Why Permaculture And Sustainability Matters For Teens And Youth

Underlying every course we run at Jack Mountain and School Of The Forest are the principles of sustainable living, and building a lifestyle that is closer to the land. We talk about it in passing during courses, but when programs are running at the field school, students are living those principles every day. From composting, to using a well for their water, students get to see methods of day to day living that are simple, effective and for the most part, self-reliant.

This is important for anyone who is conscientious of their effect on the world they live in, but that goes double for young people. It can be hard (but worthwhile) for someone already settled into a way of life to make changes, even if they are cognizant of the good that comes from their choices. A young person who sees the value of a sustainable lifestyle can embody those values more effectively as they build their lives.

Youth today are incredibly aware of what’s happening to the planet, but for the most part, have very little knowledge about what they can do personally to help. Programs like the Bushcraft Semester and Family Bushcraft Week aren’t centered around teaching sustainable habits, but they often teach said habits in a peripheral way. It’s one thing to know the benefits of a composting toilet system, it’s another entirely to understand the merits because you’ve experienced the system first hand. Pair that with an understanding of their place in the ecosystem, and students young and old have a basic toolkit to help them move towards a more sustainable lifestyle no matter where you live.




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  • Thanks so much for this post. We need an antidote to social media that is appealing to youth. There is no way they can resist a well thought immersion in deep wild. Best wishes with filling up any offerings in this direction.

  • Christopher Russell

    Thanks Thomas, glad it resonated with you!

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