November 21, 2022
How to Teach Eco-Consciousness in School?
If the previous generations did not conserve the planet as we know it, we probably would not be here today. Imagine a world where the human generation and all the things we cherish are threatened with extinction. However, it is sad because humans’ actions are, indeed, accelerating the process of destruction and risking future generations. During a recent climate summit in Egypt, the main message was that the planet is racing toward self-destruction. We have to stop the destruction by making every effort to save the planet. It is time to adopt eco-consciousness at all levels. This has to start with education in schools. So, how do you teach eco-consciousness in Singapore schools? Here are some expert suggestions.
Why is Eco-Consciousness Important?
As we have demonstrated in the introduction, eco-consciousness is crucial in helping us to halt the current race towards self-destruction. Indeed, it comes with a long list of benefits that your school, staff, students, and community in Singapore should not miss. Let’s highlight some of the benefits:
- Sustainability helps to improve the learning environment for students, especially at school.
- Eco-consciousness is important in improving the performance of students.
- Crucial in cutting down the costs of running a school.
- Improves sustainability rating of schools.
- Crucial in protecting biodiversity both in the school neighbourhoods and away.
- Eco-friendly training helps to identify innovative solutions for schools and the planet.
Expert Tips for Teaching Eco-Consciousness in School
For most school managers and leaders, the main question that runs in their minds when eco-consciousness is discussed is, "what are the best methods?" We must say that some of the methods that you employ might have a cost, but the impact in the long term will outdo it by a huge margin. So, let's look at some of the best strategies to consider for your school in Singapore:
1. Follow the Ministry of Education Programs for Sustainability Adoption in Schools
One of the best actions is following the Ministry of Education’s efforts to promote sustainability in schools. The ministry appreciates that to be able to achieve its short and long-term sustainability goals, the young generation must get involved. For example, the government has put students at the centre of its near-term target of achieving net zero carbon emissions for schools by 2030.
One of these programs is the Eco-Stewardship Program, which aims to enhance eco-friendly lifestyles among students, staff, and communities. Therefore, you should support the ministry's efforts to ensure that sustainability is not just taught in science and geography classes but in every subject. Check for ways to integrate it into music, English, religious education, and every other area of study.
Other notable programs under the ministry include the New Science Centre, which serves as a demonstration for the installation of sustainability features. Good examples of these features are installing solar panels to harness solar energy and cutting down waste. These practical lessons can help to showcase to learners and staff that being eco-conscious does not have to be complicated. Instead, it can be pretty easy and fun!
2. Use Objects that Promote Eco-Consciousness
Learners build knowledge using the information provided by teachers and elderly people. Therefore, you should use this notion to create an environment that encourages eco-friendly behaviour. In every class, your school can install objects that help to make the environment eco-conscious. Here are some ideas that you should consider:
a.) Consider Going Paperless
When you adopt technology and tech gadgets, they help to reduce the demand to cut down trees for paper supplies. With time, students will find this method of communication easy and enjoyable. However, it is advisable to make the transition gradual as students take time to get used to new methods of communication.
b.) Install LED Lamps
One way of promoting sustainability and letting students in Singapore know about it is cutting down on energy use. Installing LED lighting fixtures in schools helps to provide high-quality light on less energy. Then, showcase the difference between LED and traditional lamps to learners. They will quickly pick the better LED option and even ask parents to shift to them back home.
Later in life, when they get into positions of management, they will not make the mistake of using high-energy lighting fixtures. Indeed, this is likely to be a crucial pillar for Singapore as it works on cutting down energy use and reducing carbon footprint.
c.) Install CONTINEWM
This is a device designed to help improve the efficiency of the HVAC system. It can be an excellent addition to your school to help cut down energy-related bills. The device works by clearing negative electrostatic charges that create resistance to air flow in the HVAC system. You can cut down energy use by HVAC systems by up to 50%.
Because CONTINEWM is located on the front part of the heat exchanger, make sure to demonstrate and showcase how it works to the student. This will make students appreciate that it is possible to enjoy air-conditioned rooms in schools and at home without skyrocketing electricity bills.
3. Hold Some of the Classes Outdoors
Most students are used to learning indoors. However, you can teach them to be eco-conscious by holding some classes outdoors. This can help them appreciate the value we get from plants, natural light, and other resources. Make sure to demonstrate to them the magnificence of nature, such as supplying us with all the energy and light we need without using electricity.
Learning outdoors also helps to grow the connection that students have with the natural environment. For example, the attachment to plants, birds, and other natural resources will be so strong and almost impossible to break in the future. With time, you will note eco-conscious thoughts changing into action as learners start implementing things like planting potted plants and adopting green themes at home.
4. Involve Students in Eco-Projects
To make school students become more eco-conscious, consider involving them in green projects. These are activities that not only promote the sustainability of your school in Singapore but the entire planet. Some good examples of these initiatives include:
a.) Tree planting projects in school: These projects are easy to run, but they have a huge impact on promoting sustainability. You might want to motivate students for greater impact. For example, you can open a book of honour where all students who plant trees write their names. You could even offer a certificate for students who plant a specific number of trees.
b.) Green building initiatives: For schools that do not have a lot of land to plant trees, projects to green their compounds would work excellently. This eco-conscious project can help to develop new building designs that allow natural lighting and interaction with nature. Students can also support the use of potted plants to enhance the beauty of their school.
c.) Forest restoration programs: This is another awesome eco-conscious action that you can work on with students. The lovely thing about this activity is that it can help students to interact with neighbouring communities for greater emphasis on sustainability.
d.) Animal protection efforts: There is always something unique and enjoyable between learners and animals. Therefore, you can work with different organisations to help students learn more about animals and interact with them. This can be done through site visits, watching wildlife documentaries, and animal adoption, where possible.
5. Link Sustainability to Actual Impacts Happening on the Planet
Most of the dangers threatening the planet can be addressed by raising awareness among all people. For students in Singapore, eco-conscious thinking can be promoted by showing them the real threats in the world. The idea is not to scare them but to provide useful information that demonstrates their actions are needed to avert the looming crisis. For example, showing students images of extinct animals allows them to get a feeling of what they are missing. Therefore, they would not engage, whether now or later, in actions that can threaten the current biodiversity.
You should also show students the impacts of global warming, especially on the sinking islands and the extensive droughts. As you showcase these threats, make sure to also offer suggestions for averting them. Again, insist on the urgency that is needed to address these threats, not just in Singapore but globally. This will create the drive to take action to reduce global warming, save animals, and make the world a better place for all.
6. Partner with International Organizations
The journey of sustainability can be pretty tough. When you are getting started, it can feel like a heavy weight has been loaded on your shoulder because of the processes involved. For example, the effort to cut down your carbon footprint, reduce energy use and slash the electricity bill can feel complex. However, you can simplify the journey by partnering with other leading organisations for support.
One of the best organisations that you should work with to promote eco-conscious learning is Climate Fresk. The organisation offers high-quality education content based on the latest data from respected scientists and global organisations. Climate Fresk can help you to build skills for students and staff, and also come in handy when making critical decisions.
As you can see, every party in Singapore, including schools, has a role to play in making the planet sustainable. As school management, you need to craft ways of promoting eco-conscious behaviour, and the methods we have highlighted above can be of great help. Remember to review your effort regularly, and partner with experts like Climate Fresk to make your eco-efforts more effective.