Being greener at school

There are many environmentally-friendly things you can do at school or college to help protect the planet and prevent climate change. These include setting up recycling schemes and finding greener ways to travel to and from school.

Going green

Climate change and pollution are issues that affect us all. It's up to everyone to do as much as they can to help the environment.

There are solutions that can help, but everyone needs to get involved for them to work.


As well as doing your bit at home, you and your friends can also do some things at school that can help.

Getting to school

If you usually get driven to school, you could find out if there is another way to get there.

You could use public transport or take a school bus. Because they can carry lots of people, taking a bus or a train reduces the amount of CO2 released into the air.

If you live close to your school, why not walk or cycle? As well as being better for the environment, it's a great way of getting some exercise.

If using a car is the only way you can get to and from school, find out if you and your friends could set up a car sharing scheme. Instead of travelling in separate cars, you could all get to school in the same one instead.

In the classroom

On average, each person in the UK gets through 200 kilograms of paper every year. If you can, try and use both sides of a piece of paper before you throw it away. It's also a good idea to make sure that you are using recycled paper too.

If you're in an IT class or the computer room doing some research, think before you print something out. Do you really need a paper copy of what you're looking at?

You can also recycle or refill printer cartridges. Talk to a teacher and make sure that your school is not just putting them in the bin when they run out.

Food and drink

Whether you eat a packed lunch from home or buy something from school, it's surprising what you can do at lunchtime to help the environment. For example:

  • if your school doesn't have any recycling bins in the dining hall or canteen, talk to your headteacher to see if you can get some
  • if you drink water from plastic bottles, keep and refill them instead of throwing them away
  • find out whether your school could turn their food waste into compost instead of just putting it in the bin
  • Composting
  • Food waste

Taking the lead

If you want to make sure your school is doing all it can for the environment, make a list of changes you’d like to see.

A teacher can help you introduce your ideas into school, like the eco-schools programme or walking to school.

When lessons are over

Being green isn’t something you just do at school. You can do your bit for the planet when you’re at home or if you’re out and about.

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