Video: Teaching Sustainability

Video Transcript:

[Rachel Weaver]: Well thank y'all for coming, the summit has been really great, I got to catch some really amazing discussions so far this morning, so thanks for sticking around for the last breakout session. I will be talking about some experiences I have had in teaching sustainability, looking at sort of the way that that has come through in creative reuse, and I'll talk about what that is and define it, and environmental education. So my primary experiences have been sort of places I work and so scrap creative reuse is the only creative reuse store in DFW that's open to the public, so Fort Worth has a creative reuse store called The Welman Project, but it's primarily for teachers, so if you are an educator and close to the Fort Worth area, they're a great resource to have. SCRAP in Denton, we are an open to the public, affordable materials arts and crafts store, we're also a non-profit that provides educational programming, so I'll talk a little bit more about that. I also work with sort of an internal department in the city called Sustainable Denton, it's primarily sort of an outreach component about sustainability and programming, and then I work at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center and I'll talk about the sort of the public school educational programs we've had going on there that I've been a part of. So our guide for today, I'll first introduce the organizations that I'll be talking about, providing some definitions about creative reuse in environmental education and then talking about specific examples I have experience with, so this involves farms and gardens, really just taking learning outside and how we can bring that into our curriculum, syllabi. Really I want to offer resources that can help provide you materials or a starting point to incorporate sustainability and environmental education into your curriculum, so I don't really go in depth with maybe certain core criteria or specifics to different school districts, because really I think a lot of this can translate depending if you're working with homeschool groups or private schools, public schools, and just different requirements that you might be working to sort of fit around. I'll also talk about the nature center, the creative reuse center, and then sort of summarizing everything and just sort of tips that I've sort of learned over the years that seems to help with students of all ages, elementary, middle school, high school and college, and how to connect with students about sustainability. So a little bit about me, I am currently – my name is Rachel Weaver, I am the director of SCRAP Denton, the creative reuse store in Denton, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit. I'm also the garden manager at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, it is a natural heritage center and nature park, it is Army Corps of Engineer land that is managed by the city of Denton, and I've worked out there as an intern and helping to facilitate the school field trips and managing sustainable gardener teaching workshops, seed feeding classes and those sorts of things. In my community I am also a board member and producer on KUZU, a community radio station in town. You have to listen online if you're outside of Denton because we have a three mile radius on the FM station, but we are a community radio station and I provide educational information there. I've also published on environmental imagination and sustainability topics. So my sort of passion with sustainability is to inspire people and to understand how we imagine and interact with our environments and how we can incorporate sustainability into educational opportunities. So I was previously the market vendor coordinator at the Denton Community Market, a local non-profit in Denton, working with farmers and small businesses at a market, I taught philosophy at Tarrant County College, I worked at a local sustainable farm in Denton, in grad school as a research assistant and worked on environmental philosophy programs, so really been working towards understanding the impact of environmental sort of sustainability and how we can inspire people into changing their behaviors. So this is a very brief, there are many definitions of sustainability, right? We're here at the sustainability summit, so this is sort of a very simple definition that we provide when we do teacher training just to give sort of an understanding of what sustainability is, and really what I sort of see come out the most to me in this sentence is sort of those last couple words, that sustainability is defined as the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. I think that idea of ecological balance is something that can really be sort of parsed through, so very simple explanation, all of these terms could be sort of parsed through to understand more in depth what that means to sustainability and sort of protecting natural resources, but I think ecological balance is something that is really striking to that definition. So a little bit about the organizations I'll talk about. SCRAP Creative Reuse is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, it's actually a national non-profit started in Portland, Oregon, and was started by teachers who had leftover materials from the classrooms and they didn't want to just throw them in the landfill, and so they started bringing them together, offering them for free or at affordable cost to other teachers, and starting this circular economy. So that's what a lot of what creative reuse is about is that we have stuff, we have lots of stuff, we've already made it, it's already in existence. Some of us only need to use it once, and so what do we do with those materials that we're no longer using or we don't have a use for in the context that we're doing, but it is still useful? It still has a use that someone else could creatively utilize. So our mission is to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behaviors by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community. So why do we do the work that we're doing? We do it because we want to inspire people, we want to inspire people to change their behaviors. Who do we do that? We do that through providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community, so we take in donations of the supplies and we sort through it, we make sure it's still usable, we put it onto our floor and we provide those at a very marked down and affordable price. We also offer affordable educational programming, so we provide high quality creative reuse education for youth and adults and we try to keep those at an affordable cost while supporting our organization. Our big focus on sustainability is waste diversion, so reducing the amount of waste that we send to the landfill. In 2018, SCRAP Denton – so there are seven SCRAP sites around the U.S., Portland is our biggest store, SCRAP Denton was sort of started back in 2012 and all of the locations are very locally managed. We don't share inventory, so each location is sort of localized in the sense that we're working with the inventory that is donated to us. We offer educational programming based on what the community around us wants, and so while we're a national organization that has – we can help each other, we're also very localized in our communities connecting with what the community wants. We like to talk about this number, we feel pretty proud of this, 24 tons of usable materials [audio malfunction] in Denton in 2018 alone. That feels great, we like to tell people, that's four elephants, just in Denton, yeah. So 47,000 pounds in 2018 and that feels great, that's something that we can educate people about. When you look at other statistics that is a drop in the bucket. In 2012, U.S. Americans produced 262 million tons of waste. That was 2012, we don't have – I couldn't find a stat for recent numbers, but let's assume that we produce more waste than we did in 2012. So you know that feels really good, especially we see that physical aspect of, we diverted that much waste and it went to the community and they created something with it and they they made gifts or they made toys or they made some piece of art where they sold it in their small business, and so it has an impact, but it's also – in sustainability, it's always that sort of uphill battle of seeing what your impact is in the larger scheme of things. But what's really essential is that we're changing behaviors and so we're starting to get people to think about how they can reduce waste, and so while we divert a certain amount, we're also changing those behaviors so that people are able to start to use reusable bags or make their own produce [unintelligible] or have a fun evening with their family crafting that helps them save money and they create something for their home and they have fun together, so trying to really influence sustainable behaviors. The mission of the nature center, Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, is to inspire environmental citizenship through an understanding of the natural heritage of north central Texas by providing nature experiences, education and research programs and conservation and restoration projects. So we host workshops that are free and open to the public, we do volunteer days where volunteers get to work on restoration projects with us, we work with the Elm Fork Master Naturalists that develop programming with us and have built up the school program that I'll talk about, and so it is a free park, it is sort of the closest space sort of nature space that Denton has where it's just a 20 minute drive and sort of suddenly you're out in nature, and it's 3,000 acres, about 10 miles of that is used for hiking, a lot of it is used for just conservation. Very little human sort of involvement in those spaces and there on other parts of it there is sort of hunting permitted and the hunting helps fund a lot of our programs, the hunting permits. So Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, it's sort of in the in the public – 'cause it's managed by the City of Denton and it's Army Corps of Engineer property, and it's meant to be sort of restorative environmental spaces, and we're also sort of the back flow for Ray Roberts and Lake Lewisville, so whenever those lakes are high we get the draining that they do, so all the rains that we've had really have an impact on natural spaces, but those are always learning opportunities for students in helping them understand. So I'll first define creative reuse, I've talked a little bit about it, but for those of you that might not be familiar, this term creative reuse, also known as up-cycling or repurposing, those are kind of more common words we hear. It's when the addition of creativity to an already manufactured item brings a new function, so we turn a CD jewel case into a bird feeder, we turn wine corks into a cork board, take a torn up t-shirt and turn it into a pet toy or a rug. Reuse centers like SCRAP collect discarded materials from the public and reuse them to give them new life. Many centers resell these items to the public for a bargain or donate them to teachers, which we donate materials to our community as well, and allow these organizations to have future projects with them. We also do teacher training so that teachers can have a creative reuse center in their classroom, so you always have materials available for the kids to craft and learn with. This is sort of our circular economy idea, the art ecosystem of a thing. So let's start with bottle caps, those are all pretty common. These, they're clean, reusable, they're donated to us, we stock them, organize them, we make it into this unique shopping experience, people can purchase those or they get them in a workshop, they turn them into something unique, maybe that's given as a gift. Later on, maybe you're like oh, I'm done with this picture frame, and you can you know break down the materials again and repurpose them, and so trying to find that way of constantly reusing items, because like I said, we've created these things, they're already there, but how do we use them to the fullest and allow others to sort of get a piece of that pie, like allow others to have that opportunity to create with that item? So SCRAP's got sort of a couple different arms, we've already sort of been talking about these. In general, we are a material retail store and we focus on waste diversion, our educational programming involves field trips where schools can come to us or we go to schools, we do teacher training, Girl Scouting outings, birthday parties that always has like a creative reuse craft in it, we do adult workshops, we have tinker hour and kids' workshops, we do free create, studio time, and we try to be involved in our community by sort of reaching out as a resource. Being in Denton, we have three colleges. We have the two universities and the downtown NCTC campus now, and so we're a great resource for students to get office supplies, school supplies, we have teacher resources so that they can find those at an affordable cost and really just trying to make it to where anybody feels like they can create and they don't have to be – they don't have to break the bank in order to be creative. So environmental education can be defined as the organized efforts to teach how natural environments function, particularly how human beings can manage behavior and ecosystems to live sustainably. So that's about our behaviors, that's how we interact. So it's multidisciplinary, I think a lot of focus on environmental education [audio malfunction] to the sciences, ecology, Earth science, atmospheric sciences. My background and what I like to see is coming up more and more talked about, because as part of my grad research was how to sort of get the social aspect more explicitly talked about in environmental issues, is to bring in sociology and anthropology, philosophy, political science, as well as history, art, music and performance, and so we see STEAM a lot but we still have that A that just kinda gets like, oh, you got that STEM with a little bit extra, right? But the art is really important because I think that that's really an entry point for a lot of people to start to comprehend sustainability, more so than – while everything else is important, art and music and these things can kind of have this more this effect where you didn't realize that you started thinking and caring about it, and suddenly you're aware of sustainable issues or an environmental aspect and it was just because you sort of you created something or you heard something, and so I think that that's a great way to kinda get people thinking about it without them realizing that they're thinking about it. So now going on to sort of examples and case studies, reasons to teach sustainability, a lot of you probably already incorporate this. First reason, get outside, right? We all want to get out of the classroom and go outside, today's a beautiful day finally, and so it's fun to get outside. There's an article I just saw that's like, environmental education is so important because it gets people outside, and so it's sort of the common thing that we go to. I remember in school it was always like, teacher's gonna throw you through a loop, like, we're doing class outside today, and you're just maybe you're just sitting in a circle outside but that was always a memorable day for experience – or for students. So it can also increase student awareness and achievement. I think that incorporating sustainability into curriculum will just start to bring about that situational awareness and that sort of environmental awareness and cultivate it in students. It's an innovative and exciting way to teach these topics, we're typically teaching social sciences, art, math and science. Sustainability can connect all of these things and you see how they influence each other. I, coming from the social science and art background, was always kind of you know, I didn't think I was capable of math and science in certain ways, and sort of putting myself into those areas where I thought, I can't collect that data or I'm gonna mess up the field research, and just sort of being in spaces where if you just participate fully and you do it, you see that you are capable of these things, and so – and vice versa, students who might think that they're they're better at math and science and that they don't have an artistic element, you see that they really do. And so how to incorporate those things to see that we all have these in us and when sustainability is at hand, we're we're really needing all of these facets of ourselves to help. It can also develop healthy habits and environmentally sustainable behaviors. I think when you start to when you bring a kid to a farm, they'll start to be more interested in vegetables, they'll start to want to try things out, they'll start to say wow, I know what that looks like on the plant and I and I learned more about it. So it can develop healthy habits, just getting kids outside is better, just getting them hiking, so I think that it has this physical and sort of emotional effect as well, and then it's active learning so students love it because it's more active than sort of sitting in the classroom. So take learning outside, one instance I've taught before and been involved in is sort of sustainable farm tours, developing school gardens and garden tours. So things to consider is the weather and the season, if it's really rainy or really cold, kids aren't gonna have fun. If it's really hot that's that can be risky for everybody. If you're if you're traveling to like a nature center or a farm you have to consider facilities, transportation and those things, and you want to think about group size. So at SCRAP for instance, we typically deal with smaller groups, 25 or less. A lot of times it's even under 10, but that's great because we get really intensive time with them. At the nature center a lot of groups would come out in like size of like 100 and you have to kind of break them up into groups so that you can kind of give that designated time to it, so consideration of group size and where you're going, and to just be prepared and prepare your group. So so many times where you know, it's a – it happens to be a cold day and the kids are wearing shorts on their hike, and you're just like, you are going to be freezing out there, or other days where you see the kids really prepared, that they wore long pants even though it's a little warm, you're like okay good, well they're hiking, there's gonna be bugs and things like that. So so just those little tips to help prepare students so that they're not distracted by those things that are making them uncomfortable, and a lot – you're gonna have students who you know, they've been outside, they go they go out with their family and they're all prepared for it, and so you just cultivate with them that extra learning, but then some students, especially if they're coming from Title I schools or lower income areas, they might have never been to a nature center or been in a space like this, and so you don't want to create a space where they're just gonna remember the negative, and so trying to make it to where they're comfortable but they're learning through the process, they're still with the group so that they're dealing with all of the same environmental factors that everybody's dealing with. This was like a little activity, it could be incorporated into a classroom already. This is like a pretty simple – for probably primarily like elementary and younger elementary age – but it's kind of a game we would play at the farm where you ask the students, where does this come from? So you can just grab – you can just have a bin of assorted canned foods, fresh foods, socks, just different household items, and you sort of ask the students, did this come from a farm, a factory or a store, and you sort of have either like a basket or a sort of decorated box that illustrates this. And a lot of kids – like I said, this is really maybe for more younger students, but you know maybe they sort like socks and cotton balls like at the store 'cause that's where they see those being purchased, maybe they put canned foods at the factory and then they put eggs at the farm. Essentially you're gonna show them that everything comes from the farm, and so showing the importance of understanding our agricultural history and understanding why farms are important and why we want to support those, so this is sort of a pretty fun little activity that we use to introduce the importance of farming at the farm tours, but I think that teachers can incorporate this into their classes as well just as a way of getting students to think about farms and their importance to us. If you're able to book a farm tour and go on these things, these are great experiences that make environmental, agricultural and nutritional concepts come to life, they can easily meet curriculum by sort of looking at these different aspects that you can incorporate, and if you are able to tour a farm or work with a farm, they probably work with you on specifics, they'd probably be happy to have a group coming out to see them if they offer that sort of farm tour. But science and math, you need to talk about food webs, life cycles, habitat, soil exploration, watershed health, photosynthesis, collecting data, right, and this can be made more or less difficult depending on the grade level. Language arts and English, work on like a scavenger hunt that kids would have to kind of figure out, what's a vegetable that's yellow? What's a vegetable that you know has a perfect flower on it? Teaching them sort of biology in addition to sort of environmental awareness. Writing letters to farmers, vocabulary development, and then nutrition and health I think is really where this comes in a lot. So they start to understand farm fresh foods, the importance of maybe how to grocery shop, how to find things, and just a physical activity. Maybe you're able to bring in a school garden, so in Denton we have sort of a program with the schools that can support teachers that want to bring in a school garden, and I'll talk a little bit about it. But bringing in a school garden can be a great way that – and I think a lot of schools have started to catch onto this and there's grants available, there's Seed grants available and things like that. But if it's something that you're first thinking about, just thinking about the workload of it and the volunteers that might be required and the funding for it. Typically vegetable gardens might be a little bit more high maintenance but you're gonna get a lot of those nutritional educational opportunities through it. Pollinator gardens are really great, they can be very colorful, students get to learn about insects and Monarchs and these things and they're kind of more like medium maintenance, and then if you had a native garden with sort of all north Texas plants that might be a little bit lower maintenance and you can still incorporate in some of the the pollinator aspects and things like that. So anyone can bring a garden into their school, we wanna support teachers that wanna bring in environmental aspects into their classroom, you just have to sorta find a space and talk with your school administration. I hope that most school administrations can get on board with these things, but I understand that sometimes there's a lot of paperwork or things can have a lot of momentum and then if one person steps out you have to kind of figure out how to keep that momentum moving. Setting a goal and deciding what you want to accomplish and figuring out the maintenance of it. Luckily you've got an ongoing resource of students who would help provide maintenance and volunteering, but some of those first steps you have to get through some of the sort of the the red tape to get to it. But I think more and more administrations are starting to realize the importance of supporting those programs and seeing how these lesson ideas can be brought into the classroom. So bringing teaching outside, but also bringing gardening and the environment inside. So in the language arts we can talk about poetry, creative writing, they can talk about life cycles. Also the aspect of meditation and mindfulness, I think that this is something that teachers are starting to incorporate just with all of the you know cultural aspects going on, everything that students are hearing you know from their parents and news and just sort of the stress that even really young elementary school students can feel. I know most [audio malfunction] sort of elementary school teacher friends try to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their class, especially if a student is having a difficult time. In the social studies we can talk about just different environments, we can talk about economics, change over time and specific scientists. In math you can sort of get more specific in measuring things, incorporating those processes, and I think these can all sort of translate depending on the grade level. And in science, ecology, biology, geography, geology, so incorporating all of those sort of sciences into it as well. So at Clear Creek we have the Denton ISD field trips, we bring out 2nd, 4th and 5th graders to Clear Creek. In the beginning it was sort of self guided, they just kinda like went on hikes and they had little science journals. Now, with the help of the local master naturalists they have a much more intensive sort of stations that they go to and they get a really great, all encompassing sort of understanding of the flora, the plants, they get to go on a hike, they learn about the mammals, reptiles, amphibians, they get to see living animals, they get to see pelts, so they get to see a lot of these different elements. We also work with Sustainable Schools, that's the program that promotes teachers being involved in this, and so it's a collaboration with the city of Denton and the nature center, Sustainable Schools basically awards points to teachers and they can accumulate those to get grant money to do some kind of sustainable project in their school, and so coming out to Clear Creek is a certain amount of points, starting a recycling program for your school is a certain amount of points, except most of those have them, you know. But just bringing in different sort of speakers or programs, you can get points from Sustainable Schools and then you might be awarded grant funding. So in 2018 we served 4,500 students, bringing in 2,100 in the spring, 2,300 in the fall. They have science journals that we've printed English and Spanish, topics include weather and erosion, mammals, reptiles and guided hikes, and we bring in Title I schools throughout the district. The Denton school district is a really weird geography, and so some schools are you know right by the nature center and they're used to that, other schools come from like 30 or 40 minutes away on a bus, but they're still all within Denton ISD. So we get a lot of different income levels and a lot of different schools and sort of teaching styles within those schools come in, and it's important that we motivate the teachers, because some teachers want to be there and some don't, or it's a substitute there and they didn't know that that's what they were signing up for, and so having these programs has really helped the program – having master naturalists has really helped the program become I think really great, for students and educators alike. So here's just some pictures from the program, master naturalists have hands on learning opportunities and staff helps to facilitate that. Sustainable Schools is the program I've already been talking about, but it basically allows them to earn points for teaching lessons about recycling waste, presentations by city staff, and incorporating that into their curriculum. So SCRAP, the creative reuse center, we – like I've said, we kinda host field trips, camps, birthday parties, for adults we do workshops, teacher training and field trips for college students also. We're starting to get involved with universities that want to incorporate material reuse into their syllabi, and so I've been working with a professor in the like the digital fabrications department and the art department, and she's gonna be like incorporating reuse into her curriculum, so we've been discussing how we can sort of work together with the students. Field trips involve us providing creative reuse information and a craft for students to participate in. We can really cater this to the needs of the students, the age, if there's specific requests, if there's – you know we try to make it to where all the crafts and the lessons are inclusive and it involves the students and and so that they see what they can create with reused materials. So in 2018 – 2019 school year we reached 198 students from Title I schools and over 200 students in Denton, so we primarily go out to Title I schools, that's part of sort of our affordable mission. We also offer scholarships and this past year was our 20th year anniversary as an organization and so we offered free field trips, so we were able to go out to communities that wouldn't typically have been able to maybe access our resources. Camp SCRAP is a lot of fun, we host these during the public school holidays, so we try to line up our camp whenever the schools are closed and we offer sort of opportunities for students 1st to 6th grade, and then we offer a team camp and we're talking about an adult camp too. But so kids get to invent, make, create and bring these creative ideas to life, each day staff sort of mixes things up, they get a free create time period where they just get to make whatever they want and that is where they get so creative and they make really interesting projects. One student in summer camp made like a giant box of a video game, like a fighting – like a fighting video game, but it was physical and it was kinetic, it moved, it worked, it was great, and then he ended up just kept on making them and his parents were like, we can't get him to stop, he just keeps making these boxes. So that's really great, they had to like find ways to store them. All reuse, all using like cardboard and stuff. So like I said, we award scholarships, and that's as a non-profit, we can accept donations and a lot of those donations goes towards our scholarship programs. Coming up we have some camps, and these are just to sort of show the themes that we work on. In the summertime we would alternate our weeks of doing art camp and then ecology camp, and so you'd have a focus on learning about art, always involving crafting and reuse, but then during ecology week we would teach about specific environmental issues. We have Earth, art camp, outer space, under the sea, we're working on other programs. In the adult education we try to bring in projects where adults and kids can learn about up-cycling, and so we did a crochet 101, we do sewing 101 classes, we have a holiday card making workshop, bookmaking, a little plug about we're trying to – we're doing a paper making workshop at Dallas Maker Space this Sunday, so there's still space to sign up, you'll get to learn to make your own paper, that paper can be used in all sorts of different craft opportunities and it's pretty cool to see how paper's made. So adult education is sort of a way for adults to learn about creative crafting processes, but we also wanna teach like practical things, so like how to create a reusable market bag, how to create a reusable produce bag, how to incorporate these things into just your everyday living so that you can practice the sustainable behaviors that you want to. We also do teacher training, like I said, to provide teachers resources with what are some craft project ideas. Maybe they can bring a resource or a reuse station into their classroom. We did a field trip of art education majors and their project was about having sort of a just a little tray like this where you've got all these different crafting items, and then that way kids are always able to sort of express themselves and you have those materials available, it's not something that they have to buy or that their parent has to buy, it's something that is available to them, but we also want that to be affordable for the educator, we also know teachers are working on thin thin budgets, and how do we how do we sort of cross that and provide this affordable aspect to reuse? We do free create times, and coming up at the end of November we're doing a buy nothing, craft everything day on traditional Black Friday, and so trying to get people to think about consumption, trying to get people to think about how they can reduce their consumption during times when culture and society is really telling us we need to do that, even you know like people don't really go out and shop as much on Black Friday, but they shop online, and so it's still it's still promoting that, there's still people that are receiving those orders and having to to work to get that content out to people. So coming in and instead of instead of focusing on that, coming in and making a gift, coming in and crafting or just taking a break from all of that holiday stuff that that happens, and so trying to use our mission and our space to inspire people and provide a welcoming space that people can feel like they can create without having to break the bank or it's not a space for that. So creative reuse as a way of sort of connecting our community. So in summary, we try to really teach the four R's of sustainability and this is sort of what like you know, we all want to reduce our consumption, I think as we start to tap into this, we do that, and then we want to reuse things, recycling is great but we hear a lot about sort of the down – the negatives of it or the difficulties of it, as we have so much stuff to recycle, and then rock, how do we sort of educate kids about composting and reducing waste in that way? So we like to teach the four R's of sustainability, and really we focus on that reuse, but also the reduce element you know, I mean we sustain on the generosity of people that donate items to us, but it is amazing how many completely new materials with a Hobby Lobby or Michael's sticker we get, and so people are buying these things, they don't even use them, they spend a lot of money on that stuff, and then it's for one reason or another, they don't have that but somebody out there is gonna really benefit from being able to do that or a student can complete their project or a mom is able to keep their kid busy on a rainy day. So just seeing the importance of reuse, because while reducing our consumption is definitely a goal, we have these things, we're gonna we're gonna continue to consume these things. So just some sort of tips or ideas that I've had over the years from working in these organizations, is that we want environmental education, creative reuse and sustainability to be accessible and inclusive, and that is sort of the forefront of today's sustainability summit so that's really great, all of the social equity tracks and how I think all of the tracks have brought this in in some way or another, that we really need to focus on how to make these spaces accessible to everybody, because sustainability is something we all have to participate in. So find ways to make it affordable and available and interesting for everybody, and then what's great about sustainability is that it is highly adaptable, and so you can just adapt these to whatever you need it for. It can be that you just want to teach about recycling in the classroom or you want your students to be eating healthier snacks and so you teach them about sort of farm fresh foods. So the thing about sustainability is that it can be incorporated in in so many different ways that it can be highly adaptable, but this also adds diversity to you as an educator, you get to mix things up in your curriculum, and the students get to benefit from that as well and they pick up on our excitement about things, and so if we're really excited about bringing in sustainability into our lessons, the students get excited about that too. The curriculum can be made more simple or complex, depending on grade level, learning objectives and student goals, and a lot of this research and topics, it naturally leads to activities, hands on learning, getting outside and multidisciplinary practices, so it's really great to be able to tie in all of those aspects in sustainability education. Other helpful tips, like I said, the curriculum can be adapted, so you know kind of don't be shy or if there's something that you're really passionate about, focus on that, because that's that's something you probably have a lot of knowledge about as you've researched it, and so if you're really passionate about recycling, I mean bring that in and educate students about that sort of whole cycle of it and the importance of it and what is the most sort of up to date information. In general, I've seen that it helps to have stations or categories, so not only just with students' attention span, but just kind of having that as an available resource so that students can understand variety of information involved in sustainability and that the ways that they learn, the unique ways that they learn can all be embraced at once. So by having, even if you have like a little reuse materials station, having all these different types of materials, you'll see what students kind of tap into, or at the nature center, having a station for art but they're still learning something about sustainability or they're learning about ecology, or having a station with mammals 'cause kids really wanna touch fur, or having a station with reptiles because some of those kids really like, you know, scales, and so having all those different sort of categories or stations helps so that every student sort of hopefully taps into something that sparks or inspires them, as well as showing the sort of intrinsic biodiversity of sustainability, and then if a student is having difficulty, at SCRAP we say that we focus on redirecting rather than reprimanding, and so if a student is just having a hard time with attention or they're just having a bad day, trying to redirect them, because if they get reprimanded while you're trying to teach environmental education or sustainability, they're gonna kinda have that like negative connection to it, and so redirecting students to where they understand you know how to find an aspect that will cultivate or direct their energy in a way that will get them motivated to learn about it. And that a lot of times other students you know just just want that student to benefit as well, so we try to always redirect students so that they are able to find something about that sustainable lesson that positively impacts them. So educating students, this was this great hike that came out in Denton and this was a lot of these students' first time hiking, and all I did was kind of hike them up to a pollinator garden, talked about native plants, and then showed them some turtles, but they were all so excited to have been able to do that, they made me this poster with all the animals that they wanted to see, I think it just you know it can be that instant of really changing their minds and getting them to think about it, and the you know they they feel so motivated to sort of continue learning about that. So I think sustainability topics can be – if we feel like we don't have the training for it, it can feel like something difficult, but really there's a lot of accessible information about sustainability or environmental education now that I think that we're able to bring that into sort of our curriculums and inspire students in that way. Thank you so much.

Video Transcript:

[Rachel Weaver]: Well thank y'all for coming, the summit has been really great, I got to catch some really amazing discussions so far this morning, so thanks for sticking around for the last breakout session. I will be talking about some experiences I have had in teaching sustainability, looking at sort of the way that that has come through in creative reuse, and I'll talk about what that is and define it, and environmental education. So my primary experiences have been sort of places I work and so scrap creative reuse is the only creative reuse store in DFW that's open to the public, so Fort Worth has a creative reuse store called The Welman Project, but it's primarily for teachers, so if you are an educator and close to the Fort Worth area, they're a great resource to have. SCRAP in Denton, we are an open to the public, affordable materials arts and crafts store, we're also a non-profit that provides educational programming, so I'll talk a little bit more about that. I also work with sort of an internal department in the city called Sustainable Denton, it's primarily sort of an outreach component about sustainability and programming, and then I work at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center and I'll talk about the sort of the public school educational programs we've had going on there that I've been a part of. So our guide for today, I'll first introduce the organizations that I'll be talking about, providing some definitions about creative reuse in environmental education and then talking about specific examples I have experience with, so this involves farms and gardens, really just taking learning outside and how we can bring that into our curriculum, syllabi. Really I want to offer resources that can help provide you materials or a starting point to incorporate sustainability and environmental education into your curriculum, so I don't really go in depth with maybe certain core criteria or specifics to different school districts, because really I think a lot of this can translate depending if you're working with homeschool groups or private schools, public schools, and just different requirements that you might be working to sort of fit around. I'll also talk about the nature center, the creative reuse center, and then sort of summarizing everything and just sort of tips that I've sort of learned over the years that seems to help with students of all ages, elementary, middle school, high school and college, and how to connect with students about sustainability. So a little bit about me, I am currently – my name is Rachel Weaver, I am the director of SCRAP Denton, the creative reuse store in Denton, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit. I'm also the garden manager at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, it is a natural heritage center and nature park, it is Army Corps of Engineer land that is managed by the city of Denton, and I've worked out there as an intern and helping to facilitate the school field trips and managing sustainable gardener teaching workshops, seed feeding classes and those sorts of things. In my community I am also a board member and producer on KUZU, a community radio station in town. You have to listen online if you're outside of Denton because we have a three mile radius on the FM station, but we are a community radio station and I provide educational information there. I've also published on environmental imagination and sustainability topics. So my sort of passion with sustainability is to inspire people and to understand how we imagine and interact with our environments and how we can incorporate sustainability into educational opportunities. So I was previously the market vendor coordinator at the Denton Community Market, a local non-profit in Denton, working with farmers and small businesses at a market, I taught philosophy at Tarrant County College, I worked at a local sustainable farm in Denton, in grad school as a research assistant and worked on environmental philosophy programs, so really been working towards understanding the impact of environmental sort of sustainability and how we can inspire people into changing their behaviors. So this is a very brief, there are many definitions of sustainability, right? We're here at the sustainability summit, so this is sort of a very simple definition that we provide when we do teacher training just to give sort of an understanding of what sustainability is, and really what I sort of see come out the most to me in this sentence is sort of those last couple words, that sustainability is defined as the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance. I think that idea of ecological balance is something that can really be sort of parsed through, so very simple explanation, all of these terms could be sort of parsed through to understand more in depth what that means to sustainability and sort of protecting natural resources, but I think ecological balance is something that is really striking to that definition. So a little bit about the organizations I'll talk about. SCRAP Creative Reuse is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, it's actually a national non-profit started in Portland, Oregon, and was started by teachers who had leftover materials from the classrooms and they didn't want to just throw them in the landfill, and so they started bringing them together, offering them for free or at affordable cost to other teachers, and starting this circular economy. So that's what a lot of what creative reuse is about is that we have stuff, we have lots of stuff, we've already made it, it's already in existence. Some of us only need to use it once, and so what do we do with those materials that we're no longer using or we don't have a use for in the context that we're doing, but it is still useful? It still has a use that someone else could creatively utilize. So our mission is to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behaviors by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community. So why do we do the work that we're doing? We do it because we want to inspire people, we want to inspire people to change their behaviors. Who do we do that? We do that through providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community, so we take in donations of the supplies and we sort through it, we make sure it's still usable, we put it onto our floor and we provide those at a very marked down and affordable price. We also offer affordable educational programming, so we provide high quality creative reuse education for youth and adults and we try to keep those at an affordable cost while supporting our organization. Our big focus on sustainability is waste diversion, so reducing the amount of waste that we send to the landfill. In 2018, SCRAP Denton – so there are seven SCRAP sites around the U.S., Portland is our biggest store, SCRAP Denton was sort of started back in 2012 and all of the locations are very locally managed. We don't share inventory, so each location is sort of localized in the sense that we're working with the inventory that is donated to us. We offer educational programming based on what the community around us wants, and so while we're a national organization that has – we can help each other, we're also very localized in our communities connecting with what the community wants. We like to talk about this number, we feel pretty proud of this, 24 tons of usable materials [audio malfunction] in Denton in 2018 alone. That feels great, we like to tell people, that's four elephants, just in Denton, yeah. So 47,000 pounds in 2018 and that feels great, that's something that we can educate people about. When you look at other statistics that is a drop in the bucket. In 2012, U.S. Americans produced 262 million tons of waste. That was 2012, we don't have – I couldn't find a stat for recent numbers, but let's assume that we produce more waste than we did in 2012. So you know that feels really good, especially we see that physical aspect of, we diverted that much waste and it went to the community and they created something with it and they they made gifts or they made toys or they made some piece of art where they sold it in their small business, and so it has an impact, but it's also – in sustainability, it's always that sort of uphill battle of seeing what your impact is in the larger scheme of things. But what's really essential is that we're changing behaviors and so we're starting to get people to think about how they can reduce waste, and so while we divert a certain amount, we're also changing those behaviors so that people are able to start to use reusable bags or make their own produce [unintelligible] or have a fun evening with their family crafting that helps them save money and they create something for their home and they have fun together, so trying to really influence sustainable behaviors. The mission of the nature center, Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, is to inspire environmental citizenship through an understanding of the natural heritage of north central Texas by providing nature experiences, education and research programs and conservation and restoration projects. So we host workshops that are free and open to the public, we do volunteer days where volunteers get to work on restoration projects with us, we work with the Elm Fork Master Naturalists that develop programming with us and have built up the school program that I'll talk about, and so it is a free park, it is sort of the closest space sort of nature space that Denton has where it's just a 20 minute drive and sort of suddenly you're out in nature, and it's 3,000 acres, about 10 miles of that is used for hiking, a lot of it is used for just conservation. Very little human sort of involvement in those spaces and there on other parts of it there is sort of hunting permitted and the hunting helps fund a lot of our programs, the hunting permits. So Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center, it's sort of in the in the public – 'cause it's managed by the City of Denton and it's Army Corps of Engineer property, and it's meant to be sort of restorative environmental spaces, and we're also sort of the back flow for Ray Roberts and Lake Lewisville, so whenever those lakes are high we get the draining that they do, so all the rains that we've had really have an impact on natural spaces, but those are always learning opportunities for students in helping them understand. So I'll first define creative reuse, I've talked a little bit about it, but for those of you that might not be familiar, this term creative reuse, also known as up-cycling or repurposing, those are kind of more common words we hear. It's when the addition of creativity to an already manufactured item brings a new function, so we turn a CD jewel case into a bird feeder, we turn wine corks into a cork board, take a torn up t-shirt and turn it into a pet toy or a rug. Reuse centers like SCRAP collect discarded materials from the public and reuse them to give them new life. Many centers resell these items to the public for a bargain or donate them to teachers, which we donate materials to our community as well, and allow these organizations to have future projects with them. We also do teacher training so that teachers can have a creative reuse center in their classroom, so you always have materials available for the kids to craft and learn with. This is sort of our circular economy idea, the art ecosystem of a thing. So let's start with bottle caps, those are all pretty common. These, they're clean, reusable, they're donated to us, we stock them, organize them, we make it into this unique shopping experience, people can purchase those or they get them in a workshop, they turn them into something unique, maybe that's given as a gift. Later on, maybe you're like oh, I'm done with this picture frame, and you can you know break down the materials again and repurpose them, and so trying to find that way of constantly reusing items, because like I said, we've created these things, they're already there, but how do we use them to the fullest and allow others to sort of get a piece of that pie, like allow others to have that opportunity to create with that item? So SCRAP's got sort of a couple different arms, we've already sort of been talking about these. In general, we are a material retail store and we focus on waste diversion, our educational programming involves field trips where schools can come to us or we go to schools, we do teacher training, Girl Scouting outings, birthday parties that always has like a creative reuse craft in it, we do adult workshops, we have tinker hour and kids' workshops, we do free create, studio time, and we try to be involved in our community by sort of reaching out as a resource. Being in Denton, we have three colleges. We have the two universities and the downtown NCTC campus now, and so we're a great resource for students to get office supplies, school supplies, we have teacher resources so that they can find those at an affordable cost and really just trying to make it to where anybody feels like they can create and they don't have to be – they don't have to break the bank in order to be creative. So environmental education can be defined as the organized efforts to teach how natural environments function, particularly how human beings can manage behavior and ecosystems to live sustainably. So that's about our behaviors, that's how we interact. So it's multidisciplinary, I think a lot of focus on environmental education [audio malfunction] to the sciences, ecology, Earth science, atmospheric sciences. My background and what I like to see is coming up more and more talked about, because as part of my grad research was how to sort of get the social aspect more explicitly talked about in environmental issues, is to bring in sociology and anthropology, philosophy, political science, as well as history, art, music and performance, and so we see STEAM a lot but we still have that A that just kinda gets like, oh, you got that STEM with a little bit extra, right? But the art is really important because I think that that's really an entry point for a lot of people to start to comprehend sustainability, more so than – while everything else is important, art and music and these things can kind of have this more this effect where you didn't realize that you started thinking and caring about it, and suddenly you're aware of sustainable issues or an environmental aspect and it was just because you sort of you created something or you heard something, and so I think that that's a great way to kinda get people thinking about it without them realizing that they're thinking about it. So now going on to sort of examples and case studies, reasons to teach sustainability, a lot of you probably already incorporate this. First reason, get outside, right? We all want to get out of the classroom and go outside, today's a beautiful day finally, and so it's fun to get outside. There's an article I just saw that's like, environmental education is so important because it gets people outside, and so it's sort of the common thing that we go to. I remember in school it was always like, teacher's gonna throw you through a loop, like, we're doing class outside today, and you're just maybe you're just sitting in a circle outside but that was always a memorable day for experience – or for students. So it can also increase student awareness and achievement. I think that incorporating sustainability into curriculum will just start to bring about that situational awareness and that sort of environmental awareness and cultivate it in students. It's an innovative and exciting way to teach these topics, we're typically teaching social sciences, art, math and science. Sustainability can connect all of these things and you see how they influence each other. I, coming from the social science and art background, was always kind of you know, I didn't think I was capable of math and science in certain ways, and sort of putting myself into those areas where I thought, I can't collect that data or I'm gonna mess up the field research, and just sort of being in spaces where if you just participate fully and you do it, you see that you are capable of these things, and so – and vice versa, students who might think that they're they're better at math and science and that they don't have an artistic element, you see that they really do. And so how to incorporate those things to see that we all have these in us and when sustainability is at hand, we're we're really needing all of these facets of ourselves to help. It can also develop healthy habits and environmentally sustainable behaviors. I think when you start to when you bring a kid to a farm, they'll start to be more interested in vegetables, they'll start to want to try things out, they'll start to say wow, I know what that looks like on the plant and I and I learned more about it. So it can develop healthy habits, just getting kids outside is better, just getting them hiking, so I think that it has this physical and sort of emotional effect as well, and then it's active learning so students love it because it's more active than sort of sitting in the classroom. So take learning outside, one instance I've taught before and been involved in is sort of sustainable farm tours, developing school gardens and garden tours. So things to consider is the weather and the season, if it's really rainy or really cold, kids aren't gonna have fun. If it's really hot that's that can be risky for everybody. If you're if you're traveling to like a nature center or a farm you have to consider facilities, transportation and those things, and you want to think about group size. So at SCRAP for instance, we typically deal with smaller groups, 25 or less. A lot of times it's even under 10, but that's great because we get really intensive time with them. At the nature center a lot of groups would come out in like size of like 100 and you have to kind of break them up into groups so that you can kind of give that designated time to it, so consideration of group size and where you're going, and to just be prepared and prepare your group. So so many times where you know, it's a – it happens to be a cold day and the kids are wearing shorts on their hike, and you're just like, you are going to be freezing out there, or other days where you see the kids really prepared, that they wore long pants even though it's a little warm, you're like okay good, well they're hiking, there's gonna be bugs and things like that. So so just those little tips to help prepare students so that they're not distracted by those things that are making them uncomfortable, and a lot – you're gonna have students who you know, they've been outside, they go they go out with their family and they're all prepared for it, and so you just cultivate with them that extra learning, but then some students, especially if they're coming from Title I schools or lower income areas, they might have never been to a nature center or been in a space like this, and so you don't want to create a space where they're just gonna remember the negative, and so trying to make it to where they're comfortable but they're learning through the process, they're still with the group so that they're dealing with all of the same environmental factors that everybody's dealing with. This was like a little activity, it could be incorporated into a classroom already. This is like a pretty simple – for probably primarily like elementary and younger elementary age – but it's kind of a game we would play at the farm where you ask the students, where does this come from? So you can just grab – you can just have a bin of assorted canned foods, fresh foods, socks, just different household items, and you sort of ask the students, did this come from a farm, a factory or a store, and you sort of have either like a basket or a sort of decorated box that illustrates this. And a lot of kids – like I said, this is really maybe for more younger students, but you know maybe they sort like socks and cotton balls like at the store 'cause that's where they see those being purchased, maybe they put canned foods at the factory and then they put eggs at the farm. Essentially you're gonna show them that everything comes from the farm, and so showing the importance of understanding our agricultural history and understanding why farms are important and why we want to support those, so this is sort of a pretty fun little activity that we use to introduce the importance of farming at the farm tours, but I think that teachers can incorporate this into their classes as well just as a way of getting students to think about farms and their importance to us. If you're able to book a farm tour and go on these things, these are great experiences that make environmental, agricultural and nutritional concepts come to life, they can easily meet curriculum by sort of looking at these different aspects that you can incorporate, and if you are able to tour a farm or work with a farm, they probably work with you on specifics, they'd probably be happy to have a group coming out to see them if they offer that sort of farm tour. But science and math, you need to talk about food webs, life cycles, habitat, soil exploration, watershed health, photosynthesis, collecting data, right, and this can be made more or less difficult depending on the grade level. Language arts and English, work on like a scavenger hunt that kids would have to kind of figure out, what's a vegetable that's yellow? What's a vegetable that you know has a perfect flower on it? Teaching them sort of biology in addition to sort of environmental awareness. Writing letters to farmers, vocabulary development, and then nutrition and health I think is really where this comes in a lot. So they start to understand farm fresh foods, the importance of maybe how to grocery shop, how to find things, and just a physical activity. Maybe you're able to bring in a school garden, so in Denton we have sort of a program with the schools that can support teachers that want to bring in a school garden, and I'll talk a little bit about it. But bringing in a school garden can be a great way that – and I think a lot of schools have started to catch onto this and there's grants available, there's Seed grants available and things like that. But if it's something that you're first thinking about, just thinking about the workload of it and the volunteers that might be required and the funding for it. Typically vegetable gardens might be a little bit more high maintenance but you're gonna get a lot of those nutritional educational opportunities through it. Pollinator gardens are really great, they can be very colorful, students get to learn about insects and Monarchs and these things and they're kind of more like medium maintenance, and then if you had a native garden with sort of all north Texas plants that might be a little bit lower maintenance and you can still incorporate in some of the the pollinator aspects and things like that. So anyone can bring a garden into their school, we wanna support teachers that wanna bring in environmental aspects into their classroom, you just have to sorta find a space and talk with your school administration. I hope that most school administrations can get on board with these things, but I understand that sometimes there's a lot of paperwork or things can have a lot of momentum and then if one person steps out you have to kind of figure out how to keep that momentum moving. Setting a goal and deciding what you want to accomplish and figuring out the maintenance of it. Luckily you've got an ongoing resource of students who would help provide maintenance and volunteering, but some of those first steps you have to get through some of the sort of the the red tape to get to it. But I think more and more administrations are starting to realize the importance of supporting those programs and seeing how these lesson ideas can be brought into the classroom. So bringing teaching outside, but also bringing gardening and the environment inside. So in the language arts we can talk about poetry, creative writing, they can talk about life cycles. Also the aspect of meditation and mindfulness, I think that this is something that teachers are starting to incorporate just with all of the you know cultural aspects going on, everything that students are hearing you know from their parents and news and just sort of the stress that even really young elementary school students can feel. I know most [audio malfunction] sort of elementary school teacher friends try to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their class, especially if a student is having a difficult time. In the social studies we can talk about just different environments, we can talk about economics, change over time and specific scientists. In math you can sort of get more specific in measuring things, incorporating those processes, and I think these can all sort of translate depending on the grade level. And in science, ecology, biology, geography, geology, so incorporating all of those sort of sciences into it as well. So at Clear Creek we have the Denton ISD field trips, we bring out 2nd, 4th and 5th graders to Clear Creek. In the beginning it was sort of self guided, they just kinda like went on hikes and they had little science journals. Now, with the help of the local master naturalists they have a much more intensive sort of stations that they go to and they get a really great, all encompassing sort of understanding of the flora, the plants, they get to go on a hike, they learn about the mammals, reptiles, amphibians, they get to see living animals, they get to see pelts, so they get to see a lot of these different elements. We also work with Sustainable Schools, that's the program that promotes teachers being involved in this, and so it's a collaboration with the city of Denton and the nature center, Sustainable Schools basically awards points to teachers and they can accumulate those to get grant money to do some kind of sustainable project in their school, and so coming out to Clear Creek is a certain amount of points, starting a recycling program for your school is a certain amount of points, except most of those have them, you know. But just bringing in different sort of speakers or programs, you can get points from Sustainable Schools and then you might be awarded grant funding. So in 2018 we served 4,500 students, bringing in 2,100 in the spring, 2,300 in the fall. They have science journals that we've printed English and Spanish, topics include weather and erosion, mammals, reptiles and guided hikes, and we bring in Title I schools throughout the district. The Denton school district is a really weird geography, and so some schools are you know right by the nature center and they're used to that, other schools come from like 30 or 40 minutes away on a bus, but they're still all within Denton ISD. So we get a lot of different income levels and a lot of different schools and sort of teaching styles within those schools come in, and it's important that we motivate the teachers, because some teachers want to be there and some don't, or it's a substitute there and they didn't know that that's what they were signing up for, and so having these programs has really helped the program – having master naturalists has really helped the program become I think really great, for students and educators alike. So here's just some pictures from the program, master naturalists have hands on learning opportunities and staff helps to facilitate that. Sustainable Schools is the program I've already been talking about, but it basically allows them to earn points for teaching lessons about recycling waste, presentations by city staff, and incorporating that into their curriculum. So SCRAP, the creative reuse center, we – like I've said, we kinda host field trips, camps, birthday parties, for adults we do workshops, teacher training and field trips for college students also. We're starting to get involved with universities that want to incorporate material reuse into their syllabi, and so I've been working with a professor in the like the digital fabrications department and the art department, and she's gonna be like incorporating reuse into her curriculum, so we've been discussing how we can sort of work together with the students. Field trips involve us providing creative reuse information and a craft for students to participate in. We can really cater this to the needs of the students, the age, if there's specific requests, if there's – you know we try to make it to where all the crafts and the lessons are inclusive and it involves the students and and so that they see what they can create with reused materials. So in 2018 – 2019 school year we reached 198 students from Title I schools and over 200 students in Denton, so we primarily go out to Title I schools, that's part of sort of our affordable mission. We also offer scholarships and this past year was our 20th year anniversary as an organization and so we offered free field trips, so we were able to go out to communities that wouldn't typically have been able to maybe access our resources. Camp SCRAP is a lot of fun, we host these during the public school holidays, so we try to line up our camp whenever the schools are closed and we offer sort of opportunities for students 1st to 6th grade, and then we offer a team camp and we're talking about an adult camp too. But so kids get to invent, make, create and bring these creative ideas to life, each day staff sort of mixes things up, they get a free create time period where they just get to make whatever they want and that is where they get so creative and they make really interesting projects. One student in summer camp made like a giant box of a video game, like a fighting – like a fighting video game, but it was physical and it was kinetic, it moved, it worked, it was great, and then he ended up just kept on making them and his parents were like, we can't get him to stop, he just keeps making these boxes. So that's really great, they had to like find ways to store them. All reuse, all using like cardboard and stuff. So like I said, we award scholarships, and that's as a non-profit, we can accept donations and a lot of those donations goes towards our scholarship programs. Coming up we have some camps, and these are just to sort of show the themes that we work on. In the summertime we would alternate our weeks of doing art camp and then ecology camp, and so you'd have a focus on learning about art, always involving crafting and reuse, but then during ecology week we would teach about specific environmental issues. We have Earth, art camp, outer space, under the sea, we're working on other programs. In the adult education we try to bring in projects where adults and kids can learn about up-cycling, and so we did a crochet 101, we do sewing 101 classes, we have a holiday card making workshop, bookmaking, a little plug about we're trying to – we're doing a paper making workshop at Dallas Maker Space this Sunday, so there's still space to sign up, you'll get to learn to make your own paper, that paper can be used in all sorts of different craft opportunities and it's pretty cool to see how paper's made. So adult education is sort of a way for adults to learn about creative crafting processes, but we also wanna teach like practical things, so like how to create a reusable market bag, how to create a reusable produce bag, how to incorporate these things into just your everyday living so that you can practice the sustainable behaviors that you want to. We also do teacher training, like I said, to provide teachers resources with what are some craft project ideas. Maybe they can bring a resource or a reuse station into their classroom. We did a field trip of art education majors and their project was about having sort of a just a little tray like this where you've got all these different crafting items, and then that way kids are always able to sort of express themselves and you have those materials available, it's not something that they have to buy or that their parent has to buy, it's something that is available to them, but we also want that to be affordable for the educator, we also know teachers are working on thin thin budgets, and how do we how do we sort of cross that and provide this affordable aspect to reuse? We do free create times, and coming up at the end of November we're doing a buy nothing, craft everything day on traditional Black Friday, and so trying to get people to think about consumption, trying to get people to think about how they can reduce their consumption during times when culture and society is really telling us we need to do that, even you know like people don't really go out and shop as much on Black Friday, but they shop online, and so it's still it's still promoting that, there's still people that are receiving those orders and having to to work to get that content out to people. So coming in and instead of instead of focusing on that, coming in and making a gift, coming in and crafting or just taking a break from all of that holiday stuff that that happens, and so trying to use our mission and our space to inspire people and provide a welcoming space that people can feel like they can create without having to break the bank or it's not a space for that. So creative reuse as a way of sort of connecting our community. So in summary, we try to really teach the four R's of sustainability and this is sort of what like you know, we all want to reduce our consumption, I think as we start to tap into this, we do that, and then we want to reuse things, recycling is great but we hear a lot about sort of the down – the negatives of it or the difficulties of it, as we have so much stuff to recycle, and then rock, how do we sort of educate kids about composting and reducing waste in that way? So we like to teach the four R's of sustainability, and really we focus on that reuse, but also the reduce element you know, I mean we sustain on the generosity of people that donate items to us, but it is amazing how many completely new materials with a Hobby Lobby or Michael's sticker we get, and so people are buying these things, they don't even use them, they spend a lot of money on that stuff, and then it's for one reason or another, they don't have that but somebody out there is gonna really benefit from being able to do that or a student can complete their project or a mom is able to keep their kid busy on a rainy day. So just seeing the importance of reuse, because while reducing our consumption is definitely a goal, we have these things, we're gonna we're gonna continue to consume these things. So just some sort of tips or ideas that I've had over the years from working in these organizations, is that we want environmental education, creative reuse and sustainability to be accessible and inclusive, and that is sort of the forefront of today's sustainability summit so that's really great, all of the social equity tracks and how I think all of the tracks have brought this in in some way or another, that we really need to focus on how to make these spaces accessible to everybody, because sustainability is something we all have to participate in. So find ways to make it affordable and available and interesting for everybody, and then what's great about sustainability is that it is highly adaptable, and so you can just adapt these to whatever you need it for. It can be that you just want to teach about recycling in the classroom or you want your students to be eating healthier snacks and so you teach them about sort of farm fresh foods. So the thing about sustainability is that it can be incorporated in in so many different ways that it can be highly adaptable, but this also adds diversity to you as an educator, you get to mix things up in your curriculum, and the students get to benefit from that as well and they pick up on our excitement about things, and so if we're really excited about bringing in sustainability into our lessons, the students get excited about that too. The curriculum can be made more simple or complex, depending on grade level, learning objectives and student goals, and a lot of this research and topics, it naturally leads to activities, hands on learning, getting outside and multidisciplinary practices, so it's really great to be able to tie in all of those aspects in sustainability education. Other helpful tips, like I said, the curriculum can be adapted, so you know kind of don't be shy or if there's something that you're really passionate about, focus on that, because that's that's something you probably have a lot of knowledge about as you've researched it, and so if you're really passionate about recycling, I mean bring that in and educate students about that sort of whole cycle of it and the importance of it and what is the most sort of up to date information. In general, I've seen that it helps to have stations or categories, so not only just with students' attention span, but just kind of having that as an available resource so that students can understand variety of information involved in sustainability and that the ways that they learn, the unique ways that they learn can all be embraced at once. So by having, even if you have like a little reuse materials station, having all these different types of materials, you'll see what students kind of tap into, or at the nature center, having a station for art but they're still learning something about sustainability or they're learning about ecology, or having a station with mammals 'cause kids really wanna touch fur, or having a station with reptiles because some of those kids really like, you know, scales, and so having all those different sort of categories or stations helps so that every student sort of hopefully taps into something that sparks or inspires them, as well as showing the sort of intrinsic biodiversity of sustainability, and then if a student is having difficulty, at SCRAP we say that we focus on redirecting rather than reprimanding, and so if a student is just having a hard time with attention or they're just having a bad day, trying to redirect them, because if they get reprimanded while you're trying to teach environmental education or sustainability, they're gonna kinda have that like negative connection to it, and so redirecting students to where they understand you know how to find an aspect that will cultivate or direct their energy in a way that will get them motivated to learn about it. And that a lot of times other students you know just just want that student to benefit as well, so we try to always redirect students so that they are able to find something about that sustainable lesson that positively impacts them. So educating students, this was this great hike that came out in Denton and this was a lot of these students' first time hiking, and all I did was kind of hike them up to a pollinator garden, talked about native plants, and then showed them some turtles, but they were all so excited to have been able to do that, they made me this poster with all the animals that they wanted to see, I think it just you know it can be that instant of really changing their minds and getting them to think about it, and the you know they they feel so motivated to sort of continue learning about that. So I think sustainability topics can be – if we feel like we don't have the training for it, it can feel like something difficult, but really there's a lot of accessible information about sustainability or environmental education now that I think that we're able to bring that into sort of our curriculums and inspire students in that way. Thank you so much.