How to teach children about sustainability

At SISD, we believe you can’t be too young to learn about ways to save the planet. Sustainability is one of the key focuses at our school.


In this blog, we’ll discuss ways you can teach children about sustainability so they become climate-aware ambassadors for Earth.

1. Have a school focus on sustainability


An easy way to educate your child about sustainability is to ensure they’re learning about it at school. SISD’s Sustainability Coordinator manages the school’s sustainability programme. They ensure we make our students aware of the problems our planet is facing and how to prevent them.


SISD understands the importance of Educating for Sustainability (EfS). Indeed, it involves a deep understanding and awareness of the interconnectedness and dependency of our social, economic, and environmental systems. It’s why we employ a whole-school approach to Educating for Sustainability. So we weave sustainability concepts and key understandings throughout the curriculum and reflect them in our school’s day-to-day practices.


The main objectives of our approach to EfS are to:


  • Instill the knowledge, skills, attitudes, attributes, actions and enduring understandings of sustainability practices within the entire school community
  • Fully integrate the campus design, daily operations and local community into the curriculum, teaching and learning. (The Ellen McArthur Foundation Circular Economy is used in the IB Curriculum)
  • Move SISD towards a Circular Economy model


SISD takes part in the Dubai Can initiative, which aims to reduce single-use plastic water bottle waste in the city of Dubai.


You can gather ideas on getting your students more involved in sustainability at Ashden and the Green Schools Alliance.


2. Bring in outside experts in sustainability


Integrating sustainability into the curriculum and encouraging students to inquire further can build a great foundation. But it can be extremely helpful to bring in subject ‌experts to answer questions and talk to children about more practical aspects of sustainability.


A good example is Green Teacher, a Canadian non-profit organisation. They are dedicated to helping educators both inside and outside of schools to promote environmental awareness among young people.


We recently hosted a beekeeper who came in to talk about the importance of bees to our planet.

3. Celebrate awareness days


Earth Day on April 22nd is a great opportunity to raise awareness about sustainability in your household, but there are other days that celebrate other aspects of the planet. For example, World Wetlands Day (February 2), World Wildlife Day (March 3), International Day of Forests (March 21), World Water Day (March 22). Other examples include, World Bee Day (March 20), International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22), World Oceans Day (June 8). There is also International Day of the Tropics (June 29), International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies (September 7), and World Habitat Day (October 4), among others.


Some ways you can celebrate Earth Day (or other days) as a family include:

  • hiking or going for a bike ride
  • planting a tree
  • caring for your garden
  • visiting a garden in your city
  • buying produce from a farmers’ market and cooking a meal
  • cleaning up garbage at a nearby park or beach
  • going camping or have an “unplugged” day at home
  • reading environmentally themed books like The Lorax
  • making ‌a list of how your family plans to live more eco-friendly


Recently, SISD celebrated World Planting Day on March 21.


Outside of school, there are many activity guides and citizen science projects available for your children to learn about environmental education. The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) in the USA has an environmental education page here, among other resources.


SISD believes social, cultural, economic and environmental awareness is essential. Indeed, it prepares us to play our part in shaping a better future for ourselves and those around us. Our whole-school approach to sustainability is integrated into all facets of school life. And SISD is also a member of the Eco-Schools Programme.


Learn about our tips for sustainable living, or for more information about our sustainability programme, visit our Sustainability page

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