When it comes to conservation and environmental issues, there is one group that often gets overlooked: teenagers. While it may be easy to assume that teens are apathetic about the planet, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, many young people care deeply about environmental issues and want to do something about them—it is just that they don’t know where to start or what they can do on their own. Fortunately, there are ways we can help them get involved in the fight against climate change and other threats without it feeling like work.
Focusing on the Right Information
The first step to teaching your students about environmental issues is to focus on the right information. You want them to know what they are talking about, so don’t waste time on unimportant details or long-winded explanations. Remember that by starting with the basics, you can also get a sense of how much they already know and tailor your lesson plans accordingly.
The best way to begin this process is by finding an online resource that can provide clear answers for all your questions. The internet contains a wealth of information about environmental issues and green living practices, but finding it isn’t always easy—especially for teenagers who are often overwhelmed with schoolwork and extracurricular activities (such as sports). Luckily there are plenty of places where you can start:
Visit websites like Wikipedia or About Education that explain basic concepts like “green” products or carbon footprints in simple language that kids understand; these sites also link out to other pages with more in-depth discussions if needed.
Check out nature documentaries hosted by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio; these videos will show exactly what life looks like outside our doors without having us leave home at all.
Make It Accessible
- Make it accessible.
- Make it easy to find.
- Make it easy to understand.
- Make it easy to use and share, so that other people can see what is on your site and they can spread the word around themselves through their friends and social media connections.
Make It Social
To help students develop an understanding of environmental issues, it is important to create a forum where they can share their ideas and thoughts. This can be done through social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. Live streams can also be a one way of sharing your thoughts about the environment. You could also have your students create blogs where they discuss the issues that they find most relevant.
Read Current Events Together
- Read the news together.
- Read about current events online.
- Read about current events in a newspaper.
- Listen to the radio for news and information about current events in your area (and even far away).
- Watch TV for news and information about current events in your area (and even far away).
- Record yourself and make a podcast about environmental awareness.
Try a Video-Focused Approach
- Videos are a great way to get information across.
- They can be used to teach about the environment and climate change.
- They can be used to teach about recycling and the importance of reducing waste.
- Or, videos can be used to teach about sustainable living–how to reduce your carbon footprint by changing small habits in everyday life, like using reusable shopping bags instead of paper or plastic ones at the grocery store or washing clothes with cold water instead of hot water (which uses less energy).
We Need to Change Our Approach if We Want to Get Teenagers Excited About the Environment.
The best way to get teenagers interested in the environment is to make it seem like something that is relevant to them. They need to see it as something fun, or cool, or interesting. The challenge for teachers and parents is finding ways of making environmental awareness look like a fun activity that kids would want to do on their own time. If we can do this, then adolescents will have no problem adopting our messages about conservation and sustainability as their own personal views.
Here are some suggestions for making environmental awareness seem more relevant:
- Use social media platforms that your students use already (Twitter, Instagram)
- Engage with local businesses (bike shops, clothing stores) who offer products made from recycled materials
- Find ways of incorporating recycling into school activities – make it part of a science experiment
We must be willing to try new things if we want teenagers to care about the environment. It is not enough just to post on social media; we need to get creative with our content and really engage people in a way that feels natural for them. Letting them know how much impact their actions can have on the world is also important—it just might take some time for them to realize it.
SAVE TIME WITH OUR WEEKLY DIGEST
& NEVER MISS A POST!
click for more info