Environmental sustainability in early childhood

Environmental sustainability in
early childhood education
Going green
What is sustainability?
• What is your definition of sustainability?
• Choose the definition of sustainability that
appeals to you the most
• In your own words describe what you think
this means
“Young children are capable and resourceful and
able to make decisions that do impact on their
own lives and the lives of others. As educators the
messages we give children about sustainability will
impact on their well being, their play, their
thoughts, their relationships, their ability to
connect with nature, their desire to explore,
discover and the curiosity to learn; their sense of
wonder in this amazing planet and all its creatures
and people and their ability to care and make
decisions that have positive outcomes”
Catherine Lee Director, The Point Preschool Oyster Bay NSW
Aspects of sustainability
Environmental sustainability
Protecting and conserving biodiversity and
ensuring natural resources are utilised
Aspects of sustainability
Social sustainability
The needs of individuals are identified and
their well being is considered. Issues of social
inclusion and eradicating poverty are pursued
Aspects of sustainability
Economic sustainability
Working within the capacity of the natural
environment to ensure strong economic
growth, stability and competitiveness
To identify various strategies that
make it possible to utilize
available resources to best
Development of a sustainable building in Sydney
(33 Bligh Street, Sydney) and London
Aspects of sustainability
A holistic approach must be taken
The impact of key global issues
Climate change
We are experiencing changes in climate
conditions around the world
The impact of key global issues
Greenhouse effect
The heat radiated from the sun warms the
various gases in the earth’s atmosphere.
Without these gases it would be impossible
for living things to survive.
They keep the earth warm and insulated.
The greenhouse effect is when there is an
increasing concentration of these gases and
this increases the world’s temperature
Human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and
clearing of forests, have greatly intensified the natural
greenhouse effect, causing global warming
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is released into the air as
humans and animals exhale and as we burn
fossil fuels.
Plants and trees absorb much of this
Deforestation is the major contributor to
increases in carbon dioxide as trees are
cleared for wood and humans living there.
Ecological footprint
Earth resources – Energy in Australia
• Energy use is the major cause of climate
change in Australia
• This is because 90% of the electricity we use is
produced by burning polluting coal
• This has made Australians the highest per
capita greenhouse polluters in the world
Renewable energy
• Renewable energy is sourced from wind,
water, sun and biomass products such as
• Can use renewable energy in the home and in
• Australia is one of the driest continents on
• If we combine climate change with increasing
populations you can see why
we are running out of water
• We must rethink how we use
water more wisely
• Think about what is in your food – additives,
genetic engineering, farming methods,
antibiotics for animals, imported foods
Think about organic food, local food, food
waste of food
• Brainstorm options for reducing waste
• There is no regulatory body in Australia and
chemical companies do not have to list their
• Discuss what products or not we use in
children’s services
Biodiversity is the variety of life: the different
plants, animals and micro-organisms, and the
eco systems they are part of
We live on a finite planet – and Mankind is linked
with the earth, our resources are not limitless…
Unless children have the chance to
interact and experience nature they will
not develop a love or appreciation for
the environment and its resources.
Appoint a time keeper & 6 volunteers.
Each person has two attempts to take leaves from
the bowl.
#1 - cave person – 2 fingers
#2- Iron age 3 fingers
#3 - industrial age – 4 fingers
#4 - information technology age –
5 fingers
#5 - the future – take what ever is left
We need to give children the opportunity to engage
with the natural world in order to value and
appreciate it.
This is the critical decade
Are we empowering our
children with the resources to
enable them to preserve the
Children are the future
The best Speech - Severn Suzuki - YouTube
The Point pre-school
• http://recyclingweek.planetark.org/document

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