How is it that Europeans manage to lead good lives, and yet only burn half as much energy per capita as Americans?
If you were designing a mass transit system for your area, how would it work? And, more importantly, how would you get people to actually trade in their cars for a ride on the bus?
If your campus was to reduce its carbon footprint, where would you start? With the lightbulb? With local food in the cafeteria? With turning down the thermostat in winter? With getting more students, staff, and faculty to walk or bike to school?
These are questions posed by Bill McKibben, the author of a dozen books on the environment, and the founder of Step It Up 2007.http://www.edutopia.org
edutopia magazine's October 2007 issue was all about "going green." You can see edutopia online at http://www.edutopia.org
See the go green database at: http://www.edutopia.org/go-green
This is a searchable database packed with online resources: links to lesson plans, green curricula, service learning opportunities, and innovative classroom projects. You can even filter your search by topic, grade level, cost, or location. These are primarily K-12 resources, but it is a great place to get some ideas.
How green is your classroom?
Start your semester with the "sustainable pencil challenge." Students must use the same refillable pen or pencil throughout the entire semester.
Save paper and ink: Encourage your students to use NetFiles to save their work. They can give you access to an individual document, or attach the document in email to you. They would not print anything and you would be able to comment and grade their assignments electronically and return the assignments to your students.
If you do need to write something down, or print something out, use recycled paper.
Be diligent about recycling or reusing as much as you can.
Your students can take paperless tests and quizzes on their computers, or via "clickers."
Shut down your computer at night, and over weekends and holidays.
See the 'Sustainability and U' site at http://www.uservices.umn.edu/sustainableU/resources.html
What can you do to go green?