Climate change education is intended to provide information on the ways in which people can reduce their carbon footprint. It also covers other topics such as global warming and green building. One of the most important parts of this education is developing a practical “inkscape” of action and commitment. Schools, colleges and universities often offer courses on this topic. Recycling is an aspect of this approach.
How Is Climate Change Affecting Us?
Climate change education is geared towards helping people make changes they can implement on their own. The process helps people develop sustainable adaptation strategies for energy, transportation and land use. These adaptation strategies should reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so that global temperature increases are kept below 2 degrees Celsius. This is considered the global target of all nations, since the goal is for Earth to be habitable for future human visitors. Among these sustainable adaptation strategies are building low-emission power systems, recycling household waste and creating renewable energy sources.
Teachers may choose to include discussions about climate action in the classroom. In the United States, there is a program that encourages teachers to teach students about energy conservation, recycling and sustainable energy sources. Teachers may learn from programs run by state and local governments or independent organizations, including schools and universities. The National Association of Manufacturers has developed a recycling plan for schools and colleges that teaches students how to collect, process and re-use excess energy from their homes, cars and workplaces. An example of this is teaching carpool and walking or bike to work instead of using a personal vehicle.
Another option is to teach young people about renewable energy courses. Resources for renewable energy courses can be found at schools, colleges and universities. Examples of these include solar energy, hydropower and geothermal power. These classes teach young people about how renewable energy can help both small-scale and large-scale projects. These courses teach young people that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not just good for the environment, but it can also lead to economic development, job creation and a healthier future.
Some local environmental groups encourage teachers to teach about climate change and its effects on the environment through various ways. One way is for teachers to introduce student participants to local environmental issues and get them talking. This can be done by organizing field trips, hosting events or putting together community projects that use green products or energy sources. Such groups can also take part in regional, state or national seminars and conferences on green living and produce.
There are also civic groups that encourage teaching about climate change education. The League of Women for Environmental Solutions (LWESS) is one such group. Its educational programs are designed to build a network of local women willing to tackle the energy, water and environmental needs of their communities. Such civic groups also participate in a variety of forums, public events and activities that bring together professionals and laypeople.
One way to create an environment where people are more aware of climate change impacts is to create events that require participation from everyone. For example, a group of young adults might plan a trip to Africa, an area where AIDS is widespread. They would talk about the problems with the AIDS epidemic and what they can do to stop it. An environmental group could come in and talk about ways they can save the environment by recycling or building green homes. The possibilities are virtually endless.
While there is no shortage of topics to teach kids about climate change education, creating an environment where children can think critically and creatively is important. One way this can happen is through the incorporation of green skills in curriculum. Green programs for curriculum include such activities as critical thinking, environmental science, sustainability and creative problem solving. All teachers should incorporate such activities into classrooms so that teachers can provide quality climate change education.