From 31 October, the UN COP26 Climate Summit will take place in Glasgow, and there is hope that it will result in historic commitments between world leaders that take real action in addressing the climate emergency. The Summit’s high media profile makes now the ideal time to engage students in climate action and encourage conversations about sustainability.
Cities across the world occupy just 3% of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80% of its energy consumption, and for more than 70% of its damaging carbon emissions. This rapid urban growth puts pressure on fresh water supplies, waste, the living environment, public health and much more. Bringing the reality of statistics like these to life in the classroom can present an overwhelming challenge to teachers, but it’s increasingly important to help young people to see that we all have a responsibility to understand how our actions affect people, the environment, and the natural world.
Hearing inspiring human stories can make all the difference in getting students to grasp their role in protecting the planet. Lyfta’s sustainability-themed stories allow them to experience positive stories from people who lead sustainable lives across the world. The resources, including powerful short films, immersive 360° spaces and rich media articles make issues around sustainability tangible and accessible to young people. Students can meet Andrea, a landfill worker from Argentina and discover the reusable treasures she collects. They can also explore recycling materials and sharing resources when they visit a workshop in London, where Tony restores old phone boxes, or engage with the problem of plastic pollution when they meet Rob from Cornwall, who collects waste from his local beach and uses it to create art that raises awareness about the issue.
St Laurence C of E Primary in Nottingham used Rob’s Beachcomber storyworld to create whole-school engagement with sustainability themes. This even led to some children’s recommendations being put into practice in the school! You can learn more about St Laurence’s whole-school sustainability project here.
If you’d like to learn more about introducing inspiring sustainability stories to your students during COP26, you can get trial access to the Lyfta platform for 4 weeks when you sign up for a free Lyfta global learning webinar.