Simplicity and Caring for the Earth and Her Oceans Lessons

Please see: Unit Five: Simplicity and Caring for the Earth and Her Oceans in Living Values Education Activities for Young Adults, Book 1

Simplicity and Caring for the Earth and Her Oceans in the Living Values Education Activities for Young Adults, Book 1.

Each value is important, but the importance of simplicity and taking care of our Earth and her oceans at this point in time is paramount as human demands on the planet’s resources increase and global climate change imperils human existence.

Simplicity as a value is addressed in a few ways: enjoying the simplicity and beauty of nature, valuing the simplicity and wisdom of indigenous cultures, simplicity as a value that helps us create sustainable development and simplicity as a way to reduce our material demands on the planet.

The Caring for the Earth and Her Oceans lessons begin with an article by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, responding to the concerns of youth on climate change. The key provision of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, to try to keep the global temperature to rising only to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial age, and definitely below 2 degrees Celsius, is used to branch into the variables creating the increase in temperature. Young adults are presented with specific scientific information about greenhouse gases, what is causing them, and the harmful effects of human actions on the ocean, rivers, animals, air and ground — and on human beings themselves. Students are encouraged to explore daily options to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce their use of plastics, to research an area of interest and do a service-learning project to benefit the environment. Please add your own ideas and help them do what is most needed in the local community. Please allow them to go with their interests, motivation and project ideas — allow them time to research, do projects and be constructively creative.

Paulo Barros contributed several activities to this unit for young adults. He has highlighted the importance of exploring the effects of not only man on the environment but how social prejudice, anti-values and injustice impact us all, and our Earth, a concept reinforced by the UN Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystems.

Enjoy doing the activities with the students. We will be happy to post news of your projects, poems and songs in our newsletter or on the international website.

Thank you for helping take care of our Earth and her oceans.


Simplicity and Caring for the Earth and Her Oceans Reflection Points

  • Simplicity is natural.
  • Simplicity is learning from the earth.
  • Simplicity is beautiful.
  • Simplicity is relaxing.
  • Simplicity is being natural.
  • Simplicity is staying in the present and not making things complicated.
  • Simplicity is learning from the wisdom of indigenous cultures.
  • Simplicity is giving patience, friendship, and encouragement.
  • Simplicity is appreciating the small things in life.
    • Simplicity is freedom from material desires and emotional desires— permission to simply “be.”  —Contributed by students at West Kidlington School
    • Simplicity is putting others first with kindness, openness, pure intentions — without expectations and conditions.  —Contributed by students at West Kidlington School
  • Simplicity avoids waste, teaches economy, avoids value clashes complicated by greed, fear, peer pressure, and a false sense of identity.
  • Simplicity is appreciating inner beauty and recognizing the value of all actors, even the poorest and worst off.
  • Simplicity helps create sustainable development.
  • ¨Simplicity teaches us economy — how to use our resources keeping future generations in mind.
  • Simplicity calls upon people to rethink their values. 
  • Simplicity asks whether we are being induced to purchase unnecessary products.  Psychological enticements create artificial needs.  Desires stimulated by wanting unnecessary things result in value clashes complicated by greed, fear, peer pressure, and a false sense of identity.  Once fulfillment of basic necessities allows for a comfortable lifestyle, extremes and excesses invite overindulgence and waste.
  • Simplicity helps decrease the gap between “the haves” and “the have nots” by demonstrating the logic of true economics: to earn, save, invest, and share the sacrifices and the prosperity so that there can be a better quality of life for all people regardless of where they were born.

Unit Five:  Simplicity and Caring for the Earth and Her 


Reflection Points

Simplicity Lesson 1:     Simple Things

Simplicity Lesson 2:     Simply Being

Simplicity Lesson 3:     Learning from Indigenous Cultures

Simplicity Lesson 4:     Climate Change:  Let’s listen to the world’s young people

Relax/Focus:                 Sending Peace to the Earth Relaxation Exercise

Simplicity Lesson 5:     What is causing climate change?

Simplicity Lesson 6:     Decreasing Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Simplicity Lesson 7:     Deforestation and the Exchange between Trees and Humans

Simplicity Lesson 8:     Plastic, Toxic Gyres and the Effect on Marine Life

Story:                             Toxic Plastic Soup

Simplicity Lesson 9:     Nitrous Oxide Emissions and the Ocean’s Dead Zones

Story:                             We Can Make a Difference

Simplicity Lesson 10:  Methane Emissions and Diet

Story:                             An Organic Garden

Simplicity Lesson 11:  Reducing our Carbon Footprint

Simplicity Lesson 12:  Systems Thinking – One amazingly helpful thing to do . . .

Simplicity Lesson 13:  Choosing and Carrying Out an Ecological Project

Simplicity Lesson 14:  Messages from the Media

Simplicity Lesson 15:  More Ads

Simplicity Lesson 16:  Which Sustainable Development Goals are we making progress with?

Simplicity Lesson 17:  An Artistic Creation and Presentation for Our Earth and Her Oceans

Additional Lessons for Another Year

Simplicity Lesson 17:  The Simplicity of Nature

Simplicity Lesson 18:  Stories and Interviews

Simplicity Lesson 19:  Simplicity Skits

Simplicity Lesson 20:  Environmental History

Simplicity Lesson 21:  Sustainable Consumption

Simplicity Lesson 22:  Ethics and the Environment

Simplicity Lesson 23:  Greed versus Simplicity as We Use the Earth’s Resources

Simplicity Lesson 24:  One Amazingly Helpful Thing to Do — and its Contrast

Simplicity and Caring for the Earth and Her Oceans Activities in Subject Areas

  • Language/Literature
  • History/Social Studies
  • Science
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Art
  • Music
  • Home Economics
  • Physical Education/Dance


Activities for Children and Young Adults


Sustainable Development Goals


What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

These 17 Goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities. The goals are interconnected – often the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.

Living Green Values

These resources are dedicated to the Earth in honour of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012.  Rio+20 is a reference to the 20 years that have passed since the first UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992.


Living Green Values Activities for Children and Young Adults  Rosa, David and the Tern - A storybook for three- to seven-year olds  The Green Values Club - A book for young people eight to eighteen!


Living Values Education leaders around the world are concerned about our Earth and her oceans.  We would like to offer educators, parents and youth facilitators around the world these Living Green Values materials with the hope that the stories and activities will be useful to you in educating children and young adults, families and communities to internalize the importance of living sustainable lives and caring for our planet.  May we all learn to live in harmony with nature and with respect and care for all.

Let’s spread the word about the need of our Earth and her oceans!


Beluga whale and baby