funding may come in handy, which we will touch on below in idea No. 6. You may need an energy audit, but there are a few things you can do before you are approved to invest school budget in such a task.

  • Turn the lights off when they aren't utilised
  • Shut down all appliances after school hours
  • Shut doors, and conserve heat and energy
  • In future, only purchase appliances with high energy ratings

There are many other ways, and it could be a great team-building exercise to discuss this as a class or faculty.

5. Sustainable School Supplies

Sustainable School Supplies

Students burn (sometimes literally) through supplies like there's no tomorrow. And each year, teachers are given x amount of budget to replace these items, so why not go for more sustainable school supplies? Our Sustainable School Supplies Collection has a vast range of products that have been tried and tested rigorously to ensure they have absolutely no negative environmental repercussions.

6. Get Funding - Sustainable School Grants

Some tasks take initiative, dedication, leadership, passion, and compassion. Others take all of those things… and funding. Below is a great website that consolidates all of the sustainable school grants, sponsorships, competitions, awards and funds available to schools, both one-off and ongoing. Ceres School of Nature and Climate - Grants, Competitions, and Awards

7. Optimise and Reduce CO2 Travel

Optimise and Reduce CO2 Travel

Coming in at No. 7 of our sustainability ideas for schools is one that many schools have already identified often due to holding more budget to cater to such services. Realistically the only way to reduce CO2 emissions in relation to transport is through using school buses. This will reduce the number of vehicles travelling to and from school during pick up and drop off hours. With a student transport initiative, these Co2 emissions are significantly reduced. Granted, there will always be parents that cherish dropping their kids off at school but we all know the novelty wears off after a couple of years and having a convenient alternative usually leads to a positive and in this case, a more sustainable outcome. We use the phrase ‘more sustainable' because until there is a further development of green energy transportation, there is, unfortunately, an impact on the environment, even though it is significantly reduced.

8. Improving Water Wastage

Improving Water Wastage

There is a range of practices you can implement at your school to reduce water wastage. Once again, some may require funding or transferred budget, but there are a lot that can be rolled out over time in smaller increments. Let's take a look!

  • Replacing Appliances (that use water) with ones that have a more sustainable Water Efficiency Rating.
  • Installing Aerators Aerators cut down on the amount of water that comes out of the tap by up to 50%, while maintaining pressure. If you don't have an expert to do this for you, talk to your maintenance coordinator about installing or setting up the faucets with aerators at your school.
  • Identify Water Leaks and Hazards: A water leak can be a huge waste of water and can cause serious foundational damage to the school if not dealt with promptly.
  • Recycling water By installing rainwater tanks you can store water that would have otherwise come from the tap.
  • Education on Being Resourceful Educate students on the importance of saving water, instruct them to be diligent when running the tap, and teach them to use water bottles, not disposable plastic ones!
  • Raise awareness! Tell students to feel proud of what they are doing; this will encourage them to spread the word and continue the momentum.

9. Transition to Zero Waste for School Events

Transition to Zero Waste for School Events

School events, including fundraisers, fairs, sports carnivals and excursions, can be the direct source of bulk wastage. Look into constructing a zero-waste strategy in order to get your school events to a sustainable level. Factors a sustainable strategy may address:

  • Accurate quantities of food purchasing so there are no wasted leftovers
  • Using nothing but biodegradable products
  • Ordering the above products in bulk to reduce transport and delivery emissions and packaging
  • Selling pre-loved gifts, second-hand clothing, or slow fashion at the fair instead of unsustainable (plastic) products
  • Set the ‘See rubbish pick it up' and ‘take nothing but photos' rules on excursions

Once again, this may be a fun discussion and creative exercise to have as a class, events organisational team, or faculty.

10. Get Involved!

Get involved with the community! Register for events that positively impact the environment, including Earth Hour, tree planting, and community clean-ups! Every exertion of effort in the right direction is a step towards a cleaner future!

The First Step of Moving Towards Sustainability at Your School

You have achieved the first step in researching sustainability ideas for schools, and you are at the end of the article. Part two of this first step is having the conversation, either with the principal or the board. Keep the momentum and motivation going.

And remember, start with education, attain buy-in and commitment (and funding), and create change.

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