Environmental education and environmental awareness are processes that should accompany us throughout our lives. Learning about our planet’s problems such as pollution, gas emissions, energy consumption, recycling, water use, should be addressed from our first steps in educational institutions.
Environmental education is a discipline that has as its main objective to foster awareness and respect for the environment in all people, as well as to promote the adoption of sustainable and responsible practices in the use of natural resources. This form of education is fundamental to ensure sustainable development and the preservation of the environment for future generations.
It can be delivered through a variety of means, such as school classes, awareness programmes and even outdoor activities. Some of the topics addressed include biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, environmental protection and climate change.
See the school Imagin Montessori School La Pinada, the first sustainable school with BREAM certificate in Spain, which promotes healthy living habits for its students inside and outside the classroom. It is therefore not surprising that the facilities, furniture, installations and solutions of this school work in line with this methodology (and yes, it is built in wood).
In addition to formal education, it is also important to promote environmental education in the community and at home. This can include activities such as participating in environmental conservation programmes, creating community gardens and promoting sustainable practices at home, such as saving energy and using eco-friendly cleaning products.
An example of this is BIOagradables, the non-profit organisation based in the Valencian Community that since 2012 has been organising monthly volunteering events on the different beaches of the Valencian coastline and also offers talks in educational centres and companies, so that their participants can also take part in this reflection and awareness-raising.
HopeRevolution, on the other hand, makes the most of the RRSS to communicate the climate crisis we are living and through videos they explain us how we can contribute with our small effort to fight it. Short, dynamic videos that have been shared hundreds of thousands of times and have already had more than 400 million views.
Environmental education also plays an important role in political and business decision-making. Political and business leaders need to have a solid understanding of the environmental impacts of their decisions and how they can minimise damage to the environment.
In this case it is Costa Rica that shows the way. Known for its extraordinary biodiversity (it is home to more than half a million different species of plants and animals), the island uses a quarter of the resources normally used by Western countries according to the World Economic Forum.
In the summer of 2016 Costa Rica was powered solely by renewable energy for 76 days, from 16 June to 2 September, according to the Instituto de Electricidad de Costa Rica (ICE). Exactly: the country did not use any fossil fuels, gas, coal or oil to generate energy. In 2015, the island was already running on 99% energy from renewable sources.
Unfortunately in Spain we are still far from these figures. Every year our country needs 2.8 times its available resources annually to meet its demand for natural resources, the depletion date usually arrives in mid-May.
Therefore, we at ARQUIMA urgently call for the promotion of a sustainable economic recovery taking into account the limits of the planet, as well as a reduction of the ecological footprint of the construction sector. We want the negative impact that the world of building has on the environment to be reversed as soon as possible.
From our position as a leader in the industrialised market, since 2015 we have been offering an environmentally friendly, healthy and energy-efficient alternative to reduce excess CO2 emissions on the planet. We use materials with the lowest carbon footprint such as wood from sustainably managed forests in order to delay the day of overcapacity progressively in the coming years.
Just as environmental education should do, our housing will also accompany us throughout our lives. So learning, understanding and choosing to live in a sustainable home will help to alleviate our planet’s problems.