Once students know what climate change is and what causes it, the next step is helping them to understand practical ways they can help reduce their own contributions to it. This can be difficult, because often students are told about car emissions and industrial emissions, both of which seem out of their control. They also may believe that reducing emissions to below previous levels would mean going back to "simpler times." Ideas such as using more candles or washing clothes by hand may sound good in theory but are not practical solutions for everyday life. It is important that students understand that other actions, such as reducing consumption of disposable items, increasing recycling, and unplugging electronics when they are not being used can go a long way in contributing to an overall decrease in carbon emissions and climate change.
Watch this video of 6th grade students in South Gate, California—a coastal community. The purpose of this classroom video is to see students discuss "the old-fashioned way" as a solution to climate change.
For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "Climate Action" in the Changing Climate Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 95.