By Asst. prof. Dr. Qasim M. Shakir
University of Kufa/Faculty of Engineering
Green School, which is also known as “Eco-School”, is the educational institution whose environment is compatible with many of the recommendations of international agreements, including the Kyoto Protocol on the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. As one of the priorities of this institution is to take and address environmental issues in the curriculum and apply them on a daily basis and seek to instill environmental awareness in the conscience of the students and work to deepen and develop and accustom them to look beyond and more comprehensive than the local environment. And even looking at the whole planet as a ship, if one created a hole, he and all others will sink, and if it keeps its safety, it will survive.
The Green School is a comprehensive philosophy that aims to make environmental awareness and work an integral part of life and school life. This should include students, teachers, non-teachers and parents, as well as local authority, media and local businesses. It is one of the ways to continuously reduce the environmental impact of schools.
The beginning of the green schools was in 1990s, specifically at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, known as Agenda of 21 century, where the Charter of the Summit underscored the importance of developing the concept of sustainable development to satisfy the needs of the environment, economy and society.
Green schools have spread to more than 53 countries from around the world, including some Arab countries. Such as the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. In 2005, the number of green schools was more than 700,000. The Green School aims to design an educational experience for students who will be prepared to lead the world towards a sustainable future and a healthier and cleaner environment.
The Need for Green Schools:
1) Approximately 25% of citizens go to school every day as students or employees.
2) Half of this class (students) may be exposed to polluted air, overcrowding and poor sanitation.
3) Found that school children miss many school days a year due to respiratory diseases and poor indoor air quality.
4) School buildings represent an important part of the construction sector and buildings are generally also responsible for approximately 40% of CO 2 emissions, a major contributor to global warming. By promoting the design and construction of green schools, we can have a significant impact on students’ health, the operational costs of schools and the environment.
Requirements and specifications:
Among the requirements and specifications set by the international educational organizations to qualify the school green or environmentally friendly:
1) Committed to an environmental education program that includes an integrated plan to increase the green spaces within and around the school, transforming the arid into green, where plants and herbs grow, and flowers bloom, taking into account the strict adherence to hygiene standards.
2) Conversion of cement or asphalt paved playgrounds into green grassland surrounded by trees, while taking care to reduce the parking space allocated to green fields.
3) Encourage students to use bicycles, with local authorities securing specific corridors along the streets leading to school, so that students can ride their bicycles without fear of accidents.
4) Conversion of school transport vehicles from gasoline or kerosene to natural gas or solar energy in accordance with international standards.
5) Rationalization in energy consumption used in air conditioning and industrial lighting, relying mainly on ventilation and natural lighting.
6) Ensure that students and their families are provided with a set of publications and brochures containing information and measures related to environmental protection within and outside the school.
7) Work to activate the spirit of true participation and collective work fruitful to the general students, and provide them with different skills that enable each of them to deal with problems and issues of the environment to make an effective contribution, in the protection of the local environment, and global.
8) Ensure that the walls of corridors and halls are painted in attractive colors, from water-soluble coatings, free from organic solvents.
9) Do not use traditional chalk, which has been proven to be harmful to health and the environment as well, the use of medical chalk instead, and the preference to expand smart boards, or those with special pens, which do not contain toxic organic solvents.
10) Each class is provided with two closed bins, one for paper, plastic and glass waste, and the other for food residues and natural materials, such as dry flowers. so that the child learns the separation of recyclable and decomposing materials that can be used in the natural fertilizer plant.
11) Teachers and all employees refrain from smoking.
12) Surrounding the school with dense trees to protect from dust and air pollutants and to be as weather refreshing .
13) Place a place in one corner of the school yard to bury the remains of plants, where they can be extracted, within months to be used as organic fertilizer.
14) A section in the library that includes everything related to the environment and means of protecting it, called the green corner, is placed in the sides of the library, especially under the windows green plants to purify the library air and to benefit from natural lighting.
15) The maximum care for toilets, in terms of quantity and quality, must be sufficient, with a toilet for every 40 students, and be regularly maintained, and to teach students the importance of keeping they clean, as well as introducing ways to rationalize water consumption. A wall cupboard, with tools and cleaning materials, all of which are environmentally friendly.
16) The school library should comply with health and environmental safety standards.
17) Reduce the consumption of paper, whether by the school administration or students, where it is found that the consumption of paper, and the disposal of waste, by burning in the open air, contributes to the proportion of climate change.
Consumption can be significantly reduced by:
Photocopy of double-sided paper, taking into account, font size,
Minimize administrative publications for students.
Minimize working papers at school.
Processing and preparation of a bulletin board, environmentally friendly.
Use of e-mail as an alternative to the use of paper publications.
18) Formation of the Green Council within the school for daily follow-up of all that would apply environmental requirements and specifications.
Benefits of green schools:
A) Financial reduction of water and electricity expenditures:
Although the cost of building green schools is slightly higher than traditional schools (2%), green construction offers huge reductions in operating and maintenance costs, 33% less energy and 32% water.
1) Reduce waste in school.
2) Raise awareness of environmental protection issues and encourage waste management efforts to benefit from recycling, waste reduction on land and protection of the natural environment. Conservation of fresh drinking water and management of rainwater runoff.
3) Reduce reliance on fossil fuels used in transportation, and green schools release less greenhouse gases and pollution into the environment. As reducing passenger car trips by one passenger reduces carbon emissions from transportation.
4) Reducing energy use in buildings reduces the power load on generating plants, reducing carbon emissions and other environmental impacts of energy. LEED certified green buildings are designed to use power and water in a significantly more efficient way than traditionally designed buildings. They are built with sustainable, recyclable and recyclable materials and products.
5) Reduces the burden on municipal water and wastewater treatment reduces the demand for local waste dumps.
C) As for the student and teacher
1) Reducing the violence in the school by activating the spirit of fruitful teamwork among all students.
2) reduce the number of sick days and the number of sick students and improve the health of children. Students miss school days a year due to respiratory illness. The internal environmental conditions in the classroom, such as carbon monoxide, dust and pollen, reduce this problem
For example, US reports reported a 15 percent drop in school non-attendance after it became a green school.
3) Improve student results
Green schools are built and designed with strategies and technologies that aim to improve classroom quality rather than traditional schools. improving student health and conducting exams. Green schools have better lighting and control over temperature and improved ventilation for indoor air. This can improve the health of students, faculty and staff, reduce absenteeism and increase time to stay in school, translated by increasing productivity and enhancing student performance.
Nutrition and physical activity. Paying attention to health in schools has an effect
4) Improving the relationship between the student and his country.
D) For the school
1) Raise the rank of the school among the other schools.
2) Expanding the relationship of the school with other schools in the country and the world.
3) Gain the Support of the Ministry to protect such activities.
1) The Benefits of Green Schools By Paul Chapman Independent School, Fall, 2012.
2) Greening America’s Schools Costs and Benefits, Gregory Kats, October 2006,A Capital E Report, www.cap-e.com.
3)Green School Faqs, PMM companies, www.pmmcompanies.com
4) What is a green school? Published on: 30 Jul 2017 Author: Anisa Heming, http://ww