>The email subject line at work said “It’s time to go green!”
What? I scoffed. I’m a green teacher; greener than most. Go green? Easy.
So I signed up for our wellness coordinator’s Green Planet Wellness program. I registered by email so as to save paper. Good start, I’d say. Starting on Earth Day, April 22, I’ll “…select from a list of 100+ reasonable, achievable green living activities segmented into 5 categories — Home, Work, Exercise, Nutrition, and Miscellaneous. Each activity is assigned a value of 1-4 green points, depending on its potential effect….There’s something for everyone — from simple steps like buying reusable grocery bags and trimming shrubbery manually, to more involved activities like installing low-flow shower heads and taking public transportation. Big or small, each step contributes to a healthier world and a healthier you.”
Ms. Wellness implies that we’ll learn new green habits that will help us live more “healthfully.” Is that a word?
Well, Ms. Wellness, I’ve been re-using copy paper for several years now. When the principal complained that “No one is making half sheet copies or copying on recycled paper!” the paraprofessionals in the copy room said, uh, wait a minute. Daisy has been doing both for a long time. I gather plastic shopping bags and pass them on for re-use. My white-board erasers are old socks, washed in Borax to remove as much of the color as possible. I’m using spelling activities copied two years ago and fitting my instruction to these, rather than making new copies to fit to my instruction. Penmanship? When the class finished using the copied pages, I began using manuscript paper from the supply room and writing the copy material on the chalkboard.
I’m faithful about turning off computers at night. I teach the kids to turn off the lights when we leave the room. Many of the materials I provide, from crayons to color pencils to correcting pens, are scavenged from years past when I prevented kids from throwing these away in June.
Green living? I enjoy learning new ways to act locally while thinking globally. But “go green?” Sorry, dear Ms. Wellness, I’m already green.
I’ll get a t-shirt for participating, and there are prizes along the way. Prizes or not, this looks like fun. I can feel successful at this program, even as I’m feeling less successful in teaching my challenging class.