Educating the Public on Sustainability

In a Nutshell

This tool is meant to give individuals and communities information on how they can educate themselves, and others, on sustainability. An educated public is an important component to any sustainability program. Using this tool will show people how to educate themselves or others on a wide range of different ideas, including green energy and climate change.

Practical Solution

The “How To”The “How To”

There are many different ways for people to become educated on sustainability. Below there are lists of different places where info on sustainability can be found. The internet is filled with websites that have information on how to teach about sustainability. 

Civic Organizations

Missouri Botanical Garden- The Garden has courses on sustainability for all ages, and it provides information for educators through its Earthways Center. The Garden's website also has information on how to live green at home, at work, and in the community.

Saint Louis Zoo- The Zoo is another big conservation/sustainability advocate in the region. There are classes available for children including summer camps and campouts. The conservation webpage has a lot of good information on living in a sustainable manner.

Regional Universities

Saint Louis University (SLU) - SLU is one of the core partners of the OneSTL sustainability initiative and offers degrees in environment and sustainability. 

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) - SIUE is another one of the core partners of the OneSTL initiative. SIUE has a Climate and Sustainability Advisory Board (CASAB). The SIUE Center for Spirituality and Sustainability is working to make the campus and region more aware of sustainability and environmental initiatives.

Washington University in St. Louis - Washington University operates many sustainability programs, as well as a Center for the Environment.

Webster University - Webster University has a Sustainability Institute for Educators and offers a minor and graduate certificate in sustainability.

Online Courses 

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) allow people to take classes offered at universities across the nation for free. These include courses taught by professors from Harvard, Stanford and other top universities. Occasionally there will be classes offered on sustainability, climate change, and other related topics.

Planning & ZoningPlanning & Zoning

Beyond a government institution mandating education on sustainability or appropriating funds for the education, there is really no need for any new ordinances or laws. The New York State Senate has considered a bill requiring the NY Department of Education to educate children on the "importance of conserving and protecting" the environment.

Dollars & CentsDollars & Cents

Please refer to the websites listed under "The How To" section for information on costs.

Measuring SuccessMeasuring Success

Success can be measured by analyzing the level of enrollment in the classes and programs cited in the "The How To" section. Alternatively, a community or organization could conduct a study to ascertain how much people in their community know about sustainability. If a community or organization is looking to undertake such a study, they should consult a polling professional.