Sustainability 101

What is Sustainability? I ask this question often.  Students offer lots of examples, but I want to make sure they understand the why behind sustainability. I draw a smiley face of a student at the top of my whiteboard—the giggles start, which I love.


Then I draw another smiley face below the one representing, for example, Julian, a middle school student. This smiley face is a future child (more giggles). Below that, another smiley face, then another. Do you get where I am going? Seven generations, originating with Julian.  


Sustainability:  the ability to met our needs without compromising future generations' ability to meet their needs.  Needs such as clean air and water, nourishing food, health, and well-being. This statement includes all organisms, and anchors the content students will learn this year.  


How to do more with less is one strategy for sustainability that we focused on this week. As we welcomed back our rabbits and learned how to care for them, we discussed the many ways this creature could support a homestead.  


How can one element within a system be leveraged to support the system in multiple ways? That is systems thinking and creative problem-solving. It was such a joy to hear the creativity and inventiveness of our students.