Making an Impact

DKG California 
Educational - Professional - Making an Impact

California State Organization

Green Living Ideas and Links
Green Living Suggestions for the School Year

Judy Patel, Global Awareness Committee Member

Introduction:  Green Living and an ecological footprint go hand in hand.  An ecological footprint is defined as the impact of humans on nature.  We need to be good stewards of our planet because it provides us with food, shelter and energy. We are currently using a large percentage, 30%, more than the earth can sustain.  Think about the following categories:  the food that you eat, the energy/electricity that you use, transportation, what you throw away (waste) and water. We can resolve to be intentional custodians of the planet by beginning the school year with a goal of reducing our ecological footprint in these areas.  Here are some practical suggestions for each month of the school year, as well as some resources for lesson planning and summer reading in the July and August.


Carpool to Chapter meetings.  Pack lunches in reusable containers.  After cleaning out your desk, donate supplies to classroom teachers in your Chapter or nearby school.  An iRecycle app on your cell phone can be used to find places to recycle hard to dispose of items. began in 2007 by the U.S. fund for UNICEF to teach students about the importance of clean water.


Donate old calendars, trick-or-treat reusable bags, books, magazines, and note cards to a classroom teacher, recycling center or hospital.  Donate gently used clothes to a charity.  If possible, make Halloween costumes from clothes you have on hand or from a thrift store.


Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to power a television for 20 minutes. 

Visit America for November 15, which is "America Recycles Day". 

Find a recycling center near you at:

For more recycling options go to


December 2 is “Giving Tuesday.”  It started in 2012 and it has become a day to support your favorite non-profit organizations.  Donations, in the name of your honoree, instead of Christmas gifts, is one way to reduce the space that these items would take up.  However, if you need to purchase Christmas gifts, Amazon Smile is one way to donate to DKG or LIFE.


Break into small groups at a Chapter meeting and discuss what it means to “go green.”  Vote on one action plan for the whole Chapter’s New Year’s resolution.  Check on how the resolution is going (being kept) at each meeting.  For example, everyone can turn the heater down two degrees this winter or make one less shopping trip each week.


Make handmade Valentine cards from recycled materials and send to World Fellowship recipients.  Make your own Valentine treats.


Set aside a book to recycle at the “Buck a Book” table at California State Convention.  Collect ink cartridges and cell phones and send to a local recycling place.  Send the money that you collect to Schools for Africa.


Earth Day is observed April 22.  Plant a tree.  Conserve water.  Pick up litter.  Go outside and enjoy fresh air.  Celebrate.


Reduce the load on your air conditioner.  Set the thermostat 1-3% higher for less energy use for every degree set above 72 degrees.  Use the air conditioner only on the hottest days.  Remember to turn off the air conditioning system when traveling.


Retired teachers can volunteer to help working teachers clean their classrooms for THAT volunteer hours.  Extra materials can be recycled from teacher room clean out.


Summer reading books: 

Picture Yourself Going Green: Step by Step Instructions for Living a Budget-Conscious, Earth-Friendly Lifestyle in Eight Weeks or Less by Erinn Morgan, 2009.  It lists detailed steps you can take to go green when buying groceries, electricity, pet products, using water, traveling, commuting and more.

Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth and Get Rich Trying by David Bach with Hillary Rosner, 2008.  It lists ways to green up your life by using biodiesel or a hybrid, making your house energy-smart, planting trees, making faucets low-flow, and so forth.  These are simple, easy solutions.



Environmental Protection Agency:  What You Can Do.

Also at this website, Green Living Tips for At Home, At the Office, On the Road and At School.  Resources here include a seven page printable pdf guide to climate change, a one page flyer, What You Can Do at School, which has the subtopics for Students, Educators and Administrators.  It also has many other educator resources and links.

The Green Schools Initiative is a four-pillar program that incorporates environmental education to help build creative thinking and relationship skills and serves to develop leadership qualities.

GreenHeart Education includes a “Green Curriculum Model” intended to build a foundation of environmental ethics with an overarching focus on climate change/global warming and renewable energy.

The North American Association for Environmental Education Teacher page provides professional and classroom resources, including lesson plans and activities by topic.

The California Education and Environmental Initiative is a free, state-sponsored K-12 curriculum that teaches science and history-social science standards through an environmental lens.

Good Housekeeping

The Nature Conservancy