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The Sustainable Classroom, Projecting a Greener Future

Creating a sustainable classroom is certainly a worthy goal. Students are onboard, and tech is ready to help. Here are a few ways to project a greener future for your school.

Make Every Day a Green Day

When it comes to affecting real change toward creating a greener and more sustainable classroom, everyday habits are the first place to start. To encourage student buy-in, carve out time for a brainstorming session on small ways they can contribute to such an important goal. Could they dress in layers to give classroom thermostats (and therefore energy resources) a break? Could the blinds be lifted to save on use of lights? Could digital classroom tools like projectors and smart-boards help cut back on paper, dry erase and chalk use? Reusable lunchbox and snack items could help with waste, could students take ownership of filling and cleaning so busy parents don’t need to rely on convenient single-use options? Invite students into the discussion for creative solutions and greater engagement.

Show and Tell

As in most areas of education, the most impactful way to teach your students is leading by example. Try not only practicing these greener ways of teaching and managing your classroom, but verbalizing your intent as you do so to bring greater awareness in those young, impressionable minds.

The Writing Projected on the Wall

Despite the best day-to-day classroom practices, some schools overlook a serious contributor to the eco-issue: outdated tech. The AV realm has made great strides to design alternatives to mercury-laden lamps and projectors that waste energy with lengthy warm up and cool down periods. It can be challenging to tell which tech is truly progressive when it come to these matters and which options are merely green-washed with misleading marketing. Luckily, TCO Certified, an objective third party nonprofit has created a cheat sheet to help admin and purchasers buy smart and reduce their carbon footprint.

The TCO Certified’s new Generation Eight Seal certifies IT products with sustainability, accountability and transparency throughout their entire life cycle— from the production of raw materials to the production conditions, long service life to safe disposal. The latest list also incorporates energy efficiency in the manufacturing phase, as well as evidence that the minerals used are from socially responsible sources. One of the first to earn the seal is Casio’s Advanced series and the entire new Superior series (featuring a mercury-free Laser/LED light source), while a number of Epson models also got the nod.

“Sustainability has been a focus in the production of our projectors for over 10 years,” said Joe Gillio, Senior Director Strategic Planning and Marketing, of Casio’s Business Projector Division. “Schools and companies in the United States are looking for products that help them with their Green initiatives, and TCO Certified projectors like ours do just that.”

This article has been sponsored by Casio America.