TOPIC 3: How to motivate others to learn about climate-friendly gardening

TOPIC 3: How to motivate others to learn about climate-friendly gardening

In order to motivate others to learn about climate friendly gardening, it is necessary to realise that a community garden is a joint project and intention of the whole community. In TOPIC 3 we will go through the motivation process and share 7 steps on how to motivate others to learn about climate friendly gardening.

During the process of motivating others towards climate change friendly gardening, a high degree of participation or active involvement is needed. It begins with participants fully understanding the purpose of climate friendly gardening and their role in it. The more they shape it themselves, the more they consider it their own. The main building block is the approach of partnership between all participants, including adults and children. We can also distinguish different degrees of participation, from instructing and informing, to co-decision making, to coming up with ideas and implementing them.

At the same time, it is important to respect the individual pace of involvement in local projects and to set aside time, which is necessary for getting to know each other and establishing trust. Therefore, it is advisable to plan activities and events where people can get to know the project first and then gradually engage in more interactive climate friendly activities. After that, they can be invited to simple tasks, jobs or joint planning.

In practice, it turns out that some members of the established community garden will only move from passive to active participation within a few years. At the same time, active members make up only about 5-10 % of the total number of community members and this should be taken into account. (Kokoza, 2023)

When participants are learning, we distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation – This kind of motivation is sparked, when our interest and ambition to develop our knowledge in a particular topic is high. Learning, which involves intrinsic motivation, is based on our own choice and is driven by our needs.

Extrinsic motivation – The opposite of intrinsic motivation, which can take many forms in the form of praise, grades, admission to school, getting an interesting job. The drive for the extrinsic is known professionally as impulses.

7 steps of motivation others to learn about climate friendly gardening:

  1. Give yourself plenty of opportunity and time to get to know each other first. Teaching and learning about global warming and climate change is not easy and it is useful to choose an approach which is NOT promote doubt and denial about climate change and suggest that it is a scientific controversy.
  2. Prepare impact data and material for community members about climate change in your city. You can use ESG (= environmental, social, governance) strategy document in your city which you can find mostly on the official webpage.
  3. Show your community real examples of climate change in your neighborhood such as soil erosion, dryness, chemical fertilizers etc.
  4. Do your own experiment on the community garden which show what is happening. For example Soil Erosion Experiment:
  5. Share you results with others.
  6. Build a list of climate friendly activities for the garden.
  7. Invite experts to enrich know-how or to facilitate specific meetings.
PHOTO SOURCE: Teru Menclová © Kokoza, 2022

Kokoza, Metodika práce s komunitou. Internal material. 2023.

Daniel P. Shepardson, Andrew S. Hirsch. Teaching Climate Change. American Educator, Winter 2019-2020.