Protect: Air/Indoor Air Quality

LEARN!
Ask your mentor to do a presentation, then click on these links to learn more about indoor air quality at schools.

DO!
Indoor Air Quality Projects 

  • Help students propagate plant (reuse plastic bottles as rooting containers).
  • Help students transfer these propagated plants into self-watering containers they engineer from plastic bottles.
  • Set the self-watering planters inside steel cafeteria cans and attach these plant labels
  • Help students make potting soil by thoroughly mixing a 40 lb bag of cheap potting soil, one bag of Perlite and a handful of compost from the students’ compost bins.
  • Hold a plant sale once a year (staff and students can gift a plant to someone who has helped them grow as a person during the school year).
  • Help students create a “Green Cross Club” to swap out plants that are not thriving and try and nurse them back to health.
  • In January, collect left-over poinsettias, which function as great indoor air-quality plants.

TEACH!
Ideas for sharing student indoor air quality knowledge

  • Post pictures with captions on your Green Steps school site
  • Submit pictures with captions to the Green Steps blog and Facebook page

SAMPLE PROJECT
Make a Self-Watering Planter

  • Cut a plastic juice bottle in half
  • Attach a piece of cheesecloth (or dryer sheet for non-edibles) with a rubber band over the opening on the neck of the bottle
  • Turn the top half of the bottle upside down and fill it with potting soil and a plant with some roots
  • Using a large-eyed needle, thread a cotton string up through the cheesecloth to the top of the soil and back down
  • Leave both ends of the thread long enough to reach into the water reservoir formed by the bottom of the bottle
  • Put water in the bottom portion of the bottle and then place the upside-down top section of the bottle into the bottom portion
  • Keep water in the reservoir, and let the strings keep the plant watered at the correct rate