As our society moves towards a greener economy and a sustainable environment to combat global warming, environmental degradation and resource depletion, the key to preserving a better world for our children becomes clearer that education is the pathway.
Educators recognise that in order to improve the quality of our lives, protect our ecosystem and preserve natural resources for future generations, we need to promote sustainable education at an early age to inculcate a sense of environmental awareness.
Ted Turner, Founder and Chairman of the United Nations Foundation says that “quality education is a foundation for sustainable development.” The focus is to educate the future generation to make changes to help protect animals, plants and our natural resources so they can enjoy them.
Why it is Crucial to Introduce Sustainable Education to Preschool Children
As citizens of tomorrow, early education in sustainability will inculcate healthy habits in our younger generations to adopt eco-friendly ways of living. Some examples of this could be reducing waste, recycling materials such as paper and plastic, and adopting eco-friendly products and green habits like buying in bulk, using reusable shopping bags or taking public transport or cycling to reduce carbon footprint.
Sustainable education empowers our children to make informed decisions and take responsible actions to create a sustainable future. From a young age, our children are instilled with eco-friendly habits as a way of life, develop a sense of caring awareness for their environment, and become considerate future consumers encouraged to find solutions to these issues.
By introducing sustainable education at preschool age, this can help children develop a critical mindset and jumpstart their conservation efforts. They learn about environmental challenges such as climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. They are encouraged to understand the relationships between different elements of the eco-systems, recognise the consequences of their actions on the larger ecosystem, and adopt a holistic perspective that enables them to address problems at their root causes.
Sustainable education also equips children with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate and respond to the challenges posed by environmental changes.
Sustainable Education® at Babilou Family Singapore
At Babilou Family Singapore, we include sustainable education in our children’s learning experiences through our annual Tomorrow Starts Now event.
This yearly Sustainable Education® & Care event is founded on the premise to support the sustainable framework of these four pillars: Education, Children’s Health, Environmental protection and parental support and inclusion. It promotes a culture of sustainability with key activities involving staff, our children and their families to embrace inclusive education.
In 2022, we kicked off Tomorrow Starts Now with a Plan(t) the Future event focusing on environmental protection, and planted 166 trees along Sengkang West area.
In 2023, our event was thoughtfully planned to support parents, encourage social inclusion, environmental awareness nature conservation and responsible consumption. Families across our 60 centres came together at four different venues such as Jurong Lake Gardens, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Fernvale Community Club and East Coast Park to participate in activities.
Aside from the meaningful activities, we also collectively raised and contributed $50,045 to NParks’ One MillionTrees movement (2022) and $54,850 for the Children’s Cancer Foundation (2023) respectively.
Benefits of Embarking on Sustainable Education at a Young Age
Starting early with sustainable education teaches children why the environment is important, how it should be treated, and how they play a crucial role in the future of its existence.
It empowers children to become responsible, environmentally conscious individuals who can contribute to building a more sustainable and equitable future for all, and presents the following list of key advantages:
1. Respect for the Planet
Early education helps our children understand the interdependence between humans and the environment and how sustainability impacts both the economy and the ecosystems.
At this age, preschoolers are more open to develop environmental awareness. This fosters a sense of responsibility and stewardship towards the environment, promotes a deep understanding of ecological systems and encourages them to take actions to protect and preserve natural resources.
2. Sustainable Life Skills
Early sustainable education equips children with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to address environmental challenges and make informed decisions that positively impact their communities and the planet.
It does more than instil sustainable life skills — it may also help prepare them for successful careers. With an interest and career path in environmental studies, students can open green businesses, join eco-friendly companies or influence existing organisations to revise their current strategies.
3. Prepare a Better Future for themselves
By encouraging our young ones to be environmentally conscious, we can equip them with future-focused skills that are valuable for future career opportunities like critical thinking, problem-solving, systems thinking, collaboration and creativity.
Sustainable education helps individuals develop resilience and adaptability in the face of environmental and societal changes. It prepares them to navigate and respond to challenges, fostering a proactive and solutions-oriented mindset.
The first step to a more sustainable future!
Embarking on sustainable education offers a wide range of benefits, both for individuals and for the collective well-being of the planet. It empowers individuals to become active agents of positive change, contributing to a sustainable and resilient future.
Stay tuned to our page for more updates on Babilou Family’s Sustainable Education® & Care initiatives!
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