Earth911 is honoring the 52 years of Earth Day with 52 Actions for the Earth. Each week through Earth Day 2023, we will share an action you can take to invest in the Earth and make your own life more sustainable. We are past the halfway mark, and as folks start to get into the holiday spirit, the Earth Day spirit can be harder to maintain. This week, you can renew your environmental focus and activist energy by opting out of Black Friday shopping in favor of spending time on your own climate education.
Action: Improve Your Climate Literacy
Overcoming climate change will require a global transformation to a green economy based on renewable energy and sustainable technologies. Individual activism is not enough to get there. It will require governments, businesses, and individuals to all work towards the goal.
But as the old cartoon used to say, “Knowing is half the battle.” People have to understand the problem and its solutions in order to take effective action. Climate literacy is too important to leave out of kids’ basic education, leaving them unprepared to deal with the problems they will inherit from us.
For those of us who grew up without climate education, the onus is on us to develop climate literacy so we can take responsible action now.
Teach for the Planet
Teach for the Planet is a campaign sponsored by the nonprofit Education International. It aims to ensure that climate education, based on science and with a civic action focus, becomes as fundamental to elementary education as literacy and math. This mission aligns perfectly with EarthDay.org’s Climate and Environmental Literacy campaign that combines grassroots support and on the ground efforts with national-level commitments from government agencies.
The two organizations launched Teach for the Planet on Earth Day this year with a virtual global education summit.
The summit was recorded, and you can watch it now on YouTube. Educators from around the world share their first-hand experiences of climate change, like living through a deadly hurricane. They also share the challenges they face and strategies they use to teach their students about climate change. Other discussions focus on helping students develop a sense of agency to deal with an overwhelming problem. The event is three hours long. So you might need to bookmark it for later or watch it in chunks over the long weekend.
For people who are more interested in learning about climate change itself than about efforts to teach it, browse the Climate Education Hub videos on EarthDay.org’s YouTube channel or watch the entire playlist. If the call of the mall is too strong, and you can’t block out the time for a lengthy video series, reading Earth911’s Climate Change 101 series of articles shouldn’t take more than half an hour.
If you’re feeling fired up when you’re done, support and share the Teach for the Planet Manifesto, spread the word about climate literacy, or revisit previous Earth Action articles for more actions you can take to promote climate literacy during the holiday season and all year long. After all, every day is Earth Day.