How to involve your Students in Sustainability
In a world where resources are becoming limited and greenhouse gasses are continuing to grow, it has never been more important to educate the younger generations on sustainability and the impact we as humans, have on the environment. Learning about sustainability in education will not only help protect our planet for the future, but will also prepare students to meet sustainability challenges they may face when they reach employment.
As adults, educators, and parents, it’s easy for us to take note of scary statistics, realise the damage we’re doing on the environment, and make a change. However, as a child, student, or an adolescent – it’s equally as easy to dissociate from global environmental issues, and overlook the risks.
We wanted to give you a few ideas on how you can educate students of all ages, about sustainability in a fun and positive way.
Eco-friendly Insect Hotels
Ideal for younger students and children, insect hotels can be a great way to demonstrate how you can give materials a
new lease of life and purpose. Use things like leaves, toilet rolls, wood chippings and other foliage to create a habitable environment for creepy crawlies. Not only are you teaching up-cycling, but you can also talk about bio-diversity and insects.
Top Tip: Placing your Eco-friendly insect hotel in a green hedge gives protection against the elements and predators, whilst acting as a nesting aid.
Just like the insect hotels, self-contained eco-systems or ‘jarrariums’ are self-sustaining eco-systems inside of a jar or bottle, ideal for middle-aged students and children. The idea is to create an environment that combines all the ingredients to create a world in a capsule. Why not head on a scavenger hunt to find substrate, plants, pebbles and mud – to open the conversation about eco-systems, and build a jarrarium for your classroom or pupils!
Ideal for all ages, field trips can be a perfect opportunity for a day out of the classroom, and to give your students hands-on experiences to help with their learning. Depending on your chosen topic, you may want to consider visiting Farms, Energy Sites (Such as solar panel sites or cooling tower tours), Landfill sites, Recycling centres and so on.
Circular Economy Activity (Plan a sustainable business)
One of the common misconceptions when it comes to acting sustainably, is that you have to compromise on some form of quality. Lyreco offer a range of environmentally preferred products, that perform as efficiently as their non-recyclable counterparts.
Educating students about how the quality of life, isn’t compromised when making sustainable choices is important. To encourage problem solving and critical thinking, ask your students to create a sustainable, eco-friendly business plan or product. This exercise is ideal for middle and older students, and can be simplified for younger audiences.
Organise a Community Clean-up
Incentivise litter picking and other hands-on ways to help your community. This can be a great way to show the impact of littering, and how long litter takes to decompose.
Calculate Carbon Footprints
There are loads of online calculators that can help you establish an individual carbon footprint. By doing this you can openly discuss ways you can reduce your carbon footprints, through simple, sustainable actions or choices.
Sustainability and Recycling Inspired Games
What better way to start a conversation than games? By introducing a competitive element, to a subject topic such as recycling, can be a great way to involve both younger and middle-aged students. Try splitting the classroom into groups, and asking them to sort through a selection of items to determine what’s recyclable. You can also ask them to guess how many years something may take to decompose – an easy way to tie in some key stats, without losing engagement!
To shop our environmentally preferred products, click here.
Likewise, to find out how Lyreco can support you in education, click here.