Participate Learning is committed to working with our partners to create a better tomorrow for our world. Countries around the world have pledged to take action by 2030 to meet the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on issues such as climate action, clean water and sanitation, and affordable and clean energy, to name a few. To celebrate Earth Day, we encourage teachers and their students to explore the goals that matter to them, and contribute to making the world a greener place!
Whether you are an educator or a parent working with kids at home, we hope you can find some inspiration from the ideas below for Earth Day learning that lasts all year long.
Connect with nature
A love of nature and the outdoors is transformative when it is developed from an early age. Children are experiential learners, but are also highly motivated once they understand and connect with the world around them. On Earth Day, consider establishing a yearly tradition that teaches them to value the natural world they live in.
As a class, consider setting aside time to clean up litter around the school buildings or at a nearby green space. As a family, create memories in nature by planting flowers on your patio, bird watching, or taking your child on a hike or nature walk. On a more regular basis, make sure students and children are playing outside and exploring their environments. The more that we value the world we live in, the more invested we are to take care of it.
Global leaders reflect on their own actions and attitudes and how those have been shaped over time. They take responsibility for their perspectives and push themselves to learn more about the world. Encourage your students to consider how they use the Earth’s resources in their day-to-day lives. Ask them to tally up their water usage by hand as a math exercise, or use a calculator like this one to find out their household water consumption, and compare it to the national average to gain perspective.
As a class, see how many gallons of water you can collectively save by changing your regular habits. Students can choose to take action to reduce their water usage individually or as a family at home; for example, taking shorter baths or showers, helping parents wash their car by hand with a bucket and water hose instead of at a car wash, or installing a rain barrel for the home garden.
Find something to believe in
When we care about something deeply, we intrinsically want to advocate for and protect it. The SDGs offer a way to inform students about some of the problems our world faces, and encourage them to actively contribute to finding solutions. The SDGs teach students to be curious about the world, but also to be confident in their ability to make a difference.
Read through the SDGs and find one that excites your students. If Zero Hunger is meaningful, consider organizing a neighborhood food drive to donate to a shelter in your local community. Show up for yourself, your students, and the world by committing to a goal and taking small actions that add up to an impact.
There are more than 50 million public school students in the United States, and more than three million full-time public school teachers. This collective group is a powerful force for good in creating positive change in local communities and achieving the SDGs. To find out more about how Participate Learning can help you create positive change, check out our teacher resources or contact us directly for more information.