Elementary School Carnival Ideas

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wasteful Schools - 12 Ways Schools Can Earn Money Without Fundraising...

I don't believe schools are wasteful, but I do think every school has room for improvement when it comes to lowering expenses, gaining efficiencies via technology and getting greener.  Here are a few ideas that schools can use to earn cash back over time.  These are just a few ideas to be greener, less wasteful and earn back more money over time:

1) Electric Hand dryers - get some that won't burn kids and you will reduce your paper cost by a ton.

2) Automatic sinks and soap dispensers - if you've not got them yet, you are surely wasting money.

3) Heating/cooling Timer - putting an intelligent thermostat in will allow temperatures to creep up after-school and overnight but return to perfect the next morning saving money.

4) Go paperless - Based on what I've seen, this is a biggie but every school can reduce the paper they use and rely more on computers.  Keep records from a district level down digital!  Many businesses today have made the switch to paperless quite successfully and you can too!

5) Lighting - Improving lighting is a big deal in schools in my opinion.  Schools can put intelligent switches on lights that turn on when someone enters a room and off when everyone's gone.  Not only that new energy efficient lights and paying attention to lighting design are a few other ways to improve the quality of lighting and save money as well.

6) Recycle - while not a money saver in a conventional sense as far as I know, recycling does encourage schools to use what they need.  It's a reminder not to be wasteful and that creates savings. 

7) Unplug - remind faculty to unplug things that are not used regularly.  If there are printers, calculators, etc on all the time that are rarely used, they are storing and using energy.  Although not a major consideration perhaps, it's still money in the bank.

8) Solar - solar power is a bit expensive in the short-term, but long-term gains are outstanding.  Outdoor lighting and signage can be solar powered and school roofs allow ample direct sunlight for even bigger efforts. 

9) Invest in Technology - Smart Boards, iPads and computers limit the need for paper and conventional printing.  Use an email broadcast instead of a printed newsletter and you save thousands of sheets of paper a year!  Paper can be reduced by encouraging homework and papers to be submitted electronically for even more savings!  Other than that, when schools embrace technology, the business world takes notice producing even better, more applicable technology.  You have to support technology in schools if you want technology to support you!

10) Ebooks instead of Textbooks - there is a change coming.  A transition from paper textbooks to electronic versions is here.  There's no need today to have a printed book except perhaps in cases of early childhood education and even that can go digital!

11) Be a Community Hub - consider offering areas of the school to the business and public sector for the sake of the community.  Rent your baseball fields out, host seminars and other events, provide your parking lot to the annual clothing sale for a donation.  As long as it passes the legal test and is a benefit to the school and the community, you should consider it.

12) Offer summer school, study and play groups - science camps, band camps, art camps, educational and fun group such as a reading club can be a boom to the finances of a school while offering a community benefit.  If these are third-party providers, they will rent the location.  If they are your own program, the school benefits from all the income.  Hosting events when the school is not in session may just be a way to earn more while providing a service.  As your school gets more embedded into the community, it holds more power and prestige.  This adds credibility, comfort and people become used to going there for various events and activities.  As people think of your school as a benefit to the community, it becomes more important in the eyes of the community.

Hopefully that rounds out a few quality ways to invest in the school as a community hub that saves money by being green, investing in technology and reusable energy.  In setting up your own plan, look to the building inefficiencies first, then look inside the classroom and finally look to the community.  There's certainly a lot of ways to make an impact.  I hope this article helps.

Ok, until next time!

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