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Sustainability is a huge issue in today’s world, and I think most people are aware of that. But when it comes to the finer details, and how to actually live a more sustainable life, some people have more knowledge and experience than others. Maybe you would like to start living more sustainably but you don’t know where to start. It can be overwhelming because there are so many different aspects of living sustainably, whether it’s energy use, recycling, or our purchasing choices.
If this is you, I don’t think you have to rush straight into trying to make lots of changes. I think the best place to start is to simply educate yourself more about the issues that exist and the things we can do to help. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing some easy and fun ways to educate yourself about sustainability.
6 Fun and Easy Ways To Educate Yourself About Sustainability
1. Watch YouTube videos
This is one of the easiest, most accessible ways to educate yourself about sustainability. There are endless YouTube channels that cover topics to do with sustainability and the environment, but here are some that I have personally watched and enjoyed:
Stefano Ianiro – Wildlife enthusiast posts beautiful nature videos that will inspire you to take care of nature, wildlife and the environment.
The Kiwi Grower – Gardener from New Zealand shares high-quality and entertaining videos about growing your own food, right from seed to your plate.
Plus, a quick Google search brought up this list of eco-friendly YouTube channels which I will be checking out too!
2. Watch documentaries
Watching documentaries is a slightly bigger time commitment than watching YouTube videos, but if you watch a lot of TV programmes anyway then why not include some environmental documentaries? The first ones that come to mind are David Attenborough’s documentaries because they are high-quality, approachable, interesting and inspiring. Many of his newest documentaries in particular focus on climate change.
Another documentary I watched a few years ago was The True Cost which focuses on the environmental and social impact of the clothing industry – something that is not widely known enough, in my opinion.
Here’s a list of documentaries about sustainability to explore. Unsurprisingly, David Attenborough features heavily in the list!
3. Play environmental games
Games are obviously meant for fun, but they can also be a great educational tool. Mortgage Calculator has a selection of environmental games on their website that are a fun way to learn more about sustainability. I tried playing them all so I’ll share here what I thought of them.
Renewable energy game
The first game is called Wind and Solar and it’s a very simple game focused on renewable energy. You have to move a solar panel and adjust the height of a wind turbine to generate as much energy as possible in the changing weather. As well as being slightly educational about renewable energy, this game is quite fun, and I enjoyed trying to beat my high score!
The second game is Lumberjack Master. In this game, you control your lumberjack with the arrow keys, and get him to chop down trees. You collect the wood and take it to be sold, and then you can use the coins you earn to buy upgrades. This game feels slow at first but it gets fast-paced and fun as you upgrade. I wouldn’t say this game is especially educational but is on the environmental theme of forestry. I found it addictive and satisfying to play, and I played it right to the end!
The next game, Idle Forest is very similar to Lumberjack Master, but in this game, you act as a lumberjack and a miner. However, I found the pace too slow in this game.
The last two environmental games are Sort The Trash and Twin The Bin. These two games are very similar – in both of them, you move a bin or a character from side to side to collect recyclables that fall from the top of the screen. The thing I like about Sort The Trash is that it gives you real-life tips about where to recycle things. For example, if you catch a battery in your recycling bin, it will tell you to take batteries to a battery disposal centre. This means it really is an educational game!
Twin The Bin is slightly more complex in that you play across 4 rounds, and in each round, you have to collect a different type of recyclable, for example, plastic or glass. This is simplistic but it helps you become more aware of differentiating between different types of recyclables.
All of these games would be a good way to teach children about sustainability, and open up discussions about renewable energy, sustainable forestry and recycling.
4. Research local events
Another way to learn more about sustainability is to look up what sustainability-related events are happening in your local area. Even if you don’t feel ready to go to an event just yet, finding out what goes on in your area will give you inspiration and ideas for your journey into sustainability.
Some places organise regular litter picks or beach cleans, and taking part in these doesn’t require prior knowledge or skills. It could be fun and inspiring, not to mention you’ll know you’ve done some good. You might meet likeminded people, and it’s also a chance to find out about other events or local organisations that have a focus on sustainability.
You could also go to a clothes swap. I’ve attended clothes swaps in the past and they are great fun! It’s a chance to declutter your wardrobe and get some ‘new’ clothes without impacting the environment in a negative way. Clothes swaps are another great place to meet likeminded people.
5. Talk to friends and family
Sometimes the best knowledge about sustainability comes via word of mouth. Get the conversation started and tell your friends and family that you want to get into being more sustainable. You could ask them if they know much about it or have any particular tips they could share. If you know someone who is already into sustainability or living a sustainable lifestyle, talk to them especially. If they are passionate about the subject then they will be glad you asked and glad to help!
6. Check out a local eco-friendly shop
Do you enjoy shopping? Do some research and see if there is an eco-friendly shop in your local area. It could be fun to have a browse and find out what sustainable products are out there, and you might even pick up a few things! Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, it can be a good way to get inspiration, meet likeminded people and even see posters for local sustainability events or organisations.
Ways To Educate Yourself About Sustainability – Wrapping Up
Clearly the issues we face on this planet are serious and I don’t want to trivialise them by saying that watching videos, playing games and going shopping will solve them. But the purpose of this post is to give you a starting point that is not too overwhelming. Climate anxiety is a real thing, but by trying to change your whole lifestyle all at once you’re likely to stress yourself out, which won’t help. It’s okay to start with fun and easy steps – you can already be congratulated for wanting to make a difference. Every little helps, and by finding ways to educate yourself you can get the conversation started with others and inspire them too.