Children are, as they say, the future leaders of tomorrow. The idea that grownups alone discuss and talk about sustainability without including the voices of the generation that will inherit this planet is absurd. By virtue of this, it is imperative that schools be sustainable, talk about sustainability and put programs in place to raise awareness for their students. Let’s discuss why it is absolutely vital that schools be sustainable.
1. They teach principles of sustainability to children
Schools are not just about teaching children how to be literate. In the 21st century, there has been a lot of talk about the current school model and how it needs to change. Sustainable schools are the schools of the future. And in them, children are taught lessons of great importance concerning taking care of our common home and planet. It is no longer just geography that students are learning. But just how much damage we’ve done to the Earth and what we now need to do to fix things.
2. They act as example models for other schools
Sustainable schools become the role models other schools need to pattern themselves after. With parents becoming more aware of the importance of being eco-friendly, selecting schools that are sustainable may soon become the criteria for choosing a school along with high academic standards. This puts pressure on schools that haven’t as yet adopted sustainable measures. Because they wish to attract good students, they too will model themselves after sustainable schools.
3. They play their part in making the environment better
Schools are just like any business. They consume energy and create waste. However, when schools are sustainable they take it upon themselves to reduce their carbon footprint, the amount of energy they consume, and paper used. One top school that is leading in this regard is Harvard. Since 2006, they have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 52% and their energy consumption by 34%. They have also reduced the waste produced by 60%. In addition, they boast seven green roofs and 15 LEED Certified buildings.
4. They foster innovation and ideas from attendees
It’s no secret that schools are often the hub of innovation. For this reason, sustainable schools are extremely important as they play a pivotal role in the incubation of ideas that could potentially change the world. Schools such as Yale are now even offering courses on sustainability because of the importance of the issue. Thanks to clubs at the school, students are able to meet and network with leaders in the industry who can support their ideas and help them come to fruition.
5. They are a healthy environment for students and staff
Last but certainly not least, sustainable schools provide students and staff with a healthy environment from which to learn and work. Planting more trees and greenery around the campus can go a long way in improving the quality of air around. Green roofs are another phenomenon that has taken schools by storm. These roofs facilitate a reduction in urban air pollution; they bring back nature, as well as helping to counter temperature rises. It’s not just schools that have adopted this, but even businesses such as Facebook who have one of the largest green roofs at their Menlow Business Park.
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