Despite considerable integration of sustainability into the Australian Curriculum, Early Years Learning Framework, the National Quality Standard, the question on how best teach students these skills remains. Research released last week shows humans are changing the climate of the planet 170 times faster than the natural rate experienced over the last 700 years, and in the wrong direction. We are now the most powerful force impacting the way the earth operates and we are doing it in a way that is having severe consequences right now and drastically threatening our future. This is no exaggeration, check out the trends and science and try not to feel overwhelmed.
The bad news however is also the good news. We can create just as well as we can destroy. We have the tools we need at present to reverse the trends of climate change, pollution, mass extinction, food security and inequality. We require application.
This is neither as easy or hard as it seems, and for schools, the transformation of their own organisations into one that places sustainability at its core can teach the most vital lesson of all, how we consciously live within our limits and create a better world.
Schools have large footprints and generally consume huge amounts of energy, water and resources while creating large amounts of waste and significant external impacts that come about from actions such as purchasing decisions. They expand and develop regularly and have impressive assets at hand in the way of space, resources, people, expertise and passion. They therefore have may opportunities.
Insightful realisations can come about by simply analysing trends in energy bills can create awareness and actions that can reduce energy consumption by 15% via behavioral change. Add some technology to the mix and your power consumption (and bills) could be (near) instantly slashed by 30-40%. Involve students, community and stakeholders and schools can build capacity, develop partnerships, improve economic returns, reduce carbon emissions and innovate. All while incorporating curriculum through hands-on problem solving and application of STEM focused solutions.
It is 100% viable to increase financial stability, reduce negative impacts, increase resilience, build culture and help restore our incredible natural assets while creating healthier, more stimulating environments that are better for people, our region and planet.
In this series, we will break down the steps and solutions we believe will help create future ready schools. Inspired organisations equipped to teach students how to solve some of humanities biggest challenges and gain essential skills through problem solving and action.
Stay tuned for more, and if there is a topic you want covered get in touch and let us know.