In 2040, kindergartners who start school today will be 30 years old! They will be teachers, engineers, doctors, and city council members. They will be Generation Zero – Austin’s first generation to grow up with and implement comprehensive zero-waste strategies, diverting over 90% of waste from local landfills, reducing consumption of non-renewable resources, and living in a greener city than any of us can currently imagine. Those lofty goals start with simple actions, which everyone can start to implement this school year.
Here are 5 easy tips to implement in your classroom to help Generation Zero start early:
1. Create a recycling and composting area. Single-stream recycling is available in all AISD facilities. Additionally, all elementary schools and a growing number of middle and high schools are composting. Set-up a zero-waste area in your classroom with clear signage above the bins indicating which items go where. Need a refresher on what you can recycle? Check out the video below for a catchy song to hum on your way to the recycling bin.
2. GOOS Paper. Only used one side of a piece of paper? Or maybe just a few lines printed? Reuse that “Good On One Side” (GOOS) paper! Set up a container for GOOS paper and use it for scratch papers, note-taking, or upcycling into art projects!
3. Speaking of creative expression, upcycled art is a great way to incorporate zero-waste practices into course curriculum. Check out these humming bird feeders Keep Austin Beautiful Green Teens at Eastside Memorial High School made for a little inspiration.
4. Power down! Create a classroom team responsible for turning off computers and other electronics at the end of the day. Open up blinds to allow the sun to light up the classroom, allowing you to turn off overhead lights and save a few watts of energy.
5. Have Keep Austin Beautiful visit your classroom! Registration for the Generation Zero and Clean Creek Campus programming is now open! Learn more about the programs and sign your classroom up today.