How to incorporate sustainability into your child's online and in school learning

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Across the country, the coronavirus pandemic has undeniably disrupted and transformed the way our children are educated. Parents have suddenly been thrust into the confusing, and often overwhelming, role of managing the education of their children from home, which, for many, is novel and unprecedented. It’s no easy task for any parent during these tumultuous times, faced with converting homes into classrooms or navigating sending their children back to a form of in person learning. 

While returning to the classroom might not be possible for every student, two things remain crucial in this time of uncertainty: the importance of educating our children and protecting the planet for their futures. There are various ways you can get your children involved with and learning about sustainability and protecting the environment, whether they’re at home or attending school in person. 

Incorporating sustainability education and action at home 

Get your child involved in something that excites them! 

Outside Activities 

  • Plant a tree in the backyard. Choose the best one with Encinitas’ Tree Selection and Planting List
  • Build a family compost bin and start diverting food waste 
  • Try your hand at growing your own vegetable garden 
  • Explore the local ecosystem at the tidepools at Swami’s Beach  
  • Hike the new nature trails within the San Elijo Lagoon  
  • Walk to your nearest neighborhood Free Little Library to check out or leave a book.  

Inside Activities 

Tips for supporting your child going to school in person sustainably

  • If your child is going back to school, invest in a set of reusable masks for them to wear rather than disposables. As a bonus, they can pick out masks with fun patterns and colors! 
  • Try walking or biking to school rather than driving, incorporating some great time outdoors and exercise into their commute. 
  • Make sure their school supplies are eco-friendly! Gone are the days of brown bag lunches, and in are eco-friendly and sustainable lunchboxes. You can add plastic free cutlery and utensils, wrap food in beeswax wraps instead of cling film or aluminum and buy reusable snack bags to replace single use plastic ones! 
  • Bring your own reusable water bottle to school as an alternative to using shared drinking fountains. 
  • To create an eco-friendly wardrobe, remember to buy quality, versatile items. Look for items that are going to last the entire school year, if not longer. 
  • Wearing an older sibling’s or friend’s outgrown clothes or checking out thrift stores is a good way to keep clothes out of the landfill. A lot of the items at thrift stores are in good shape and, who knows, you might find a hidden gem!