WASHINGTON – As students throw on their backpacks, teachers prepare lesson plans and parents juggle school shopping trips and study sessions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is highlighting key environmental education information and resources available to improve energy efficiency, save money, and better protect people’s health and the environment during the school year.
By using the EPA website and resources, students, parents and educators can gain an understanding of how individual actions affect the environment, acquire skills to weigh various sides of issues, and become better equipped to make informed decisions.
It’s never too late to take action to help both the environment and your pocketbook. Here are a few tips from the EPA that can point you in the right direction.
Parents and Educators
- The annual energy bill to run America’s primary and secondary schools is $6 billion. Teachers can learn how to complete an energy management plan and show students how to become Energy Stars through the Energy Star program.
- More than 53 million children and approximately 6 million adults spend a significant portion of their days in school buildings. Learn practical information on how to promote safe, green and healthy school environments for students and staff through EPA’s Healthy Schools Initiative.
- Did you know that 24 million American children ride school buses every day? Unnecessary school bus idling pollutes the air, wastes fuel, and causes excess wear on the engine. EPA’s National Idle Reduction campaign can help you take a look at idling myths and anti-idling tips.
- Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) can impact the comfort and health of students and staff, which can affect concentration, attendance and student performance. Create an IAQ management program at your school comprised of parents, students, facility personnel and faculty. The Tools for Schools action kit will guide you every step of the way.
K-12 and College Students
- Commit to taking at least five eco-actions through EPA’s “Pick 5 for the Environment.” After signing up on EPA’s website, people can share tips and stories on Facebook, photos on Flickr, and videos on YouTube. Make your environmental action count!
- College football season is here, and the competition is fierce on and off the field with EPA’s Game Day Challenge! This fall, colleges across the country will compete to see who can reduce, reuse, and recycle the most waste.
- EPA’s OnCampus ecoAmbassadors program encourages college students to take action to implement an environmental activity on their campus. Students that partake in the voluntary OnCampus ecoAmbassadors program are not employed by EPA and are not paid, but are encouraged to check with their college to see if they can earn credits.
- Learn about the air, water, energy, land and health of your school and home through EPAs MyEnvironment. By simply typing in your zip code, city, or county people will instantly receive personalized information that will empower them to make a difference and learn what others are doing in the area.
Parents and educators are important role models in a community. Young people are not just our environmental leaders of tomorrow; they can be environmental leaders today. EPA encourages everyone to work together at home and in the classroom to enact sustainable changes.