Why Everyone Needs To Know About The Green Schools Programme
The World Economic Forum conducted a recent survey on the upcoming dangers that await us. And how they will affect the way people live. Eighty-nine per cent of the respondents believed that excessive heat would be the biggest problem in the coming days. Eighty-eight per cent thought that the most significant risk would come from deteriorating ecological conditions. Eighty-seven per cent considered pollution to be the biggest threat. And while eighty-six per cent. And while seventy-nine per cent believed that the most significant risks would be a water crisis and forest fires respectively.
All around the world, students have been uniting to protest for climate justice. They have been at the forefront of this struggle, urging the leaders of their country to treat climate change as real and to take concrete steps to solve it. Change, more often than not, comes from schools. In addition, it makes complete sense that we start by changing how our schools work, with relation to ecological issues.
The Green Schools Program
Bhavyata Foundation collaborates with the Centre for Science and Environment to facilitate the “Green Schools Programme“. A unique initiative to promote environmental education in an experiential format in Mumbai. While sensitising students to the environment through hands-on. And thought-provoking activities, this initiative moves beyond theoretical approaches. And textbook learning and focus on the practical skills with which we can make our schools, and ultimately all our institutions green.
The field of environmental education is has a fundamental contradiction. While everyone asserts the importance of sustainability. And working to save resources, the environment remains an afterthought in our formal education system. It continues to be viewed more as an extracurricular activity. And less as a subject that should hold a priority position in the national curriculum.
The Green Schools Programme is also an environment management system that audits, through the students of the schools, the consumption of natural resources within school campuses. It provides schools with the methodology to assess themselves as environmental managers. Then, it tells them how to overcome the shortcomings that they tend to identify in their current practices. It is an ecological textbook with a difference. In addition, it teaches real lessons.
What Is A Green School?
A Green School is a resource-efficient building one that uses little amounts of water, optimises energy efficiency, minimises waste-generation, recycles water, and provides a healthier space to its occupants as compared to a conventional building.
Why Should We Join The Green School Programme?
Here are your reasons.
The Green Schools Programme helps benchmarks a school’s performance as environmental managers. Above all the audit measures impact and motivate participants to work towards tangible change.
The monitoring process of the GSP is participatory and transparent. It encourages teachers to convert audit tasks into assignments for students. The initiative-based tasks also test student’s skills of communication and analysis, which provide them with invaluable skill sets.
A new report prepared by scientists from Australia, Britain, and Switzerland claims that some people are resorting to excess accumulation, and this habit has become a threat to nature. These scientists also believe that humans are consuming an excess of resources, causing pollution, global warming, natural disasters, water crisis, and climate change. The GSP enables schools to record their available resources and trains students to collect information systematically to feed and ease up the analysis process. In addition to facilitating environmental sustainability, it also teaches students analytical skills.
The post-audit information can be used by a network of schools or by city or state governments to do a comparative evaluation so that best practices can be shared. So through the GSP, your school could contribute to the betterment of your city or state.
GSP empowers students to use natural resources responsibly and efficiently and practice effective and incorporate sustainability methods into their everyday life.
Information On Various Fronts
The Green School Programme helps schools audit their use of resources and map their consumption and wastage. The exercise involves the collection of information on these fronts:
Air: Analyse school transport policy, its relation to air quality and ways to reduce emissions.
Energy: Audit the sources and consumption of energy, exploring ways to minimise energy wastage, pollution, and costs.
Food: According to a UN report, 130 million kilograms of food is wasted every year in the world, costing over Rs 75 lakh crore. Coordinate, implement, and monitor school canteen to provide high-quality and nutritious food, encourage students to have a balanced diet, along with minimising food wastage.
Land: Focuses on the land-use of schools to map green areas, identify biodiversity and grasp the enormous ecological and economic value of this resource.
Water: Examine water use, the sources of water, water conservation (rainwater harvesting and water recycling), and the importance of sanitation facilities.
Waste: Help finding out the total amount of waste that is generated, offers ways and means to reduce it by segregation, recycling and reuse.
A large number of schools across India are already a part of the GSP network and are familiar with the environmental audit process. We, at Bhavyata Foundation, wish to encourage more schools to participate in the Teachers Orientation workshop on the Green School Programmes (GSP) Audit.
The objective of the workshops is to build the capacity of teachers. Or master trainers to conduct the environmental audit through their students. During the workshop, participants will be taken through the Green Schools Programme Manual. In addition we will be collecting information for the review.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change we want to see in the world.”
Our lifestyle has an impact on the environment. What we do and how we do it makes a crucial difference. This is why the first task of being the change is to become aware of what we do — benchmark how much water and energy we use and waste we generate. It is only then that we can transform our ways so that we can use as little and waste as little as possible.
The Green Schools manual is about green practice. It takes the classroom into our lives. The joy is not just in the learning, but also in the experience of making a change in our environment.
If each school and each home becomes the laboratory of action, then the ripples will spread fast and furious. Above all every single drop added together can create an ocean. Alone, we are the drop. Together, we are the ocean.