Educating for a Sustainable Future

Teaching The Next Generation: How To Foster Circular Thinking In Schools

The next generation will inherit the planet and its environmental challenges, so it is crucial to foster sustainable habits early on.

Jul 14, 2023

The next generation will inherit the planet and its environmental challenges, so it is crucial to foster sustainable habits early on. Circular thinking is an essential concept in sustainability, and schools can play a critical role in promoting it. In this blog, we'll explore how to foster circular thinking in schools.

  • What Is Circular Thinking?

  • The Importance Of Circular Thinking In Schools

  • Strategies For Fostering Circular Thinking In Schools

  • Examples Of Circular Thinking In Schools

  • Collaborative Efforts For A Sustainable Future

  • Integrating Circular Economy Into Curriculum

  • Educating The Community On Circular Economy

  • Building Partnerships For Circular Economy Education

  • Conclusion

What is Circular Thinking?

Circular thinking is an approach to problem-solving that prioritizes sustainability by minimizing waste and maximizing resource efficiency. It involves designing products for circularity, promoting sustainable consumption, and minimizing waste sent to landfills.

The Importance of Circular Thinking in Schools

Circular thinking is crucial in educational settings because it encourages a culture of sustainability and develops students' critical thinking abilities. By promoting sustainable methods that reduce waste and conserve resources, students learn to consider a product's whole lifecycle, from design to disposal. Circular thinking fosters creativity and innovation by encouraging students to think creatively and propose original solutions to environmental and societal problems. We can promote a more sustainable future, foster a culture of sustainability, and equip the next generation of leaders to effect positive change for the environment and society by infusing circular thinking into school curricula.

Strategies for Fostering Circular Thinking in Schools

By encouraging circular thinking in schools, we can advance a sustainability culture and equip the next generation of leaders to forge a more sustainable future for society and the environment. Here are some methods for encouraging circular thinking in educational institutions: Integrate sustainability concepts and principles into the curriculum: Include sustainability concepts and principles in the science, math, and social studies curricula. Promote hands-on learning: To encourage the practical application of circular thinking principles and create opportunities for hands-on learning, such as environmental projects and volunteer work. Encourage critical thinking: Teach students to think critically about the consequences of their decisions and the items they consume and investigate other options that advance sustainability. Engage with local communities: Interact with local communities to support sustainability efforts and give students chances to use the concepts of circular thinking in practical situations. Create a culture of sustainability: Encourage children to form sustainable habits that they can carry into adulthood and adopt sustainably practices in the school, such as decreasing waste and improving resource efficiency.

Examples of Circular Thinking in Schools

Many schools and organizations are already promoting circular thinking. For example, the Green School in Bali incorporates circular thinking into its curriculum, while the European SchoolNet's Eco-Schools program promotes sustainability education across Europe. Here are some examples of circular thinking in schools: Composting: Implementing composting programs in schools allows students to learn about the circularity of organic materials and how they can create nutrient-rich soil for gardening and landscaping. Waste reduction: Encouraging students to reduce waste through initiatives such as plastic-free lunches and paperless classrooms helps promote circular thinking by emphasizing the importance of resource efficiency and waste reduction. Upcycling projects: Creating upcycling projects in art classes, such as turning waste materials into innovative new products, teaches students to think about the potential value of discarded materials and promotes creativity and innovation. Eco-friendly initiatives: Implementing eco-friendly initiatives such as using renewable energy sources or promoting sustainable transportation practices helps students understand the importance of resource efficiency and minimizing environmental impact. Repair and reuse: Encouraging students to repair and reuse materials or products that might discard promotes the circularity of resources and teaches them to think about the entire lifecycle of products.

Collaborative Efforts for a Sustainable Future

Collaboration between all interested parties, including governmental entities, corporations, and people, is necessary to achieve a sustainable future. Promoting sustainable consumption and production, funding circular economy solutions, and supporting sustainable policy are all examples of collaborative initiatives.

Integrating Circular Economy into Curriculum

Besides teaching about the traditional 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), schools can integrate circular economy principles into their curriculum. It includes teaching students about sustainable production, designing for durability, and creating closed-loop systems.

Educating the Community on Circular Economy

Schools can also educate their community on the circular economy, spreading awareness and encouraging individuals to adopt sustainable practices in their own lives. This practice can include organizing community events, partnering with local businesses, and collaborating with other schools.

Building Partnerships for Circular Economy Education

Schools can partner with organizations, such as NGOs, government agencies, and private companies, to promote circular economy education. This practice can include sharing resources, funding educational programs, and working together to implement circular economy practices.


The next generation can prepare to apply circular economy solutions by fostering circular thinking in schools. By incorporating circular thinking into the curriculum, schools can help create a more sustainable future. We must work together to promote sustainable production and consumption, invest in circular economy solutions, and advocate for sustainability policies.

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Green School Bali :

European SchoolNet's Eco-Schools program :