Does your school prioritize important environmental issues? Is stewardship top priority, or just something in the curriculum that gets touched upon from time to time? Does your school recycle and teach environmental awareness? Many schools do, but some need to do more. Kids love to learn about ways they can help the planet. It’s easy to connect their efforts with plants and animals they can see. I was recently in a school that did not recycle. Students were visibly upset. “Where’s the recycle bin?” asked a student. There was none. Students are programed to recycle. The look on the student’s face upon discovering there was no recycling bin was one of shock and horror.
We are at a tipping point in terms of environmental awareness education. Students have listened for an entire generation. We have trained them to take over caring for the planet. The original Earth Day promoted conservation, litter cleanup, and tree planting. Today, we go so much deeper on many levels–urban and school gardening, recycling, upcycling, repurposing, and reusing, and analysis of carbon footprint. Some schools strive to become their own low-impact ecosystems. Others are relics of more wasteful times.
This week’s Learnist feature is dedicated to thinking about ways to rethink our environmental awareness. For those of us who keep this as a priority–consider doing one extra thing to improve. For schools and individuals who have not yet started on this journey, use these boards to investigate where you might start. Every single step toward waste reduction and environmental awareness makes a difference locally. Eventually, these efforts connect and make a difference globally. If your school is doing amazing things, make a board on Learnist to showcase your efforts. Contact me at @runningdmc so I can include you in future features.
Recycling programs in schools are essential, but sometimes tricky. You may need to involve educational and community leaders in the process of starting a program. This is good, because when schools and communities join forces, everyone wins.
It’s important to be in the know on the issue of green, recycling, and sustainability. This board will help keep you up to date as new words emerge.
Being green is an issue all over the world. This board features ten startups in Africa that are innovating solutions using sustainability.
This learning board showcases comics that focus kids and educators on ways to be good to the environment.
This learning board from Discovery Channel’s “How Stuff Works” shows ten things we can all do to help the environment. Some of these things are really easy to learn about or do in schools. Recycling, composting, and saving resources are things that may take effort in some schools, but educating people on these issues provides a place to start.
Kids love to study the ocean. Sadly, there are many ways we put the ocean in harm’s way–from pollution, overfishing, and islands of trash being carried by the currents, some parts of the ocean are in danger. This learning board helps show why, and what we can do about it.
Many classes conduct Earth Day activities. These are some amazing sixth grade posters. I’d suggest that Earth Day doesn’t have to be reserved for April–there are things schools can do each month, getting students and staff on working together on improving the planet for future generations..
Colleges are hotbeds for activism. These schools are leading the way in sustainability, becoming examples for others.
School gardens help to lower waste produced by school, because the food comes from right on sight. Even schools that don’t produce enough to sustain a lunch program are teaching students stewardship and exposing them to new foods and self-reliance whenever possible.
Paperless grading, hopefully, is the wave of the future. There are so many ways to reduce the glut of paperwork in schools. It’s quite wasteful and often unnecessary. Paperless grading is a great start.
Mobile paperless grading lets teachers take grading on the run. There are many apps for this. If you can control your workflow better, you save time in the long run.
This board has clever ideas for repurposing and recycling. Show some to students and have them innovate and add some more. Students will often come up with the best ideas when given the time and freedom to do so.