Going Green: The Importance of Teaching Students The Value of Sustainability

The 2022 Sustainability and Climate Change Policy paper from The Department for Education detailed the important role the sector must play in all aspects of sustainability.

The report stated how the work within the classroom can reduce environmental footprints, particularly in the drive to achieve net zero.

‘With more than 16 million children, young people, and adults in education in the UK, capturing the enthusiasm of youth can inspire the whole of society to work together at the start of this crucial decade for the planet’

With a multitude of ways to go green and push sustainability to the top of the agenda, we look at some of the quick changes you can make right now in the classroom.

Because even the smallest steps can prove invaluable…

make Your Curriculum Green

It has never been more important to incorporate engaging content and hands-on activities around sustainability into the lesson plan. Equipping young children with knowledge around subjects such as climate change, recycling, carbon footprints, biodiversity, and more, will allow them to take action in practising a greener lifestyle and create a lifelong interest in saving the planet.

It is imperative to weave in these subject matters at all ages so that young people can understand their impact on the world around them. Try a school allotment, a zero-waste day, or a cycle-to-school initiative. With climate change still not added to the curriculum, teachers and schools must work together to introduce these topics and have the support, resources, and confidence available to deliver them effectively.

Recycling Solutions

Adding recycling to the classroom can be a small but effective idea, with many households already recycling their waste, students will already understand the concept, therefore making it easier for it to be adopted in the classroom. To make the task more engaging try using creative coloured recycling stations or point-based games/competitions with fellow students to make recycling fun. You could also arrange a trip to a landfill/recycling centre to see how the items are broken down and recycled back into the system. This experience can teach students firsthand about the circular economy and its benefit.

To go beyond the standard plastic and paper recycling bins and inspire students to think about other ways they can make a difference, try adding more unconventional solutions to the classroom, such as batteries, clothing, and cardboard. You can find out how Lyreco can help you change the way you see waste with the ever-growing Lyreco Recycling Services.

Products That Are Great for people, the planet, and communities

Why not try using greener alternatives for your lessons and supplies? One of the common misconceptions when it comes to acting sustainably is that you must compromise on some form of quality. Lyreco offers a range of environmentally preferred products that perform as efficiently as their non-recyclable counterparts. With 849 products now defined as compostable/degradable, and 46% of our total product offering being classed as sustainable by meeting our Great for People & Great for the Planet criteria, it has never been easier to go green.

These are just a handful of tips to help you get started, but the most important actions you can take as an educator is to simply talk to your students about climate change.

As a child, our teachers are one of our greatest influences. They teach us how to navigate through life and provide us with knowledge about the world around us. As educators, you have the power to raise the next generation to be eco-conscious, mindful, and respectful of their planet. Every day you have the power to shape who they become as adults and the world they will live in.

Leading the change doesn’t just happen in the classroom, it starts from the top, from head teachers to governing bodies those that show how important it is to implement and progress greener policies will empower those that deliver eco curriculums to our children.

Be it quick wins or grand revolutions, we can all play a part.

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