In a world where global warming and climate change threatens the very existence of our planet, it has never been more important that students and young people are cultivating an in-depth understanding of the value of green living.
The value of resources and their unlimitedness should be at the forefront of our consciousness. As the generation that will be most affected by issues such as climate change, students should be educated as to the importance of sustainable living as soon as possible, and be taught how to develop environmentally aware lifestyles.
Moreover, as a result of global warming, the green energy sector has an increasing number of job opportunities, and learning about green energy and sustainability opens up a number of different paths of employment for students to consider as they move through their academic journey.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to teach students the value of green living:
Lead by Example & Help Them Establish Good Habits
More often than not, actions speak louder than words, and in order to ensure that children are actively learning and developing sustainable habits, it is important that they see those who they look up to practising green living.
Students will often subconsciously pick up the habits of people that they spend time with, adapting the same ideas and beliefs as their parents, teachers and peers. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to teach students the value of green living is through leading by example.
There are a huge number of ways by which you can lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle, and there are steps you can take that will not only significantly reduce your carbon footprint but will also encourage the next generation to do so, as well.
By making conscious choices such as:
- Composting and recycling
- Avoiding plastic packaging where possible
- Ensuring you walk or take public transport instead of driving if the distance permits
- Swapping out red meat for vegetarian or vegan options when you can
- Using canvas bags instead of plastic bags when you go shopping
- Cutting down on energy use in your home
- Investing in solar-powered energy
Children and young adults who perceive these behaviours are far more likely to also make environmentally friendly choices as they proceed through life.
There are plenty of lifestyle habits that you can instil in children from an early age, and it is incredibly likely that they will go on to practice the same habits as they grow.
Don’t Be All ‘Doom and Gloom’
Whilst, of course, everyone should be made aware of environmental issues, green living and its importance in terms of our planet’s future, it is a good idea to try and keep the rhetoric as positive as possible when discussing related issues.
Rather than dwelling on the problem and constantly focusing on the negatives, try and encourage students to think about how they can act in order to have a positive impact and make a real change. Whether it’s a small action such as purchasing a reusable coffee cup or something more proactive like getting hands-on and volunteering with an organisation such as GreenPeace, there are plenty of ways that you can ensure students are learning about Green Living whilst also feeling positive about their contribution.
Encourage Them to Develop an Interest in the Outdoors
In today’s age of social media and Netflix, it is not uncommon for children and teenagers to spend a lot of time indoors. However, another great way to ensure students learn the value of green living is to encourage them to spend time outside, engaging with nature and immersing themselves in the environment.
It is far easier for people to really care about an issue if it hits close to home for them, or if they feel the effect of something first hand. Therefore, advocating a lifestyle that actively incorporates the outdoors can be incredibly helpful for student’s future interests and can help them to develop a real appreciation of the environment and environmental issues.
Show them how fun and beautiful the outdoors can be by taking them to the beach or on hikes through the countryside. Encourage them to appreciate animals and insects and answer any questions they may have. Through spending time outside, students will naturally learn to associate their environment with positive experiences and, as a result, they will be far more likely to have a deeper understanding of the value of green living.
Developing this connection with nature during the early stages of life will help to promote healthy and green habits as students get older and more independent. For example, they may develop a passion for walking or biking and as a result, be less inclined to drive, or they may adopt more outdoor hobbies like gardening. They may even embark upon careers within the ‘green’ sector and dedicate their lives to helping save the planet.
Ensure They Understand the Science Behind It — Education Is Key
Alongside the practical side to green living, it is also important that students understand the more technical and scientific reasons behind the value of an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Encourage them to read up on the subject, help them to find relevant news articles or show them documentaries that are specifically about the environment and the importance of an eco-friendly lifestyle. You can also help them with their homework and ask them questions about their studies that encourage them to think about green issues and how they relate.
Moreover, if a child is struggling to grasp subjects like biology, chemistry, maths or geography, you can hire a specialist tutor like what you will find in Tutor House to help ensure they fully understand the environmental systems around them, as well as the impact that humanity is having upon them. Through encouraging students to really delve into the science behind global warming, they will further develop their knowledge and, as a result, have a far more in-depth awareness of the value of green living.