Blog | April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

33 Earth-Friendly Classroom Activities: Celebrating Our Planet Every Day

Douglass Mabry

Director of Marketing, Alma

Douglass Mabry

Douglass Mabry

As Earth Day rolls around this month, it’s a perfect time to remind ourselves that our commitment to the planet doesn’t have to be limited to just one day a year. Whether you’re teaching kindergarteners or high school seniors, there are plenty of fun, effective ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices into your classroom. Here are 33 light-hearted, accessible activities that can help lower your school’s carbon footprint—and educate the next generation of environmental stewards.

1. Paper-Free Day

Encourage a day without paper use by utilizing educational apps for assignments and notes. This helps reduce waste and familiarizes students with digital tools.

2. Natural Light Reading

During the brightest part of the day, have students read or write using only natural light, helping them understand energy conservation.

3. Recycling Sorting Challenge

Organize a sorting challenge where students categorize items into recyclables, compostables, and trash. This can be done in the classroom with everyday items to develop good recycling habits.

4. Start a Classroom Herb Garden

Using small containers like yogurt pots, start an herb garden on a windowsill. Herbs like basil or mint are easy to grow and can be used in school cooking lessons.

5. Energy Audit Role Play

Turn energy conservation into a role-play activity, where students act as “Energy Inspectors” for the day, checking for lights left on unnecessarily or devices not in use.

6. Organize a Walk or Bike to School Day

Plan a day where students are encouraged to walk or bike, with proper safety measures in place. Discuss the health and environmental benefits of reducing car use.

7. Reusable Container Picnic

Host a picnic where students bring their snacks in reusable containers. This can be done in the schoolyard or a nearby park.

8. Eco-Documentary Screening

Screen an age-appropriate documentary about recycling or conservation, followed by a group discussion to deepen understanding and spur ideas for local action.

9. Art from Recyclables

Have students create art projects from recyclable materials found at home. This could be a collage from old magazines or sculptures from plastic bottles.

10. Tree Planting Ceremony

If space allows, organize a tree planting ceremony at school. This could be an annual event where different classes contribute each year.

11. Water Conservation Experiment

Conduct simple experiments to show how much water can be saved by turning off the tap while brushing teeth or repairing a leak.

12. Upcycled Fashion Show

Host a fashion show where students create outfits from old clothes and textiles. Focus on creativity and resourcefulness with what they already have.

13. Compost Bin Setup

Set up a compost bin in the school and educate students on what can be composted. Use compost for the school garden or donate it.

14. Eco-Friendly Book Club

Start a book club with titles focused on environmental issues. Choose books that are age-appropriate and stimulate discussions about the environment.

15. Layer Up Day

Encourage students to wear extra layers and keep heating low for a day to see how much energy they can save by simply dressing warmer.

16. Zero Waste Week

Challenge students to minimize their waste for a week. Provide tips and track progress in a fun, competitive way.

17. Nature Walks

Organize a walk in a local park or nature area, focusing on observing natural habitats and discussing local flora and fauna.

18. Environmental Board Game Hour

Host a session where students play board games with themes around resource management and environmental strategy (like Settlers of Catan or Photosynthesis).

19. Local Produce Tasting

Arrange a tasting event featuring locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Discuss the environmental benefits of eating local.

20. Write for the Environment

Guide students to write letters or emails to local representatives about environmental issues they’ve learned about, using classroom computers.

21. Build a Reading Fort

Use recycled boxes and fabrics to build a reading fort in the classroom. This encourages creativity and reuse of materials.

22. Invite a Green Speaker

Invite a local environmentalist or scientist to talk about practical conservation efforts or careers in environmental science.

23. Make an Eco Pledge Board

Create a bulletin board where students and staff can post pledges to take specific actions to help the environment, like reducing single-use plastics.

24. Eco-Sports Competitions

Organize sports competitions using equipment made from recycled materials, like a soccer ball made from recycled plastic.

25. Recycled Material Crafts

Organize a craft day where students can bring materials from home to create something new, focusing on creativity and resourcefulness.

26. Solar Oven Snacks

Build a simple solar oven using cardboard and aluminum foil to make snacks like nachos or melt chocolate for s’mores, demonstrating renewable energy in action.

27. Thrift Store Challenge

Encourage students to find and repurpose items from thrift stores to create costumes, artwork, or practical items, teaching about reuse and value.

28. DIY Bird Feeders

Create bird feeders using recycled materials like plastic bottles or old teacups. This project can teach students about local bird species and the importance of supporting local wildlife.

29. Green Cleaning Supplies

Mix up simple, non-toxic cleaning solutions using ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. Use these to clean classroom surfaces, demonstrating safer and environmentally friendly cleaning alternatives.

30. Eco-Trivia Game

Organize an eco-trivia challenge with questions about recycling, conservation, and nature. This can be a fun way for students to learn facts about the environment and sustainability.

31. Reusable Bag Design

Have students design and decorate cloth tote bags. They can use these bags for shopping or carrying school books, reducing the use of plastic bags.

32. Rainwater Collection Project

Set up a system to collect rainwater using barrels or containers. Use the collected water for school gardening projects, teaching students about water conservation and management.

33. Classroom Energy Saving Competition

Create a competition between classes to see who can save the most energy over a month by turning off lights, using less water, and minimizing waste. Offer a prize, such as a “Green Day” where students can partake in eco-friendly activities.

By incorporating these activities not just on Earth Day but throughout the year, we can help create a more sustainable future and teach our students the importance of caring for our planet. Remember, every little action counts when it comes to protecting our environment!

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