A recent study revealed that parents and teachers are not teaching children the value of sustainability. This showed that many children were unaware of what recycling means or didn’t know how to reduce their carbon footprint. This is alarming as it will take years before these students develop into adults who care about the environment.
One way to change this is by teaching children about sustainability in schools. This can be done through various curricula, such as environmental science or even health class. It’s important that students learn about the importance of taking care of our planet and how they can make a difference. Here are some ways to effectively imbibe this knowledge into children’s minds.
1. Make it relatable
It’s difficult for children to understand the importance of sustainability if they can’t see how it affects them directly. Therefore, it’s important to make the concept relatable to them. For instance, you can discuss how climate change is causing an increase in natural disasters and how this affects their daily lives. Give them specific examples of how they can help make a difference, such as conserving energy or recycling.
2. Add a bit of fun
Children learn best when they’re having fun. So, try to make the learning process as enjoyable as possible. Use games, puzzles, and other interactive activities to teach them about sustainability. You can even create a friendly competition among the students to see who can come up with the most creative way to reduce their carbon footprint.
3. Let them engage with sustainable companies
One of the best ways to learn is by seeing first-hand what sustainability looks like. Let the students engage with sustainable companies and organisations that work with a net-zero consultancy program. This could be through field trips, internships, or even volunteering programmes. By doing this, they’ll be able to see how businesses are working towards a more sustainable future.
4. Encourage parents to get involved
The best way to ensure that children learn the value of sustainability is by getting the parents involved. You cannot do this task on your own as an educator. Send home information about sustainability and how parents can help their children learn more about it. You can also host workshops and events that parents can attend to learn more about the topic. This will allow them to be more supportive of their children’s learning.
5. Implement green policies in the classroom
It is always important to lead by example. If you want your students to care about sustainability, then you need to show them that you do too. Implement green policies in the classroom, such as conserving energy or using recycled materials. You can even start a school garden where students can learn about organic farming. By doing these things, you’ll be sending a strong message to your students about the importance of sustainability.
6. Reward sustainable behaviour
Children are more likely to engage in sustainable behaviour if they’re rewarded for it. So, come up with a system that recognises and rewards students who make an effort to be more sustainable. This will encourage them to continue these behaviours even after they leave the classroom.
7. Invite sustainability experts to speak
There’s nothing like learning from those who are actually doing the work. Invite sustainability experts to come and speak to your students about their work. This could be someone who works in renewable energy, conservation, or even urban planning. Try to find professionals that have a personal connection to the students, such as those who live in their community. This will help make the information more relevant to them.
8. Keep it up
Learning about sustainability is a lifelong process. It’s important to keep the conversation going even after the school year is over. Send home information about sustainability during the summer break and host events that allow students to share what they’ve learned. You can also start a blog or social media page where students can post their ideas and thoughts about sustainability. With this, you’ll be able to keep the momentum going and ensure that your students are always learning.
Sustainability is an important topic for children to learn about, but it can be difficult without the right support. Fortunately, there are many things that educators can do to teach children the value of sustainability. By using games, puzzles, and other interactive activities, you can make the learning process enjoyable for children. You can also get the parents involved by hosting workshops and events that they can attend. And, finally, you can lead by example by implementing green policies in the classroom. By doing these things, you’ll be helping children learn about one of the most important issues of our time.