• ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES MONTH: Nurturing Young Minds and a Healthy Planet: Key principles of environmental services in educational settings

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien

    Environmental Services within educational settings play a crucial role in fostering a generation of environmentally conscious citizens. It goes beyond simply keeping classrooms clean. It’s about embedding sustainability principles into the very fabric of school, college, and university life, empowering students to become responsible stewards of the environment. Here are the key principles that underpin effective Environmental Services in the UK’s educational settings, based on inout from attendees at the Education Forum…

    1. Sustainable Practices:

    • Energy Efficiency: Promoting energy conservation through measures like switching off lights in unoccupied rooms, utilising natural light, and educating students on responsible energy use.
    • Waste Management: Implementing a robust waste management system that encourages recycling and composting, reducing the institution’s environmental footprint.
    • Water Conservation: Installing water-saving fixtures, raising awareness about responsible water use, and encouraging rainwater harvesting where feasible.

    2. Healthy Learning Environment:

    • Indoor Air Quality: Maintaining good indoor air quality by ensuring proper ventilation, minimising the use of harmful cleaning products, and promoting green cleaning practices.
    • Safe and Hygienic Facilities: Ensuring cleanliness and hygiene in classrooms, restrooms, and common areas is paramount for student well-being. Utilising eco-friendly cleaning products is an added benefit.
    • Pest Control: Implementing safe and sustainable pest control practices that minimise environmental impact.

    3. Education and Awareness:

    • Curriculum Integration: Embedding environmental education into the curriculum across various subjects, not just science. This could involve exploring topics like renewable energy, sustainable consumption, and the impact of climate change.
    • Behaviour Change: Encouraging positive behaviour change through student-led initiatives like environmental clubs, recycling drives, or energy-saving competitions.
    • Community Engagement: Connecting learning with real-world action. This could involve collaborating with local environmental organisations, participating in community clean-up events, or organising school gardens.

    4. Sustainable Procurement:

    • Responsible Sourcing: Choosing environmentally friendly products whenever possible, such as recycled paper, energy-efficient appliances, and cleaning supplies with minimal environmental impact.
    • Local Sourcing: Supporting local businesses and reducing the environmental costs associated with long-distance transportation.
    • Life Cycle Thinking: Considering the entire life cycle of products, from sourcing to disposal, and opting for durable and easily repairable items where possible.

    5. Collaboration and Communication:

    • Engaging Students: Creating a culture of collaboration by involving students in decision-making processes related to environmental services. This fosters ownership and a sense of responsibility.
    • Staff Training: Ensuring all staff, from cleaning personnel to teachers, are equipped with the knowledge and skills to implement sustainable practices within their roles.
    • Transparency and Communication: Communicating environmental initiatives openly with students, staff, and parents, fostering a sense of shared responsibility for a sustainable learning environment.

    By implementing these key principles, Environmental Services educational settings can play a transformative role. They can contribute to a healthier learning environment for students, reduce the institution’s environmental footprint, and empower young people to become responsible and environmentally conscious citizens of the future.

    Are looking to source Environmental Services for your school, college or university campus? The Education Forum can help!

    Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.