Topic 1: Local to global, we are all involved

The causes and solutions to climate change can seem too big for us to play any role, and this can lead to people feeling helpless or apathetic. It is important to note that no individual is helpless in this fight for our future. Your actions and daily behaviours significantly impact everything around you, from your diet to your travel habits and how you spend your money. Every action you take impacts the planet but also influences people around you and the businesses you support (or don’t) because of their practices. So, it is important to think about how we live and our actions and show decision-makers and other people that sustainable values are essential to us. This topic can easily be integrated into all the social justice and human rights sections. However, below we have outlined the Grade 11 CAPS as part of the democratic participation to indicate the importance of active participation in the world around us.

Watch the WWF presentation that discusses the issues that the world’s richest countries consume most of the world’s resources and produce the largest proportion of greenhouse gases. Yet the world’s poorest people and the poorest countries are being hit hardest by the effects of climate change. However, the main focus is that what happens around the world has an impact on all of us and that we need to play our part.

As people are starting to change their daily habits, governments and businesses are taking notice and changing to suit their customers and citizens. Many small actions can build up to big changes. If you and your family and your class. If you all changed little things, they would add up to a bigger whole. Adopting a whole school approach to sustainability in your school or educational institute can lead to a ripple effect that creates change in the wider community. A school is more than simply a place where students gain skills, knowledge and experience. Educational Institutions are businesses, employers, landscape managers, event spaces and community hubs. They are connected to other local businesses and local government, visible to local media, and landmarks for the community as a whole.

Educational Institutes can make positive changes in policies around stationery procurement, catering, site management, energy suppliers, green infrastructure, landscape management, cleaning supplies, pension providers and more. In this way educational institutions can lower their energy and water footprints, improve local biodiversity by creating nature-friendly school grounds and support  the green economy. Also, bringing sustainability to life for students by involving them in defining and implementing sustainable practices in your institution can help them to understand and apply these principles beyond the classroom.

Click below to access the Keep it Cool Climate Change Education Projects that aim to guide the implementation of innovative, curriculum-activated climate change projects involving learners and communities.