smallThe latest NAEE journal is being mailed out to members this month.  It’s a special feature on how the sustainable development goals are being explored in schools and NGOs.  We would have liked to have used the new potato starch-based polymer as the cover to send them out but the 75,000 minimum posting was a little above our usual distribution numbers.  They will, therefore, go out in brown envelopes replacing the polythene we used to use.  At least the envelopes can be reused, recycled or composted.

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Here’s a link to what NUS does about waste in its many campaigns.  There’s an emphasis on waste reduction (for example on food waste, coffee cups, energy) as well as on recycling more generally.   There are links to campaigns, resources, case studies and information.

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Countryside Classroom reports that the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, NFU and Lincolnshire YFC are bringing their Tractors into schools programme back for 2019.  Regardless of location (within Lincolnshire) schools can partner with a local farmer who will bring their tractor to your school between 4th and 8th March and explain the role the tractor (and the farm) plays in bringing food to tables.

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Earth Day is April 22nd this year.  The theme this year is Protect Our Species.  The Earth Day Network has developed Toolkits that contain ideas for actions and resources to help communities participate.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Take Part in Climate Education Week which will start on Monday, April 15th. The Climate Education Week Toolkit provides you with a week of activities for K-12 students to learn about the problem and take action to Protect Our Species.
  • Mobilize your Campus: For students, faculty, and staff at higher education institutions, check out the MobilizeU Toolkit (available soon) that provides a step by step guide to organizing your campus.
  • Conduct a “Protect Our Species” communications campaign to active millions of people using the #EarthDay2019 and #ProtectOurSpecies hashtags and tagging us @EarthDayNetwork.

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A recent Observer ran a feature on social media and the environment: How social media is inspiring children to save the natural world.  Stephen Moss argued that whilst it’s true that many young people stare at screens instead of being out in the wild, others use technology to form a global community of conservationists.  This is part of how it begins:

Young people were, and still are, we’re told, disconnected from nature, staring at screens when they should be out in the wild.  But what I hadn’t predicted back then is that it is these screens that are now enabling our children to join forces to save the natural world. The rise of new technology – especially social media – has allowed a new generation to connect with those who share their interests in a way that I never could have believed possible when I wrote Natural Childhood. As one young ornithologist recently told me: “I thought I was the only birder at my school, but on Facebook I found half a dozen others in my local area.”

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The National Curriculum states that pupils should be able to describe and understand key aspects of physical geography, including rivers and the water cycle, and the GA ays that the impacts of changing land use patterns at all scales, from local right up to global, combined with anthropogenic climate change can be linked to increasingly prolific and severe instances of river flooding.  More detail here of the key ideas c/o the GA.

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There’s a LEEF training day on supporting learning through citizen science, with a focus on mobile technology and urban settings.  Sasha Pratt-Taweh from the Citizen Science team at the Natural History Museum, and Alice Sheppard from UCL ExCiteS (Extreme Citizen Science), and Maaike Milligan, a Senior Tutor at the Field Studies Council will be there.  The day will cover:

  • An introduction to citizen science for environmental learning
  • The practicalities of collecting data and making good observations, while engaging diverse groups
  • Case study: Introducing the City Nature Challenge 2019 and activity ideas for running your own event
  • Learn how to use the iNaturalist app, with practical species identification on the Heath, and tips for using the app with your groups
  • Making it useful: Data analysis and dissemination
  • Tour of the Hampstead Heath education site and schools programme overview
  • Networking potluck lunch with other LEEFers and educators
  • Find out about other citizen science initiatives taking place across London and globally

This training is appropriate for anyone working with schools, families or community groups, in formal or informal education settings.  You can book online or for other queries email leef@leef.london

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SEEd says its next facilitation for sustainability courses will run from; 2nd & 3rd March and 4th & 5th May.   These days are followed by a fully supported 8 week action learning period, and then a further two experiential learning days.  SEEd says the course will give you the tools to run creative, facilitated events and workshops to bring about change in your workplace or personal life.  It brings facilitation techniques together with learning theory, social learning, behaviour change, practice, and sustainability learning in a safe, shared space with other participants.  The cost for this course is £600.  To book a place please email admin@se-ed.org.uk

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A reminder that the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) is working to build capacity, strengthen networks, and grow leadership to advance environmental education.  GEEP was launched by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration, and the North American Association for Environmental Education in 2014.  Click here to learn more.  GEEP is a program of the International Environmental Partnership, which aims to provide a platform for countries throughout the world to share experiences and technologies in the area of environmental protection.

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Welcome news last week that Germany is to cease using dirty brown coal for electricity generation by (wait for it) 2038.  Greenpeace have called for this target to be brought forward to 2030 to ensure that carbon emissions are reduced sooner.  One reason it cannot do this is because of the decision a few years ago to close all the nuclear power stations.  Climate Action has the detail.