Educating the future. Teaching children the skills they need to conquer the world. We recognise the significance of math tests, English tasks, art class and physical education lessons for the future of our younger generations.
But are we doing enough to ensure they value and sustain the relationship they have with the environment?
The environment is high on the agenda of human concern and the contribution of everybody, including schools, is required to ensure a better future.
Research by Actsmart, an initiative of the ACT Government, states “86 per cent of the waste a school produces can be recycled or reused”.
According to Nicole Butler from Environmental Education Victoria, schools could improve this by “changing their waste management practices; introducing commingled recycling, composting and collecting soft plastics and electronic waste for recycling”.
Steps such as implementing a system with separate segments for different forms of waste is an easy step for students in creating a clean relationship with the environment.
Despite this, schools have made a significant contributions to the improvement of our earth.
Ms Butler said “since 2008, ResourceSmart Schools have saved over $20 million through energy, waste and water savings. They have also avoided over 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases”. This amount of progress indicates schools are able to help improve the environment and brings much hope and satisfaction to many people.
Ms Butler explained the best-case scenario for embedding sustainability into schools is to involve students, teachers AND parents.
“This way sustainability actions go beyond the school gate and improve the greater school community,” Ms Butler said.
A great change in the approach schools take towards moulding the attitudes students have towards the environment would not only assist the minds and lives of children now and also for generations into the future.
Who would not like to know the sustainability of the earth’s future is in the hands of people capably taught how to relate with their environment?