chapter  8
15 Pages

Education for Sustainability: Preserve Good Ideas—Recycle Them

At the heart of sustainability is the familiar theme that we should “reduce, reuse,

recycle.” This advice reminds us of the importance of not discarding materials

after a single use but instead, continually seeking ways that materials can be

productively reused and recycled. We are reminded of the need to move beyond

the throwaway culture that we have become. To perhaps a surprising extent, this

same theme of reuse and recycle also emerges in discussions on education for

sustainability. In the case of education, however, it is the recycling and reusing of

ideas, curricula, and best practices that is important, and it is the failure to draw

upon past insights that is lamented. The waste is pointed to when each group,

organization, and community individually reinvents the wheel, and, in so doing,

fails to reuse hard-won insights from the past.