#CircularTuesday: The role of education in creating a circular economy society

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#CircularTuesday: The role of education in creating a circular economy society

Hello readers.

Welcome to #CircularTuesday on CleanbuildVoices!

More than just buzz words, circular economy is becoming a skill for the future that everyone needs in everyday life- at work, home, business place, and anywhere you can think of.

The idea of a circular economy was borne out of a desire to adopt sustainable practices and reduce the effects of climate change in the process. It follows an approach where everything in our natural world is seen as a resource for the next level of the food chain, resulting in zero waste and increased sustainability.

How do we then make sure that everyone jumps on the circularity bandwagon? This is where education comes in.

In this edition of our #CircularTuesday, we will consider the role education can play in the development of knowledge, values, attitudes/disposition, and behavior, that are in line with circularity principles which is to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Circular economy education must begin during kindergarten and continue through primary and secondary (higher) school all the way to higher education. Its entry point into the educational system can be through any existing environmental education initiatives like energy conservation, waste management, biodiversity education, and climate change.

Students both old and young should be educated in lifecycle thinking to shape how they interact with natural resources. and to defend natural diversity. Depending on students’ level and ability, educational institutions should introduce circular economy skills.

There’s a saying that today’s children and/or youths are tomorrow’s leaders. In line with this, a circular economy-focused education serves as a tool for grooming future professionals to ensure that every sector has experts in the circular economy.

We need professionals who are educated in lifecycle thinking and extensive cooperation and who understand that economic growth in a circular economy is not dependent on the consumption of natural resources.

From classrooms to lecture halls, circular economy education should be introduced to students. This is because it can enhance sustainability by providing training grounds where future professionals and citizens can develop environmental consciousness and take real and innovative actions to solve environmental issues.

Tips for teachers and educators

Using age-appropriate books, videos, games, and other instructional materials, players within the educational system can apply theoretical and practical means to teach students about the circular economy.

One example is to use different class activities and homework to teach grade school children how to live smart when it comes to reducing food waste, sorting waste correctly, and using energy efficiently.

For older kids, you can introduce circular economy as a broad phenomenon that spurs sustainable development while offering solutions for tackling climate change.

In higher institutions, educators can teach the circular economy as an extensive phenomenon and bring out other phenomena that are connected with it, even going as far as linking its solutions and tools with a specific profession that already exists and needs to be developed.

Teaching young people about the circular economy, commercial know-how, and skills needed at work will help prepare them for the future of work.

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