The Wikipedia term for Environmentalism or Environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements. is an ideology that evokes the necessity and responsibility of humans to respect, protect, and preserve the natural world from its anthropogenic (caused by humans) afflictions. If we all focus clearly on the term and exercise this process daily, we can help to promote environmental awareness by becoming an environmental steward and participate in creating a brighter future for our children.
Listed below are ways you can become an Environmental Steward:
- Parents work with your child’s school and with your work/ job to Maintain environmental compliance – Ensure that businesses/ companies/ schools are in compliance with all applicable environmental regulations. Encourage them to conduct a self-assessment to determine any deficiencies.
- Use natural resources responsibly – Conserve resources such as water, minerals and wood by using them efficiently and recycling when appropriate. Protect any wildlife habitats around your business, home, and schools.
- Reduce waste generation – Use less toxic materials to limit the amount of hazardous wastes produced, and improve the efficiency of your operations to reduce the amount of waste generated. You can do this by helping with reducing waste in the landfill. You can learn about composting and build your own compost bin to recycle food waste on your property.
- Become involved in your community – Participate in local environmental projects such as neighborhood recycling, abandoned lot cleanups, community gardens, help build a community compost drop location and allow the community to recycle food waste which you can by used as community mulch after the life cycle of the composting is complete, and watershed restoration projects. Encourage employees and your school to become involved.
The Green Team
Forming a Green Team at your school is a great way to affect positive change at your school and within your community. The goal of your Green Team should be to increase the overall sustainability of your school by increasing recycling, decreasing waste, lowering the school’s environmental footprint by conserving water and electricity, and to raise the environmental awareness of the students, their parents, school staff, and the community as a whole.
A Green Team is made up of 5 individuals, a teacher, a student, an administrative staff, a parent, and a custodial staff. However, if the conditions at your school warrant something different, go ahead and move forward anyway. Instead of one student, you can designate a 6th grade science class to be part of the Team.
- Find an adult advisor – a teacher, librarian, teacher’s assistant. We recommend the advisor be an employee of the school.
- Find a student – being involved in the Team is an excellent way to strengthen public speaking, writing, and math skills and to boost a college resume
- Find a school administrative staff person – the principal, assistant principal, or other office staff
- Find a parent – it’s a good idea for this parent to be on the PTA as well
- Find a person on the custodial or maintenance staff
How can a Green Team make real change?
- Apply to the City of Fort Worth for recycling bins
- Apply for nationwide grants or raise money to pay for recycling bins, reusable cafeteria trays, rain barrels, materials to build a compost structure, native plant landscaping and gardens, water bottle filling stations, and many, many more sustainability projects
- Involve the community by organizing Earth Day activities, staging a play or musical, managing a printer cartridge recycling program
- Launch school-wide campaigns such as “turn off the lights”, “turn off the faucet”, games and posters to encourage recycling
AND, the tenets of sustainability, along with how to communicate those tenets, can be incorporated in the school’s science, math, and social studies curriculum.
For more information, contact John MacFarlane, Environmental Awareness Chair, FWISD Council of PTAs at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Resources for Schools
- Keep Fort Worth Beautiful and the City of Fort Worth will provide recycling bins to schools that have formed a Green Team. For more information email: KFWB@FortWorthTexas.gov.
- The City of Fort Worth Community Engagement team offers free TEKS-based curricula to elementary, middle and high school students throughout Fort Worth. To schedule a program, call the educator assigned to your area, or call our main number 817-392-6201. All programs, handouts and materials are free of charge. Bilingual by request. For more information see their website here: http://fortworthtexas.gov/engagement/children/
- The Texas Wildlife Association developed Learning Across New Dimensions in Science (L.A.N.D.S.), a suite of educational programs for K-12 to utilize in formal and informal educational venues. Their free resources include Discovery Trunks, Distance Learning Programs, Wildlife by Design, and L.A.N.D.S. Intensive Curricula. For more information see their website http://www.texas-wildlife.org/program-areas/category/youth and email Sarah Josephson at email@example.com.
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