Eco Ideas for the Classroom

Plants can grow even in the humblest of vessels. (Photo: KPG_Payless/Shutterstock)

Want your kids to learn more green at school? Talk with your child's teachers about adding environmental issues to the year’s curriculum. Environmental education is easily incorporated into science classes...but it doesn't have to end there. Eco-projects can also be integrated into math lessons, reading assignments, physical fitness tasks, or creative art activities. Here are 4 fun eco ideas that help bring green in to the classroom:

Get growing: Research shows that children are more productive and have fewer behavioral problems if they have access to nature at school.

Get wiggly: Vermicomposting is an excellent way to teach kids about ecology while turning your food scraps into usable compost. Using worms (typically red wigglers), vermicomposting processes organic food into nutrient-rich soil. You can start with a small bin (such as a 12-gallon plastic tub) and a pound of worms, or go larger and get several clasrooms involved. Check out Kids Recycle! for a guide to resources on vermicomposting.

Get an energy boost: Schools spend more money on energy bills than any other expense except personnel. Yet even though energy costs are such a huge part of a school’s budget, most administrators are unaware of their monthly utility expenditures or how they could lower them. An energy report card makes a great science project and can help schools save a bundle of money on energy costs. Check out The Green Teen: The Eco-Friendly Teen's Guide to Saving the Planet for detailed instructions.

Solo composting: Composting is a great way to teach kids about nature, decomposition, and the food cycle. But if a large compost bin won't do at your school, try this project in the classroom. Have each child build thier own soda bottle composter so that kids can watch composting in action on a smaller scale.