Take Action - Go Green: How Eco-Friendly Schools can Shape a Better Future
What Does “Going Green” Really Mean?
The concept of “going green” has become a trend recently. With climate change and other environmental issues in many of today’s headlines, it has become fashionable — even profitable — to use the term. But many lack a full appreciation of and awareness for what it really means to go green.
Sustainability involves becoming aware of the impact of all the little decisions that we make. Sustainability is about being mindful of day-to-day activities and how they impact the environment as well as those who come after us. Recycling paper and plastics, along with trying to reduce our usage of electricity and fossil fuels are a start, but there are many other steps — big and small — individuals can take to protect and preserve the planet.
Going Green is a mindset that involves continual pursuit of knowledge regarding how to live life in an environmentally friendly and responsible way. In addition to big things that reduce people’s carbon footprint, individuals can adopt small, everyday practices and behaviors that help protect the environment and preserve natural resources for current and future generations.
Why is it Important to Go Green?
Climate change poses a major threat to humanity. Researchers and communities have shown us that climate change affects where people can live, grow food, maintain infrastructure, and be healthy. Climate change is connected with many global issues, including biodiversity loss, economic development, poverty reduction, and global peace and security. Government policies and technological solutions are not enough to solve this complex challenge. We need major changes to the ways we think and act.
Even though it may seem as if the impact of climate change is still far away, the planet is already suffering from existing and irreversible damage. The way we treat the planet and its natural resources can have significant impact on our daily lives. Even if we don’t immediately notice the effects, it will have huge repercussions on the lives of future generations.
How Schools are “Going Green”?
Around the world, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has emerged as a cornerstone for tackling climate
change. Based on the idea that we all have a role to play in addressing global challenges, ESD helps us develop the knowledge, skills, and values we need to take action for healthier, fairer, more environmentally sustainable society.
More and more schools are adopting whole-school approaches to ESD and climate action. The basic idea of the whole-school approach is that all members of the school community - not just one or two teachers and/ or students - need to be involved in order to address diverse education and sustainability issues. These issues include reducing the environmental impact of our schools, reorienting what and how students learn, and making stronger links between our schools and communities.
The training course focuses on environmental efforts on recovery of ecosystems, conserving biodiversity and the natural and cultural environment, good human health, efficient material cycles free from dangerous substances, sustainable use of natural resources, efficient energy use, and patterns of consumption.
- To develop greater competence in:
Having sense of belonging in the school community;
- Applying more meaningful, relevant, and hands-on learning opportunities;
- Achieve significant ecological footprint reductions;
- Developing greener and more beautiful school grounds;
- Efficient using of resources;
- Gaining access to teaching resources, expert knowledge, and financial support;
- Encouraging students to search and make use of resources beyond the classroom and the school;
- Using new technologies which are rich sources of learning and learning materials, and can generate ideas and solutions;
- Achieving agreement on environmental, social, cultural, and economic values in the school community;
- Participating in making decisions about sustainable development issues and projects;
- Teaching lessons that help students develop knowledge about sustainable development and climate change, the skills to investigate different possibilities for action, and the resolve to take action;
- Urging everyone in school community to take part in making the school sustainable
- Reinforcing expectations for sustainable, climate-friendly behavior by celebrating appropriate actions and treating others with respect;
- Fostering interdisciplinary learning about sustainable development by transforming school timetables;
- Carrying out assessments (such as waste and energy audits) to measure school’s progress in becoming more sustainable;
- Mentoring younger students who are just learning how to take part in climate action.
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