Sustainability Superheroes blog
Using Decision-making and Entrepreneurial Thinking
The COVID-19 outbreak has created drastic life changes for everyone around the world, and has greatly affected the education system. Teachers and students are forced to transition to distance learning, and for many, this has been a challenge. Despite this unpredicted change, there are still ways you can incorporate sustainability into your teacher lifestyle. Here are some tips to continue being an eco-friendly teacher from home.
Use Less Paper
Now that you're teaching from home, this is a great opportunity to avoid using paper as much as possible. Paper is a necessity for teaching specific lessons in a classroom, but it's time to get creative. There are many different sites you can use to get responses from your students. Flipgrid is a free social learning tool that comes in online format and in an app. You can create a link to a grid and have your students submit videos. Wakelet is another amazing free platform that organizes all types of content into one place. Your students can share links, videos, texts, images, and documents all in one place. They can be shared and viewed by you and other students in your class.
Teach Students to Repurpose
If you are planning to get your students to create a crafty art project, tell them that it can only be made with repurposed materials that they have to find in their home. They could take newspaper and magazines to create collages. They could use egg cartons, yogurt cups, boxes, and unused pens and pencils to make sculptures. They can use snack wrappers, food labels, and plastic bags to create a mini mural. This is the ultimate creative challenge!
Turn off Electronic Devices
Teaching at home means using a computer or laptop more. You may be tempted to just leave it on or plugged in charging all the time since you're using it so much, but remember that this takes up a lot of electricity and energy. Leaving it plugged in or on when it doesn't need to be creates energy waste that will increase the machine's carbon dioxide emissions, which contributes to pollution and climate change. Turn off your computer when you're not teaching!
Create a Lesson on Sustainability
With everyone being at home, this is the best time to teach your students to consume less and save more. Create a sustainability lesson with your students! The best way to start is by looking at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are what we all need to aim for in order to achieve global sustainable development by 2030. You can do a lesson on just one, or all of them, then have your students choose which one means the most to them and create a project from that. We have tons of lesson ideas on sustainability topics that you and your students will love! Visit our resources page here.
Encourage Students to Participate in the 2020 Earth Challenge
Your students can become citizen scientists from home! Earth Day Network is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, which is also going digital for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They created the Earth Challenge 2020 app that allows anyone to take photos of air pollution and garbage pollution and submit them through a global database. This teaches students to be more aware of the environment and learn about taking global action. It is very simple to use, but please ensure safety and caution for the little ones when going outdoors doing their part as a citizen scientist! Learn more about the Earth Challenge here.