Teaching green and promoting environmentalism in schools can have numerous benefits for both students and the wider community. Not only can it help to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the planet, but it can also foster a sense of responsibility and encourage students to make more sustainable choices in their daily lives. Here are a few ways that schools can incorporate green practices and environmentalism into their curriculum and culture.
Incorporate environmental education into the curriculum: Environmental education can be incorporated into a variety of subjects, from science and math to social studies and language arts. For example, students could learn about renewable energy sources in science class, or explore the impact of climate change on different regions of the world in social studies. I have explored how we can promote eco-literacies in a previous post that can be visited at: https://internationaleducationtoday.com/2022/12/20/the-imperative-to-promote-eco-literacies-in-international-schools/
Promote sustainable practices on campus: Schools can encourage sustainable practices by taking steps such as reducing energy consumption, using reusable or biodegradable materials, and recycling. Schools can also consider installing solar panels or participating in a green energy program. I have written about how we promote environmentalism through project-centred learning in this LinkedIn post: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/adrianscarlett1969_energy-fractal-international-activity-7001127182001414144-3Wka?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
Encourage students to get involved in environmental projects: Students can get involved in environmental projects by participating in recycling programs, planting trees or gardens, or organizing beach cleanups. These activities not only help to protect the environment, but they also provide students with a sense of accomplishment and a greater understanding of the impact they can have on their community. It is essential that students actually have the opportunity to engage with green issues and are given the chance to get their hands dirty. If young people don’t learn to love the natural world and have chances to improve their local environment, it is unlikely that they will be committed to promoting sustainability in their adult lives.
Host educational events: Schools can host educational events such as lectures, film screenings, or workshops to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage students to get involved in environmental activism. One of the highlights of my career was organising such a conference whilst I was working in Paris during COP21. https://globalissuesnetwork.org/cop21paris/keynote-speakers-2/
Partner with local organizations: Schools can partner with local organizations such as conservation groups or environmental agencies to bring resources and expertise to the classroom and encourage students to get involved in community projects. Other organisations such as Rotary International and the Lions Club are great to partner with when carrying out projects focused on the environment, sustainable development and social justice.
By incorporating environmental education and sustainable practices into the curriculum and culture of a school, educators can help to foster a sense of responsibility and commitment to protecting the planet among students. This can not only benefit the environment, but it can also help to shape the next generation of leaders and innovators who are dedicated to finding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.