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 global-warming.

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. Teaching for Sustainability is one of the best websites because it has modules and presentation notes on teaching about sustainability.



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 information on how to live green at home, work and in the community.

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



Saint Louis University (SLU)- SLU is one of the core partners in OneSTL. SLU's graduate school offers a Master's in sustainability, making it one of the few in the nation. The program is offered through the Center for Sustainability, whose mission "is to create a more sustainable world through interdisciplinary education, innovative research, and community development."

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville-SIUE is another one of the core partners in OneSTL. SIUE has a Sustainability Advisory Group (SAG). One of the many goals of SAG is to improve teaching and learning concerning sustainability. The SIUE Center for Spirituality and Sustainability is working to make the campus and region more aware of sustainability and go green initiatives.

Washington University in St. Louis- Washington University- Washington University is a partner in two large global partnerships concerning sustainability. The first is the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES). I-CARES "coordinates all research activities in the areas of energy, environment, and sustainability." I-CARES is a collaborative effort with several regional universities. The McDonnel Academy Global Energy and Environment Partnership is another global partnership with the goal to "collectively identify and collaboratively tackle important global energy and environmental challenges in an integrated and holistic manner." Washington University uses the findings of these partnerships to aid in their sustainability program on campus.

Webster University- Webster University offer several degrees/minors/certificates in sustainability. One of these degrees includes a Master's level program on sustainability education.



Within the last two years Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become a huge phenomenon. These courses allow people to take classes offered at universities across the nation for free. These include courses taught by leading Harvard, Standford and other top universities. Occasionally there will be a class offered on sustainability, go green or global warming. Check out their websites for more information: edX and Coursera. Just for an example: in Fall, 2013 edX had a class titled Energy 101 taught by a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

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, 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.

Discover MoreDiscover More

This webpage has information on sustainability and on how to teach sustainability.