There are several ways to help cut down on energy consumption in the classroom. By getting your students in on the action and incorporating energy-saving techniques in lesson plans, you’re one step closer to minimizing your carbon footprint. Take note, implement and share the following ways to save energy in your classroom.

1. Get students to power down personal devices

From smartphones to laptops, students are on their gadgets all day long. If your school allows for personal device use by students during school hours, encourage your class to think again. While smartphones and tables do not soak up a lot of energy, these products still use electricity to stay powered on. With constant use, students’ phones might need recharging fairly often. If students can keep their device turned off while at school, they will end up saving energy since they won’t need to recharge as often.

2. Turn off lights when you leave a room

Switching the lights off when you leave the classroom seems like a pretty obvious task, but it’s something many people forget. Remind the kids to turn off any lights when a room is empty. Just think, if six 100-watt bulbs run for around six hours at 12 cents kWh, that’s 3,600 watt-hours and 43 cents used. If those same bulbs are only on if you’re in the room, you could potentially help save anywhere from $5 to $10 a month in electricity usage.

3. Unplug when you’re finished

Overhead projectors, televisions, computers and smart boards all use electricity for power, and many of them can use small amounts of energy if left plugged in. If a device has a remote or display light, you can guarantee it’s slowly but surely using electricity, even when it’s powered off. Be sure to unplug these type of items when they’re not in use.

4. Use timers to turn things on and off

If unplugging lights, devices or anything that uses the school’s electricity connection is hard to remember, there are always timers that can do the work for you. Electric outlet timers are found at most discount-retailers across the nation, and can run around $3 to $25 per device depending on the kind you prefer. Plug the timer into the wall, then the device into the timer, and set when to turn on and turn off the device. It’s pretty simple and one less thing for you to remember. In addition, you’re also saving energy.

5. Keep your door closed

Heating and cooling a room can be expensive, especially during the winter and summer. It’s hard to concentrate when all you can think about is how hot or cold you are; the same applies to students. By keeping your classroom door closed, you can cut down on HVAC energy consumption. Keeping a door open lets climate-controlled air escape, making the air conditioning and heater work overtime.

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