Knowledge is the main power that supports sustainability and enables a large-scale change. By equipping young people with the understanding and skills necessary for eco-friendly living, we invest in our future. Schools play a vital role in the process.
Students care about the environment. According to the 2020 global survey Students, Sustainability and Education, 75% of students reported being worried about climate change. However, the curriculum often doesn’t do enough to ensure exhaustive sustainability training. Students lack opportunities to participate in environmental initiatives. This is a key problem we need to address. Read on to find five ways to support students on their journey to sustainable living.
Students want to act. The best way to help them develop their knowledge and skills is to give learners an actual real-world issue to solve. Creating meaningful opportunities requires you to study the interests and concerns of your students. Hold open discussions about issues that matter to them most.
Collaborate with environmental organizations and local businesses to organize opportunities for students to join sustainability programs. These can be volunteering or even paid options. To encourage participation, take into account students’ workload. Of course, admission essay writing service like EssayService are always here to help them with homework. However, providing flexible opportunities that don’t overlap with studies and other responsibilities gives students some extra motivation to act. So be thoughtful when designing an activity as well as its time and place.
Make It Interdisciplinary
Sustainability requires an interdisciplinary approach based on both natural and social sciences. UNESCO highlights research findings stating that students want to see sustainability embedded in all their courses. The best way to achieve this is to team up.
Maintaining sustainability is a collective effort. It has to unite everyone around your campus as well as involve the local community and businesses. Students will benefit from meeting with industry experts and community members to learn about the ways to help the environment. Invite guest lecturers to introduce students to a larger pool of ideas. It will demonstrate that sustainability is not an isolated issue. It extends across a huge network of fields and thus requires complex solutions.
Inspire a Sustainable Vision
Sustainability is a system of views. It is a lifestyle of people who are conscious of human impact on the environment. Therefore, educators should foster a sustainability mindset in students.
Start a discussion about the connection between sustainability and a lifestyle. To encourage students to explore the issue, ask them to write a paper. How to write an essay on sustainability? Students should consider their routines and habits. Evaluate aspects like the use of plastics, food and water waste, recycling, and energy conservation. Ask students to share their insights on how to minimize their impact on the environment. Instead of the gloom of climate change, focus on positive habits, success stories, and real-life examples to show students how to make a real difference.
Present Campus as a Place to Experiment
Building a sustainable future requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. There’s no safer place to develop them than the classroom. Students should feel that they can rely on their school in helping them explore and try out their sustainability ideas. It’s crucial to let learners work on their personal projects and support them with resources and guidance.
Climate change is a global issue. However, solutions to it are in small individual actions of everyone. Urge students to look into the sustainability goals of your school or community. Having identified an issue that matters to them most, students can work together to design projects to curb it. This could be anything:
- Promoting biodiversity by planting a garden;
- Running awareness campaign to address climate change;
- Having a tech-free day to reduce the use of energy;
- Organizing a fundraiser for a local shelter;
- Designing a product that can make student life more sustainable;
- Lobbying for green power.
Involve Online Students
Campuses often help students be more sustainable by designing eco-friendly classrooms, organizing recycling, and taking care of energy conservation. Yet, as many students choose virtual education over traditional classes, there’s a need to help them build sustainable habits as well.
Studying from home doesn’t mean that a student can’t join sustainability initiatives. On the contrary, this extends their responsibility for creating a sustainable environment around them. Encourage students to:
- Unplug devices when they aren’t used to conserve energy;
- Cook their own healthy meals instead of relying on delivery, which takes more resources for food to be made and delivered;
- Make mindful purchasing decisions and choose energy-efficient appliances;
- Reuse items and consider pre-owned goods;
- Research environmental issues and participate in local initiatives.
By teaching sustainability, you empower students to become more responsible citizens. They learn how they impact the environment with their daily habits. This allows students to become more mindful of their choices. Sustainability is an individual journey for each person. With guidance and support from educators, students’ environmental awareness and skills serve to make the world a better place.