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Green Classroom Tips
This page will give you helpful tips to use in your classroom. There are always ways to use your space more effectively and help increase air flow, air exchange, heating, dust control and many others.
Always keep your air exhange vents completely open, free and clear of furniture, shelving, storage boxes, and other items that may block your vent. If your vent is not completely open, the air flow in your classroom will be greatly decreased causing allergens and odors to hang around with no place to go.
Keep your classroom doors closed. When this is done the air pressure in your room will build up and push the exchange air out the proper vent and at this point your air exchange will be at its optimum level. This can also affect how your room is heated, The system uses air to pull the heat out from your fin tube radiation. If the door is open the room has no pressure to allow for proper air flow.
Use window light or natural lighting in your classroom. This is a great way to get different levels of lighting without using electricity. Keep the shades and blinds open to allow as much light as possible. Its a great green way to save!
Classroom materials and storage organization. Try to store any classroom materials you may not be using at the time or for that quarter.You room will be less cluttered and easier to clean and keep clean. Organizing and planning what you are going to use can be a great way to decrease the clutter in your room.
Chemicals for cleaning your classroom should be supplied by the facillity manager. Chemicals brought in from home may cause students or staff to have adverse reactions. All chemicals used in your school will have an MSDS sheet (Material Safety Data Sheet) that tells us what is in the chemical and what effects it may have on a person with asthma or allergies. Also this sheet will have an 800 number to call in case of an emergency if the chemical is ingested, etc.
Cloth-made materials such as curtians, chairs, bean bags, lamp shades, rugs, stuffed animals all can carry dust and allergens. These materials trap and hold the dust until they are moved causing the dust to become airborne. Often times these items are not cleaned regularly and can be a major source of classroom contaminates.
Having a clean sink area is also key when creating a green classroom. This area can be a "germ factory". When dumping heavy liquids down the drain such as milk, coffee, or juice it is best to run the water. If this is not done the drain gets coated with a slime and after occuring several times the drain will slow and close. The slime in the sink will cause smells and odors that can cause allergies and also create mold. The easy cure is to just run the water while you empty heavy liquids down the drain.
Going green also is reducing electrical cost. By not having microwaves, coffee makers, lamps, and other forms of appliances we can reduce the amount of electricity we use. This can also eliminate many safety concerns.
Wall coverings, artwork, and posters are permitted by fire code up to a certain percent. In a building without a sprinkler system the wall coverings cannot exceed 20%, and in a building with a sprinkler system you can have up to 50% of the walls covered. Wall coverings can be considered an accelerant and can fuel a fire. Also hanging materials from the drop ceiling grid can be a violation of fire code, as the materials can block and deflect the spray pattern of the sprinkler head in the event of a fire.
Classroom clean up at the end of the day can be a great way to help in having a green classroom. Preparing the classroom for night cleaning is important. Picking up chairs, recycle totes, and back packs makes it easier for the custodial staff to get into those "hard to reach" areas that would normally be missed.
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