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Sustainability is the key to survival. There is no denying the fact that we all are dependent on nature and its well-being. So, to be sustainable does mean being wary of damages caused by exploiting nature unduly. All that may sound quite grim apparently, but a relaxed way of learning the concept of sustainability is also possible. Yes, instead of stressing out by listening to lengthy lectures and demonstrating on roads, let’s befriend sustainability and the practical ways to achieve it at individual level by a resource called board games.
What are sustainable practices?
Sustainability means using resources optimally. This means:
a. Eating foods that do not hurt nature or fellow living beings
b. Using products that are manmade and not exploiting nature too much
c. Using vehicles and appliances that consume less fuel or energy; Also, using these in a way that does not cause too much consumption of fuel.
d. Using recyclable products; to quote a few.
Sustainability board games – what these teach?
Board games, as the educators explain, offer a premise to apply the concepts and derive learning a practical way. There are various issues like climate change, nature’s exploitation, extinction of species, scarcity of resources, etc. which need practical learning instead of theoretical explorations. Since board games are family fun games, all members get to learn together; also, children learning these with parent’s intervention can grow into aware individuals too and employ sustainable ways in their way of living by knowing about good habits.
Let’s take a look at the most engaging sustainability board games that are based on themes like nature conservation, innovative product use, intelligent practices, etc. and help develop a more receptive attitude.
Top 6 board games to know sustainability better
1.Trekking The National Parks
Man hunted in ancient times. This simple practice for procuring food became a menace when the killings started for fun. Various important species wiped out from the face of the Earth due to deforestation, industrialization, hunting, etc. did impact the food chain. It has caused an ecological imbalance.
Trekking the National Parks board games give a fair introduction to the concept of conserving nature and preserving fellow animals’ lives. Learners can know about the species conserved in various National Parks. This board game for learning sustainability enhances their general awareness and allows them to realize the importance of maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
2. KAHUNA – Who Will Rule the South Seas
Learning to balance nature is a step towards gaining dexterity in the concept of sustainability. Which Kahuna will rule the South Seas is a smart way of tricking the mind into learning about the safe practices that bring balance in the aquatic ecosystem.
By strategizing area control, the users are actually putting their minds into learning how to give the real leader of any ecosystem the authority it deserves. During the gameplay, the teachers can explain what happens when human beings try to go beyond their territories and interfere unduly in the rule of the Sea.
The traditional property trading game takes a sustainability-centered garb in Earthopoly. By the simple act of giving and taking during the gameplay, anyone can understand the importance of managing the balance of transactions between us and Nature.
We need to give attention to forestation, river conservation, rainwater harvesting, dam management, etc. so that taking food and products from Nature becomes possible or justifiable. By owing the properties like Canyons, islands, etc. the learners can grasp the concept that they are responsible for the conservation of these components of nature.
4. Fireside Games Castle Panic – Board Game
There is a castle and then there is a forest. The task is to protect the castle from the monsters that live in the forest and come out to destroy the castle. Is it not happening around us as well right now? By relating the characters like king, soldier, swordsman, and others, one can absorb the idea of protectors of our home or our environment.
The monsters are analogous to living creatures living in the forest. How activities like deforestation is creating chaos in the lives of animals and also challenging the safety of our lives can be best understood with this board game that teaches a lot about sustainability. In stead of giving lengthy and boring lectures, the players can get their lessons on sustainability by actually acting as the protectors and doing the needful to win the game.
5. Blue Orange Games Planet Board Game
A perfect ecosystem comprises people, rivers, forests, oceans, animals, and various other landscapes. Understanding that a planet is incomplete without any of these becomes easy to internalize when you choose the various landscape tiles to complete a puzzle in the gameplay of this sustainability board game.
This final figure achieved is a planet having a balanced combination of flora and fauna. Man alone cannot be successful; thus, to understand the completeness of the ecosystem, this game helps a lot.
6. Tiny Towns, Original
Planning a town sustainably increases the quality of life of residents. So, what could be the perfect combination of facilities? This town making board game gives an introduction to various kinds of ecosystems that exist in a country region and in the city as well.
Players pick the elements of their choice and compete with one another to make the fastest house possible. This board game beautifully explains to the players how competing unhealthily leads to disturbance in equilibrium and one portion becomes resource-enriched and the other becomes poor eventually. Thus, sustainability in town planning is one of the time-relevant concepts that people can learn from this game.
Top 3 areas where sustainability is required the most
By taking a cue from the board games for the sustainability list mentioned above, one can derive the list of areas that are in dire need of sustenance model of development.
1. Construction industry – building homes that are nature-proof and help improve socio-economic relationships.
2. Automobile industry – producing fuel-efficient vehicles, also dependent on renewable sources of energy, and not contributing to pollution.
3. Appliances manufacturing – better shelf-life, recyclable, multi-purpose appliances are needed for smart living.
Aspiring for a comfortable life is not bad, but at what cost? Board games have brought the oft-avoided concept of sustainability back to the focus. Perhaps, this is why these have become a reliable tool even in training programs among corporates.
- Evaluation of Sustainable Practices within Project Management Methods, MATEC Web of Conferences, 2017
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