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  • Writer's pictureAlizée CCM

The importance of sustainability within education.

What are our education institutes doing to prepare our younger generations for the larger societal problem of climate crisis? Across many of educational institutes there is a deficient integration of sustainable development thinking, into the traditional core topics; thus a majority of schools lack the ability to prepare students to solve environmental issues.

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Why educate about sustainability?

Ajita Nayar, education manager at Emirates Wildlife Society, (a part of the World Wildlife Fund) states the most significant reason is ‘It can create a better world for current and future generations, and of all living things on earth.’ By doing so, we are equipping every child to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to solve societal problems and shape a sustainable future.

Sustainability within education acts as a dual development outcome for students.

Firstly, sustainability should be incorporated within core subjects already taught within schools (such as maths, science and even art.) This will aid students’ understanding of environmental problems and solutions, and their ability to learn how this applies to a variety of contexts/industries.

Secondly, sustainability brings personal development life skills, such as leadership, communication and management. These skills and more, are applicable not just to the sustainability sector, but spurs students to excel at living their lives to benefit humanity and care for our planet; no matter what their background or career path.

Earth’s Day Lecture at YKPAO school

Zer’0 Waste Shanghai’s educational services:

From browsing through our website you can see the plethora of services we offer, especially to students and educational institutes; demonstrating our strong belief for the need of sustainability tuition.

Our most successful project is the compost bin workshops for schools. The project allows students to fully understand biological processes of decomposition and regrowth, as well as the significance composting can bring to reduce waste. The success of the project is a prime example about how students are able to extend their curriculum knowledge to sustainable values, in a fun and hands on way.

A real benefit of these projects is to bring about a ‘ripple effect’ onto each students’ family and friend circle. The ‘ripple effect’ can easily bridge education institutes to the context of the home, by instilling sustainable behaviours from the student to the parent.

However, this will be limited if a student’s sustainable behaviours aren’t supported in the home. Therefore, this emphasises the importance of educational institutes and their need to step up as a focal support and practice system.

Wellington College International Shanghai

To do so, educational institutes should focus on delivering an active platform and safe discussion space, where students are able to engage with these values and truly understand how to bring about sustainable changes, from a range of perspectives.

Zer’0 Waste Shanghai on promoting sustainability discussion within schools:

To encourage this, alongside our in-class zero waste school programmes, we offer extra-curricular events, in order to kickstart change and solidify sustainable behaviours; especially for students who lack the ability to maintain them at home. The extra-curricular events create a capacity for everyone to take part and discuss sustainability related topics and solutions; thus providing an additional supporting system, which is familiar to and regular for students.

As the start of the new academic year draws closer, it’s important to think about how your educational institute(s) are doing their bit, to engage and encourage sustainability within the classroom.

Zer'0 Waste Shanghai Services.

Are they doing anything at all? If they are, how can this be extended further?

A new year is a symbol for new starts. So why not encourage a new sustainable start to the school year and get involved with promoting sustainability and zero waste within your educational institute!

Get in contact with us if you need help getting started and taking the first steps in doing so!


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