Schools are where young children learn and grow up and spend a major part of their lives. It is important to keep the school environment free of pollution so that the children enjoy access to a healthy atmosphere inside the school premises. Also, through the right educative programs, measures, and tools, the school managements can also sow the seeds of responsible living in the minds of young children.
What are the subjects of concern?
Air pollution is most likely in a school environment due to several reasons. Schools are communities and the school population is drawn from the different segments of the society. While the students, teachers, staff, and parents keep visiting the school, they bring in some elements of pollution inside the school premises. The equipment, vehicles, stationery, crafts, teaching, cleaning and utility supplies used at the school, the wastes generated from the eatables and lunch, and the various activities are done inside the school can cause air pollution in several ways affecting the quality of air that the school community gets to breathe in. Here is an overview of how to reduce air pollution inside the school.
Tips to reduce air pollution at school
- Educate the staff and students to go for energy-conserving practices. Let them switch off the lights, fans, computers and electronic equipment when they are not in use.
- Go for appliances and light bulbs that are energy efficient. Let the children take part in energy conservation programs organized in the locality.
- Encourage public transportation, carpooling, walking and bicycling so that driving is limited as much as possible. Plan well to reduce the number of trips by school transportation vehicles. Let the vehicles be turned off instead of idling while making long waits. Keep the automobiles well-maintained and serviced so that they do not make emissions more than what is allowed. Wherever possible, make a shift to hybrid or electric vehicles.
- Make use of hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment.
- Prevent the spilling of gasoline while fueling your vehicles. Run dishwashers and cloth washers only when they are full.
- Go for cleaners that are environment-friendly.
- Use water-based or solvent-free paints as much as possible. Keep the containers of household cleaners tightly closed. Store the chemicals at the workshops, gardens, and laboratories in a proper manner. This will help prevent the emission of volatile compounds that can impact the quality of air inside the school.
- Lower or turn off the air conditioners or thermostats while they are not in use.
- Fix the leaks in pipes and faucets as quickly as possible when they are detected.
- Use the minimal amount of pesticides and fertilizers in the gardens and lawns and go for natural alternatives wherever possible.
- For controlling pests and insects, go for non-chemical methods like swatters (for insects) and mechanical traps for mice. Integrated pest management practices can help you combat pests effectively as well as in a risk-free way.
- Dispose of the old materials, waste, and chemicals in the right way. Never accumulate them for too long inside the school.