Teachers, have you heard of “eco-anxiety?” Eco-anxiety describes feelings of anxiousness and fear over extreme weather events, climate change, and climate-related information in the media.
Young people are particularly vulnerable to eco-anxiety as they expect to experience the effects of climate change. You may have students expressing fear, stress, or helplessness about the planet. These feelings can present as a preoccupation with climate-related topics or difficulties concentrating on their work.
You can combat eco-anxiety in the classroom by acknowledging your students’ feelings and providing them with tools to empower and instill confidence that they can make a difference. One way to do that is by starting a classroom conversation around energy efficiency: an important way to create a sustainable future.
REDUCE “ECO-ANXIETY” IN YOUR CLASSROOM
1. Use Generation E resources
Using less natural gas is one of the most cost effective and accessible ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Designed to complement Manitoba’s science curriculum, our website is dedicated to providing engaging teaching tools that will help you cover topics related to saving energy and the environment.
Check out our overview of the free resources that are available for Kindergarten to Grade 9 students on our website. Our content, activities, classroom kits, and teaching assistance can help you deliver insightful, age-appropriate energy-saving lessons to your students.
2. Share energy-saving actions with your students
Your students can make an impact just with small, everyday actions. These can include turning off lights when they leave a room or reminding their parents to adjust the thermostat when they leave for work.
You can introduce these actions to your classroom by downloading and printing out our classroom checklist. It encourages students to be mindful of their energy use at school and develop good habits they can take home with them.
Take it one step further by helping students create habit trackers that cater to their routines. They can choose the energy-efficient habits they want to work on and break down each habit into how often they want to do it and when they want to do it. Habit trackers will help them visualize their progress!
3. Help your students start an eco-club
Get your students more involved by starting an eco-club where they can meet to share energy-saving tips and talk about the environmental issues that are on their minds. Clubs can encourage passion and provide students an opportunity to connect with their peers who understand and can relate to their fears.
Take a look at this blog post for some discussion questions that can help kick off the conversation when the club meets.
It’s important to remind students that while there are many ways they can take action, combatting climate change is everyone’s responsibility. Frame your classroom discussion to include how individuals, communities, and businesses can work together to create the greatest impact.
2024 is the perfect time to start these discussions, and we can help! Book a classroom talk with our Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, and we’ll help your class learn more about energy efficiency.
Email email@example.com to get started!