We are always looking for more ways to be eco-friendly and make the best choice for the planet and our future, and sometimes, the best way to do that is to introduce new solutions to everyday waste! Our specialists here at Young Equipment have 4 environmentally friendly, low-waste solutions to reduce your carbon footprint at your school!
Use video message boards.
Video message boards are a great communication solution for your school, and can help replace paper newsletters and flyers, while also being multifunctional. Having a message board in the front office, in your cafeterias, and even the library to share school news, announcements events, and even the lunch menu helps you communicate with your community without the pesky paper flyers.
Request the removal of your name from junk mail lists by writing to the Direct Mail Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735-9008.
If possible, limit the number of subscriptions to periodicals and have classrooms share them. This will reduce both trash and subscription costs.
Make double sided copies whenever possible.
Did you know At least 40 percent of the typical school waste stream is paper (the largest single component of all school waste)?
Install turf instead of sod.
It might seem counterproductive to install turf instead of seeding grass or installing sod, but growing grass takes a lot of water and chemicals, which are bad for the environment. Turf is low maintenance, requires no water, and can earn you up to 4 LEED points.
Did you know grass is the biggest irrigated crop in the United States? We spend $30 billion USD each year watering our grass.
Choose quality that lasts.
We grew up hearing reduce, reuse, and recycle. While recycle has gotten the most attention with recycling programs, the biggest impact can be made in the first two R’s – reduce and reuse. Reduce and reuse, starts with quality. Choose furniture and fixtures of strong quality in timeless colors in prints that will last years and can handle the heavy traffic and use of a school. Sometimes it costs more up front, but in the long run when you don’t have to replace it as often, it saves you money.
Purchase reusable and washable cleaning cloths, aprons, tablecloths, etc., rather than single-use disposable products.
Did you know that many furniture manufacturers also create school furniture out of recycled materials? Companies like Global Furniture Group have corporate commitments to have 30% recycled steel and 100% recycled plastic composite materials. Choose furniture that will last for years and is recycled so you can reduce your carbon footprint!
Install recycled HDPE partitions.
Nobody wants to hear about bathroom stalls, but when the partition won’t lock or has large gaps with no privacy, we notice. We know school restrooms can take a beating, so rather than planning to replace the partitions regularly, choose high quality, recycled HDPE. It’s mold resistant, graffiti resistant, and recycled and 100% recyclable. A guest or student might not know the materials are recycled, but you will know that when it needs replacing, you are recycling an already recycled item!
There are so many easy switches to reduce your carbon footprint as a school, and some changes that take more planning, but can be a great long term solution. If your school is looking to make some changes, there are great resources for you like GrowNYC and if your solution is new technology, high quality furniture with recycled materials, or turf, our solutions specialists are here to help.