Educating for sustainability: why teaching the next generation to look after the planet is vital for our survival

We’ve known for a long time that in order to create lasting change, it’s important to pass messages and values along to the next generation.

The same is true for climate change action: we must instil in our young people a sense of duty and stewardship when it comes to looking after the planet. After all, it's the only one we've got!

Another important task we have is helping our community join the dots between different issues in order for us to all realise that acting on climate change is mutually beneficial.

Related: Vietnam's Farming Kindergarten will make you want to be a 6-year-old again

Social justice, alleviating poverty and empowering women are all concerns when it comes to the global effort to combat the worst effects of global warming.

Environmental struggles are embedded in livelihood struggles, especially in remote and impoverished areas of the globe. What this means is that some of the most vulnerable people in the world, such as farmers in the marginalized communities of Africa, are already feeling the impacts of climate change. For them, a warmer, drier world is already a reality. They are already watching crops fail and rains fail to quench the dry earth.

In wealthier nations such as Australia, the US and parts of Europe, environmentalism tends to be separated from our everyday lives. It's often considered the fight of left-wing activists, not of the majority.
What we are finding more and more as we face the immediate threats of climate change is that a healthy environment is fundamental to every other part of our lives. Without the planet, we have no society, economy and livelihood.

This is our task: we must take up our role as stewards of the planet and start educating for sustainability. This means more than just teaching children about the mechanics of global warming: it's about instilling a sense of value of nature. It's about teaching healthy eating habits, kindling a love of gardening, and explaining the ways in which the actions of the individual are significant to a global movement.

Check out some of our favourite blog posts on the topic of educating for sustainability:

This homeless shelter in Atlanta has its own organic garden, which helps to feed its residents

Why farming should be a compulsory school subject

Why Climate Change is a woman's fight

Banner image: Shutterstock

Article images: Hiroyuki Oki, Gremsy, Enviromental Strategies

1 Million Women is more than our name, it's our goal! We're building a movement of strong, inspirational women acting on climate change by leading low-carbon lives. To make sure that our message has an impact, we need more women adding their voice. We need to be louder. Joining us online means your voice and actions can be counted. We need you.

Steph Newman Former Social Media Assistant Suggest an article Send us an email

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