Going Green: Activities to Teach Sustainability in Your Classroom
Have you ever wondered why there is so much talking on sustainability these days? Why does it matter so much? With the growing concerns regarding the environmental situation, sustainability and eco-friendliness are now real trends.
The awareness about these matters keeps evolving across the globe and our mission is to promote further expansion. From this article, you will learn more about sustainability, its core principles, and will find some great classroom activities that can be used to teach children sustainability.
What Is Sustainability and Why It Matters So Much?
In a nutshell, the term sustainability refers to the ability of a specific system to exist within an environment that evolves towards thermodynamic equilibrium. Today, this term is mostly used to define the ability of our planet’s biosphere to coexist with human civilization.
Generally, there are three main elements of sustainability:
- Social responsibility;
- Environmental conservation;
- Economic development.
The core concept behind sustainability is to let people meet their current needs without draining available resources and compromising future generations’ ability to meet their needs as well.
The reason why it matters is that sustainability strives to increase our quality of life and environmental health.
Sustainability for Kids: Best Classroom Activities
Keeping in mind the high importance of sustainability in the modern world, it becomes clear that we have to do our best to spread awareness about this matter among all communities. And the best way to get started is by implementing sustainability education in schools. How to do this? Here are a few great activities to begin with:
Teach Recycling Basics
The most obvious and popular one of all sustainability classroom activities is recycling. It is a common thing for communities that are used to recycling to start teaching children to do this since elementary school. To implement this idea, place several recycling bins in a classroom and label them based on the type of items that can be thrown there. Then, encourage kids to use these bins during the day. This will teach them how to recycle trash right.
This is not exactly an activity you can do in the classroom, but it is definitely a good idea to try with the class. The idea is simple. A teacher can take pupils for a “green” walk - bring along a bag and gloves, and encourage kids to clean up the trash from the street. This activity helps students learn that littering is not right and will have fun feeling the impact they have on our planet.
Gardening is another great activity that teaches sustainability. If possible, offer your class to plant a garden in the school’s backyard. This way, you will teach kids the principles of sustainability, provide them with a unique experience, and have some organic fruits and vegetables as a bonus.
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” - this is the main credo of sustainability. Thus, in the next sustainability activity offered on our list, we are going to focus on one of these elements. In particular, it will teach kids to reuse items.
Talk to the class about the main reasons why they throw something away. Then, offer pupils to participate in a project the goal of which is to reduce the amount of waste through reusing different items.
Energy Waste Control
Teach kids that consuming too much energy results in more pollution and draining of natural resources. Offer them to create a special energy waste control team to decrease the amount of energy you use in the classroom.
This can be an extremely engaging activity, during which students will learn how to assess the amount of energy they consume and come up with effective solutions to reduce waste.
The Bottom Line
In the 21st century, people seem to become much more conscious about the environment than ever. We are trying to reduce the pollution we cause, minimize waste, and switch to a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. And, most importantly, we are doing our best to teach future generations to do the same!
In this article, we have collected just a few effective examples of activities you could do with the class to learn sustainability. In fact, there are many other fun things you could do, so don’t be afraid to unleash your creativity and experiment with various activities!
This article is written by an expert writer from an online college help service. Sandra has always been into ecology and environmental studies. She confirms that sustainability is her lifestyle credo. In this article, Sandra Larson shares some of her ideas on how sustainability can be taught in a classroom.