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Schools need to be litter-free environments for students to learn and grow. Cleaner playgrounds create clearer minds, enhancing children’s happiness and connection with nature. Even more importantly, when children are taught from an early age not to litter, they become more respectful of the environment and of one-another. These values are likely to stick with them for a long time, well into adulthood and could even have an impact on future generations. Clean schools are happier places. With these three tips to reduce rubbish in the schoolyard, you can cut back on litter and teach students valuable lessons about being kind to their surroundings:
Educate students about the environment
Children must be taught both how to keep the environment clean and also why it is important. Anti-littering campaigns are essential to this. It’s important to integrate conversations about the environment into everyday lessons, assemblies and motivational talks. Research shows that children respond best to positive reinforcement, so you shouldn’t only punish litterers, but reward clean students for their good work. Another great method of teaching children not to litter is making them accountable for their own behaviour. You can do this by introducing a Green Team – a student body responsible for litter that is chosen to monitor and encourage good behaviour among their peers. Additionally, another successful tool is a Litter Pledge – a contract that each student must sign stating that they will not litter. When a child goes to drop their rubbish on the floor, they might think back to their contract and remember they are accountable for their actions. This works so well because not littering is very easy. Also, don’t forget adults. In order to kick off a strong, lasting campaign, staff members and families must also be kept in the loop.
Reduce the quantity of disposable products
By cutting back on the products that commonly land up on the floor, you can further reduce the amount of litter in the playground. For example; you can decrease the amount of paper circulating the school by always printing double sided, or by sending newsletters or permission slips via email instead of via physical copy. Additionally, the canteen should also rethink how snacks and meals are being served. Often, schools overwrap snacks that easily be served as they are. Work out how much paper, plastic and foil is being used to serve food and evaluate whether this could be reduced. For example; fruits like apples could be served whole instead of sliced and bagged. Not only does cutting back on disposable products keep the schoolyard cleaner, it also uses less of the earth’s precious natural resources.
Ensure there are adequate bins to manage rubbish
How you manage rubbish is also essential to reducing the amount of litter in the playground. The best way to keep schools litter-free is to make waste disposal as easy and as pain-free for students as possible. Having enough visible, accessible bins is crucial to making sure people do the right thing – after all, if a child can see a bin in plain sight, they are far more likely to use it. However, not only do you need enough bins, you also need to have the right bins. Shape is important – bins with heavy lids are prone to dirt and grime, which makes them unpleasant to use, while those without lids are prone to spilling over and letting rubbish blow away. Visibility is also vital – your bins should catch people’s attention and clearly distinguish waste from recyclables. Investing in high-quality, bolted down bin surrounds is a practical way to keep your rubbish contained and your students comfortable.
As a wholly Australian owned and operated business, nobody understands the requirements of Australian schools like Felton Industries. We’re committed to providing the highest quality of outdoor solutions. It’s our mission for schools across Australia to have the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly playgrounds possible. For more information about outdoor furniture tailored to your unique needs, get in touch with our friendly team today.